Monday, February 11, 2008
Black History: Ella Fitzgerald
April 25,1917-June 15, 1996
Ella Fitzgerald was born " Ella Jane Fitzgerald" in Newport News, Virginia. She was the last of four great female jazz singers (including Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae) who defined one of the most prolific eras in jazz vocal style. Ella was nicknamed the "First Lady of Song" and the "First Lady of Jazz". She had extraordinary vocal skills from the time she was a teenager, and joined the Chick Webb Orchestra in 1935 when she was 16 years old. With an output of more than 200 albums, she was at her sophisticated best with the songs of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, of George Gershwin, and of Cole Porter. Her 13 Grammy awards are more than any other jazz performer, and she won the Best Female Vocalist award three years in a row. Completely at home with up-tempo songs, her "scat singing" placed her jazz vocals with the finest jazz instrumentalists, and it was this magnificent voice that she brought to her film appearances. Her last few years, during which she had a bout with congestive heart failure and suffered bilateral amputation of her legs from complications of diabetes, were spent in seclusion.
Ella getting it in with her "Scat Singing"
"Fever" was one of the best songs that Ella ever song. It was one of those songs that got a lot of men "HOT" back in the days and probably a lot of the men today hot if the right female performed it!