Hal Singer is an American R&B and jazz bandleader and saxophonist.
Hal was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and studied violin as a child, but as a teenager switched to clarinet and then tenor saxophone, which became his instrument of choice. From the late 1930s he began playing in local bands, including that of Ernie Fields, before joining Jay McShann's orchestra in 1943 and then moving to New York.
After working in various other bands, he joined Oran "Hot Lips" Page's band in 1947, and also began working as a session musician with King Records.
In early 1948 he left Page, formed his own small group, and was signed to Mercury Records where he cut his first single "Fine As Wine" with a B side Rock Around the Clock - not the same title made famous by Bill Haley.
For the Savoy label of Newark, New Jersey he recorded the instrumental "Corn Bread", which made #1 on the R & B charts in September 1948, and gave Singer a new popularity and nickname. His follow-up the following year, "Beef Stew", was a much smaller hit.
In the early and mid 1950s he recorded with Mercury, toured with R&B artists such as The Orioles and Charles Brown, and increasingly worked as a session musician. In 1958 he also began recording with Prestige Records as a jazz soloist, and performing at the Metropole Club in New York with leading jazz musicians such as Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins.
In 1965, after touring Europe with Earl "Fatha" Hines' band, Singer stayed in France to settle near Paris. He continued to record and also toured extensively around Europe and Africa, performing with various bands including Charlie Watts' and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.