Born Frances Wolfe, Fran Warren grew up in love with swing music. As a child of the late '20s, however, she was almost -- but not quite -- too late to become a part of the big-band era as a vocalist. Her interest in singing went back to her days entertaining at school assemblies in the Bronx, New York. She had the voice, however, and the inspiration to grab a piece of the tail end of the big-band era, racking up one major hit and a legion of fans, even as she branched into theater to keep working at the level her ability commanded. As a pre-teen, Frances Wolfe spent a lot of time listening to the radio. She grew to know the music and styles of Billie Holiday, Jo Stafford, and Helen Forrest, among many other singers of the '30s and '40s. When World War II came along, she would pass the time in the blackout alerts, stuck in darkness with whoever happened to be around, imitating the work of peoples' favorite singers.