The Sweetheart of the Fighting Fronts, singer Frances Langford was a World War II heartthrob beloved by troops for her performances as part of Bob Hope's USO tours. Born Frances Newbern in Lakeland, FL, on April 4, 1914, she initially aspired to a career singing opera, but a throat operation permanently changed her vocal register and she gravitated toward big-band music, earning the nickname "The Florida Thrush." While performing on a Tampa radio station, the 16-year-old caught the attention of bandleader Rudy Vallée, who extended an invitation to appear on his national radio program. After appearing on Broadway in 1931's Here Comes the Bride, Langford relocated to Hollywood, where she appeared on Dick Powell's radio show Hollywood Hotel. Langford rocketed to overnight success singing the now-perennial "I'm in the Mood for Love," a song written expressly for her to perform, while co-starring in the 1935 Alice Faye vehicle Every Night at Eight. She would go on to feature in close to 30 Hollywood films, most notable among them Broadway Melody of 1936, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and The Hit Parade.