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. With a vocal 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. Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over the course of her 59-year recording career, she was the winner of 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and thePresidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia, the child of a common-law marriage between William and Temperance "Tempie" Fitzgerald. The pair separated soon after her birth, and Ella and her mother went to Yonkers, New York, where they eventually moved in with Tempie's longtime boyfriend, Joseph Da Silva. Fitzgerald's half-sister, Frances Da Silva, was born in 1923. She and her family were Methodists and were active in the Bethany African Methodist Episcopal Church, and she regularly attended worship services, Bible study, and Sunday School.In her youth, Fitzgerald wanted to be a dancer, although she loved listening to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and The Boswell Sisters. She idolized the lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, "My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it....I tried so hard to sound just like her.In 1932, her mother died from a heart attack. Following this trauma, Fitzgerald's grades dropped dramatically, and she frequently skipped school. Abused by her stepfather, she was first taken in by an aunt and, at one point, worked as a lookout at a bordello and also with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. When the authorities caught up with her, she was first placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale, the Bronx. However, when the orphanage proved too crowded, she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls in Hudson, New York, a state reformatory. Eventually she escaped and for a time was homeless.She made her singing debut at 17 on November 21, 1934, at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. She pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its famous "Amateur Nights". She had originally intended to go on stage and dance, but, intimidated by the Edwards Sisters, a local dance duo, she opted to sing instead in the style of Connee Boswell. She sang Boswell's "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection," a song recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and won the first prize of US$25.00.
LEGENDARY RADIO BROADCASTS: 2 CD This is the second volume in our new series of famous radio broadcasts – more ?ne artists to follow a.o.: Ella Fitzgerald, Mildred Bailey, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway etc. It was in the 30ies and 40ieswhen the radio was the most important media before television took over. There were many different radio broadcasts all over USA. Live programs from different concerts and studio recordings. Count Basie had nightly broadcasts from Reno Club in Kansas City. When John Hammond heard a broadcast he went to Kansas City to hear the band in person. He then decided to bring it to New York City where they opened at the Roseland. To be regular featured on the radio was the best promotion an artist could get. Storyville has found many ?ne radio programs with various artists that will be released in the Legendary Radio Broadcasts series. ELLA FITZGERALD Ella Fitzgerald was 21 when she became the leader of “the Chick Webb Orchestra” when Chick Webb died June 16, 1939. After a few months it became “Ella Fitzgerald and her Famous Orchestra”. The orchestra lasted until July 1941 when she went out as a single. There are two Radio Broadcasts on this CD recorded January 22 & 25, 1940 in New York City. The orchestra was a 14-man band with many good musicians like Taft Jordan, Sandy Williams, Hilton Jefferson and Ram Ramirez to mention a few. Ella is singing A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Tain’t What You Do, What’s The Matter With Me, I Want The Waiter, A Lover Is Blue, This Changing World, Oh, Johnny Oh!, Thank Your Stars, and Vagabond Dreams. Taft Jordan is vocalist on Confessin’ and the remaining titles are instrumentals. MILDRED BAILEY There are three Radio Broadcasts on the Mildred Bailey CD recorded January 5, 19 and 26, 1945 in CBS Studios, New York. Mildred Bailey was accompanied by the Paul Bacon Orchestra. Her radio series was a consistent platform for top jazz players. Charlie Shavers plays a fairly dazzling “Summertime” with the Paul Baron Orchestra and Trummy Young also steps out from the band for a guest feature: “Trummin’ On A Riff.” Tommy Dorsey “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.” Earl Hines does his famous “Boogie Woogie On The St. Blues” and Cozy Cole spreads out on “Stompin’ At The Savoy.” Moreover , each show cleared generous space for the small house band of Teddy Wilson, Charlie Shavers, Red Norvo,Remo Palmieri, Albert Hall and Specs Powell.