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Ella Fitzgerald

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Joe Pass & Ella Fitzgerald – Duets in Hannover 1975


00:50 Laura
04:25 Wave (Vou te contar)
09:50 My Funny Valentine
14:05 You Stepped Out Of A Dream
18:57 You Turned The Tables On Me
23:33 Darn That Dream
27:19 Ella and Joe
27:33 You Turned The Tables On Me
31:50 Cry Me A River
37:34 Nature Boy
39:48 Nature Boy (2nd)
41:32 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
47:40 Avalon
51:53 Stormy Weather
57:09 One Note Samba
01:03:20 The One I Love (Belongs To Somebody Else)
01:07:20 How High The Moon

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as the “First Lady of Song” “Queen of Jazz” and “Lady Ella,” was an American jazz and song vocalist.[1] With avocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6), she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

She was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook.[2] Over the course of her 59-year recording career, she was the winner of 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded theNational Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

Fitzgerald married at least twice, and there is evidence that she may have married a third time. In 1941 she married Benny Kornegay, a convicted drug dealer and local dockworker. The marriage was annulled after two years.

Her second marriage, in December 1947, was to the famous bass player Ray Brown, whom she had met while on tour with Dizzy Gillespie‘s band a year earlier. Together they adopted a child born to Fitzgerald’s half-sister, Frances, whom they christened Ray Brown, Jr. With Fitzgerald and Brown often busy touring and recording, the child was largely raised by her aunt, Virginia. Fitzgerald and Brown divorced in 1953, bowing to the various career pressures both were experiencing at the time, though they would continue to perform together.[4]

Ella Fitzgerald photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1940.

In July 1957, Reuters reported that Fitzgerald had secretly married Thor Einar Larsen, a young Norwegian, in Oslo. She had even gone as far as furnishing an apartment in Oslo, but the affair was quickly forgotten when Larsen was sentenced to five months hard labor in Sweden for stealing money from a young woman to whom he had previously been engaged.

Fitzgerald was also notoriously shy. Trumpet player Mario Bauza, who played behind Fitzgerald in her early years with Chick Webb, remembered that “she didn’t hang out much. When she got into the band, she was dedicated to her music….She was a lonely girl around New York, just kept herself to herself, for the gig.”   When, later in her career, the Society of Singers named an award after her, Fitzgerald explained, “I don’t want to say the wrong thing, which I always do. I think I do better when I sing.

Already visually impaired by the effects of diabetes, Fitzgerald had both her legs amputated in 1993.   In 1996 she died of the disease in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 79. She is buried in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.  The career history and archival material from Ella’s long career are housed in the Archives Center at the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of American History while her personal music arrangements are at The Library of Congress. Her extensive cookbook collection was donated to the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University while her published sheet music collection is at the Schoenberg Library at UCLA.

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