Ships at a Distance

"No one ever talks about the moment you found that you were white. Or the moment you found out you were black. That's a profound revelation. The minute you find that out, something happens. You have to renegotiate everything." - Toni Morrison

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Happy birthday, Ella Fitzgerald!

  • Born: April 25, 1917 in Newport News, VA.
  • AKA “First Lady of Song” and “Queen of Jazz”
  • Grew up listening to Armstrong, Crosby, and the Boswell Sisters.
  • Made her singing debut at the Apollo in Harlem. She originally intended to go on stage and dance, but decided to sing her swing instead.
  • During the decline of the Swing Era, scat was introduced into her repertoire as she started singing with Dizzy Gillespie. She is very noted for her inventiveness in the art of scat.
  • Won 13 Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement in 1967.
  • Was noted for being quite shy off-stage.
  • Established the Ella Fitzgerald charity foundation in 1993, and was a quiet but avid support of the American Heart Association and the City of Hope Medical Center.
  • I have “Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook” on loop in my car and I didn’t even know why until I saw it was her birth. Ella is the reason I grew to love Swing!

Filed under ella fitzgerald jazz

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