Coral Cummins (Morrall)

Coral Cummins was a jazz vocalist who was born in Christchurch in 1924 and began her career here in the 1940s. She sang with bands in Christchurch and Auckland, including The Martin Winiata Band, Bob Bradford Quartet, Doug Caldwell Quartet and Doug Kelly’s Big Band.

Musical influences included Frank Sinatra and Maxine Sullivan. Alan Francis writing in The Press after her death said the hallmarks of her singing were poetry and subtlety and she made every song a personal message to every member of the audience. She made two recordings in the 1960s and was offered a recording contract in the UK by Donald Peers, which she turned down due to family commitments.

She toured with the Martin Winiata Band throughout Australasia and went to Korea and Japan in 1953 to entertain New Zealand and Commonwealth troops where, according to The Press, she won the adulation of all. In 1963 she gave a Royal Concert Performance for the Queen and Prince Philip. She died in 1989.

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