Jazz Appreciation Month: Ella Fitzgerald

Born in 1917, Ella Fitzgerald, “the first lady of song”, is one of the enduring Jazz artists to have across genre appeal thanks to the various styles she adapted too. She started her career pretty much in the gutter. She would dance and sing for coins on street corners when growing up and her big break came when a talent scout from the Chick Webb Orchestra found her and hired her as band voluntist. Because of her unkempt and gawky look Webb was reluctant to hire her. Luckily for us her she was a hit with a test audience and would generate a major hit with the nursery rhyme based “A-tisket A-tasket”. After Chick Webb’s untimely death Ella fronted the band for a bit but the spirit had gone.

During the 1940s Ella got interested in scat singing and recorded a version of “Flying Home” where she based her scat on the famous solo by tenor sax man Illinois Jacquet. In the 50s she moved onto songbook projects and recorded a number of duet albums with Louis Armstrong.

She kept performing until 1993 until her health was not able to take the strain, during the latter period of her life her legs were amputated for health reasons. She died in 1996.

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4 thoughts on “Jazz Appreciation Month: Ella Fitzgerald

  1. It is so funny that I visited your site today. I am going through all my old posts to put together a book of poetry at the request of my mother-in-law. You had visited my site when I posted more than three years ago a post called “Singing Along with Ella Fitzgerald” (https://intentionalinterplay.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/singing-along-with-ella-fitzgerald/). I was looking at the comments and yours came up. So I clicked the link and by golly, you wrote about Ella Fitzgerald today! What are the odds?

    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your post and am so glad to become reacquainted with you. I hope to stay in touch.

    Liked by 1 person

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