Alice Babs

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Hildur Alice Nilsson
Actor, Singer
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Alice Babs (born Hildur Alice Nilsson; 26 January 1924 – 11 February 2014) was a singer and actress from Kalmar, Sweden. While she worked in a wide number of genres – Swedish folklore, Elizabethan songs and opera. She was best known internationally as a jazz singer, and for being Swedens first entrant at Eurovision singing in the Eurovision Song Contest 1958.

Early career

After making her breakthrough in Swing it magistern (Swing It, Teacher!) (1940), she appeared in more than a dozen Swedish language-films. Despite playing the well-behaved, good-hearted, cheerful girl, the youth culture forming with Babs as its icon caused outrage among members of the older generation. A vicar called the Babs cult the "foot and mouth disease to cultural life".

Later life and career

In 1958, she was the first artist to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 4th place with the song "Lilla stjärna" ("Little Star"). The same year, she formed Swe-Danes with guitarist Ulrik Neumann and violinist Svend Asmussen. The group would later tour the United States together, before dissolving in 1965. A long and productive period of collaboration with Duke Ellington began in 1963. Among other works, Alice Babs participated in performances of Ellington's second and thirdSacred Concerts which the he had originally written for her. Her voice had a range of more than three octaves; Ellington said that when she did not sing the parts that he wrote for her, he had to use three different singers.

From 1943 until his death, Babs was married to Nils Ivar Sjöblom (1919–2011). Their three children are Lilleba Sjöblom Lagerbäck (born 1945), Lars-Ivar (Lasse) Sjöblom (born 1948), and Titti Sjöblom (born 1949), the latter appearing with her mother in early-1960s advertising for Toy Chewing Gum (see inset). In her later years, Babs resided in Sweden, where she was active in the Lutheran church.


Babs died of complications from Alzheimer's disease on 11 February 2014. She was 90.[3]


  • Alice Babs förlorade rättigheter (Alice Babs' Lost Rights) (2013) documentary film
  • Alice Babs – Swing´it (orig. Naturröstens hemlighet) (2008) documentary film
  • Det svänger på slottet (1959)
  • Musik ombord (1958)
  • Swing it, fröken (1956)
  • Sommarflickan (1955)
  • Resan till dej (1953)
  • Kungen av Dalarna (1953)
  • Drömsemestern (1952)
  • Sången om Stockholm (1947)
  • Skådetennis (1945) (short film)
  • Örnungar (1944)
  • En trallande jänta (1942)
  • Vårat gäng (1942)
  • Sjung och le (1941) (short film)
  • Magistrarna på sommarlov (1941)
  • Swing it, magistern! (1940)
  • Blixt och dunder (1938)


Recording of Alice Babs produced by the Swedish record label Sonora.

Alice Babs' discography includes more than 800 recordings since her debut withJoddlarflickan in 1939. The following is a list of her recordings available on CD, listed chronologically from when they were originally recorded.


  • Vax Records CD 1003 Alice Babs & Nisse Linds Hot-trio, originally recorded: 1939–41
  • Naxos 8.120759 Swingflickan, originally recorded: 1939–44
  • Vax Records CD 1000 Early recordings 1939–1949
  • Klara skivan KLA 7802-2 Joddlarflickan (2 CDs), originally recorded: 1939–51
  • Phontastic PHONTCD 9302 Swing it! Alice Babs!, originally recorded: 1939–53
  • Sonora 548493-2 Swing it, Alice! (2 CDs), originally recorded: 1939–63
  • Sonora 529315-2 Ett glatt humör, originally recorded: 1940–42
  • Odeon 7C138-35971/2 Alice Babs, originally recorded: 1942–1947
  • Metronome 8573-84676-2 Guldkorn, originally recorded: 1951–58
  • Metronome 4509-93189-2 Metronomeåren, originally recorded: 1951–58
  • Metronome 5050467-1616-2-7 Alice Babs bästa (2 CDs), originally recorded: 1951–61
  • Bear Family BCD 15809-AH Mitsommernacht, originally recorded: 1953–59
  • Bear Family BCD 15814-AH Lollipop, originally recorded: 1953–59
  • EMI 7243-5-96148-2-3 Diamanter (2 CDs), originally recorded: 1958–60
  • EMI 7243-5-20153-2-0 Just you, just me, originally recorded: 1958–72
  • Pickwick 751146 Regntunga skyar, originally recorded: 1958–72
  • Metronome 4509-95438-2 Swe-Danes Scandinavian Shuffle, originally recorded: 1959
  • RCA 74321-12719-2 Alice and Wonderband, originally recorded: 1959
  • Swedish Society Discofil SWECD 401 Sjung med oss mamma (Alice Tegnér), originally recorded: 1963
  • Swedish Society Discofil SWECD 400 Alice Babs, originally recorded: 1964
  • Swedish Society Discofil SWECD 402 Scandinavian songs (Svend Asmussen) originally recorded: 1964
  • Prophone PCD 050 Yesterday, originally recorded: 1966–75
  • Vax Records VAXCD 1006 "Illusion" (with Jan Johansson and Georg Riedels orchestra) Originally recorded 1966
  • Vax Records CD 1008 "As time goes by" Alice Babs with Bengt Hallbergs trio and Arne Domnérus Big Band with Svend Asmussen. Originally recorded 1960–1969
  • EMI 7243 5398942 2 Den olydiga ballongen/Hej du måne, originally recorded: 1968–76
  • Prophone PCD 045 What a joy!, originally recorded: 1972–80
  • Bluebell ABCD 052 There's something about me, originally recorded: 1973–78
  • Prophone PCD 021 Serenading Duke Ellington, originally recorded: 1974–75
  • Swedish Society Discofil SCD 3003 Om sommaren sköna – Sjunger Alice Tegnér, originally recorded: 1974
  • Bluebell ABCD 005 Far away star, originally recorded: 1977
  • RCA Victor 74321-62363-2 Swingtime again, originally recorded: 1998
  • Sony SK 61797 A church blues for Alice, originally recorded: 1999
  • Four Leaf Clover Records FLCDVD 8001 Swingtime Again with Charlie Norman recorded 1999
  • Prophone PCD 062 Don't be blue, originally recorded: 2001


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