The One-Hit Wonder Baby Name Jilla

Jilla Webb, singer, 1950sThe uncommon baby name Jilla appeared for the first and only time in the U.S. baby name data in 1951:

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 6 baby girls named Jilla
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

No doubt it was put there by American jazz/pop vocalist Jilla Webb, who was at the peak of her fame in the early 1950s. She recorded on the MGM label and regularly performed with the Harry James Orchestra.

Below is a 1958 recording of Jilla Webb singing with Harry James. (The video ought to start at 11:50, when Jilla first comes in.)

Though the similar name Jill was very trendy in the early ’50s — it reached the top 100 by the end of the decade (and stayed there for nearly 30 years) — Jilla remained a mere one-hit wonder.

Do you like the name Jilla? Now that Willa is on the rise, do you think Jilla could catch on as a variant?

P.S. Jilla Webb’s daughter is also a professional singer who goes by the name Jilla Webb.


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