Friday, 8 July 2011

Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington (August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963), born Ruth Lee Jones, was a blues, R&B and jazz singer. She has been cited as "the most popular black female recording artist of the '50s", and called "The Queen of the Blues". She is a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Ruth Jones was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and moved to Chicago as a child. Dinah became deeply involved in gospel and played piano for the choir in St Luke's Baptist Church while she was still in elementary school. She sang gospel music in church and played piano, directing her church choir in her teens and being a member of the Sallie Martin Gospel Singers. She sang lead with the first female gospel singers formed by Ms Martin, who was co-founder of the Gospel Singers Convention. Jones' involvement with the gospel choir occurred after she won an amateur contest at Chicago's Regal Theater where she sang "I Can't Face the Music".

After winning a talent contest at the age of 15, she began performing in clubs. By 1941-42 she was performing in such Chicago clubs as Dave's Rhumboogie and the Downbeat Room (with Fats Waller) of the Sherman Hotel. She was playing at the Three Deuces, a jazz club, when a friend took her to hear Billie Holiday at the Garrick Stage Bar. Joe Sherman was so impressed with her singing of "I Understand", backed by the Cats & The Fiddle, who were appearing in the Garrick's upstairs room, that he immediately hired her. During the year of her tenure at the Garrick - she sang upstairs while Holiday performed in the downstairs room - she acquired the name by which she became known. Joe Sherman is generally credited with suggesting the change from Ruth Jones, but both Joe Glaser, the booker-manager who brought Lionel Hampton to hear Dinah at the Garrick, and Hampton himself have occasionally been given the responsibility for the name change. Hampton's visit brought an offer, and Dinah went to work as his female vocalist in 1943 after she had sung with the band for its opening at the Chicago Regal Theatre. She sang with the Hampton band for two years.

She made her recording debut for the Keynote label that December with "Evil Gal Blues", written by Leonard Feather and backed by Hampton and musicians from his band, including Joe Morris (trumpet) and Milt Buckner (piano). Both that record and its follow-up, "Salty Papa Blues", made Billboard's "Harlem Hit Parade" in 1944. The rest is History.

Dinah Washington- Dinah Washington

01- Mad About The Boy
02- What A Diff'rence A Day Makes
03- Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
04- Such A Night
05- Time Out For Tears
06- Harbor Lights
07- Trust In Me
08- This Bitter Earth
09- September In The Rain
10- I Wanna Be Loved
11- Salty Papa Blues
12- Mixed Emotions
13- Teach Me Tonight
14- If I Loved You
15- With A Song In My Heart
16- When I Fall In Love

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