Happy Birthday Ella Fitzgerald

 

 

Wiki Biography

 

” Ella 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 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 sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Life

 

” Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia, the daughter of 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 ArmstrongBing 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 ran away to her 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, 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.”

 

 

 

Early Career

 

” 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.

In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. She met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb there. Webb had already hired singer Charlie Linton to work with the band and was, The New York Times later wrote, “reluctant to sign her….because she was gawky and unkempt, a diamond in the rough.” Webb offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” She began singing regularly with Webb’s Orchestra through 1935 at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them, including “Love and Kisses” and “(If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)“. But it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket“, a song she co-wrote, that brought her wide public acclaim.

Chick Webb died on June 16, 1939, and his band was renamed “Ella and her Famous Orchestra” with Ella taking on the role of nominal bandleader. Fitzgerald recorded nearly 150 songs with the orchestra before it broke up in 1942, “the majority of them novelties and disposable pop fluff”.”

 

 

 

Rising Jazz Star

” Going out on her own, Ella Fitzgerald landed a deal with Decca Records. She recorded some hit songs with the Ink Spots and Louis Jordan in the early 1940s. Fitzgerald also made her film debut in 1942’s comedy western Ride ‘Em Cowboy with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Her career really began to take off in 1946 when she started working with Norman Granz. Granz orchestrated the Jazz at the Philharmonic, which was a series of concerts and live records featuring most of the genre’s great performers. Fitzgerald also hired Granz to become her manager.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Around this time, Fitzgerald went on tour with Dizzy Gillespie and his band. She started changing her singing style, incorporating scat singing during her performances with Gillespie. Fitzgerald also fell in love with Gillespie’s bass player Ray Brown. The pair wed in 1947, and they adopted a child born to Fitzgerald’s half-sister whom they named Raymond “Ray” Brown Jr. The marriage ended in 1952.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1950s and ’60s proved to be a time of critical and commercial success for Fitzgerald. She even earned the moniker “The First Lady of Song” for her mainstream popularity and unparalleled vocal talents. Her unique ability to mimicking instrumental sounds helped popularize the vocal improvisation of “scatting” which became her signature technique.”

 

 

 

 

 

” In 1955, Fitzgerald began recording for Granz’s newly created Verve Records. She made some of her most popular albums for Verve, starting out with 1956’s Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book. Two years later, Fitzgerald picked up her first two Grammy Awards for two later songbook projects—Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book and Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book. She actually worked directly with Ellington on that album.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A truly collaborative soul, Fitzgerald produced great recordings with such artists as Louis Armstrong and Count Basie. She also performed several times with Frank Sinatra over the years as well. In 1960, Fitzgerald actually broke into the pop charts with her rendition of “Mack the Knife.” She was still going strong well into the ’70s, playing concerts across the globe. One especially memorable concert series from this time was a two-week engagement in New York City in 1974 with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie.”

 

 

Worldwide Recognition

 

” Ella continued to work as hard as she had early on in her career, despite the ill effects on her health. She toured all over the world, sometimes performing two shows a day in cities hundreds of miles apart. In 1974, Ella spent a legendary two weeks performing in New York with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie. Still going strong five years later, she was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received Kennedy Center Honors for her continuing contributions to the arts.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Outside of the arts, Ella had a deep concern for child welfare. Though this aspect of her life was rarely publicized, she frequently made generous donations to organizations for disadvantaged youths, and the continuation of these contributions was part of the driving force that prevented her from slowing down. Additionally, when Frances died, Ella felt she had the additional responsibilities of taking care of her sister’s family.

In 1987, United States President Ronald Reagan awarded Ella the National Medal of Arts. It was one of her most prized moments. France followed suit several years later, presenting her with their Commander of Arts and Letters award, while Yale, Dartmouth and several other universities bestowed Ella with honorary doctorates.”

 

 

 

 

 

” In September of 1986, Ella underwent quintuple coronary bypass surgery. Doctors also replaced a valve in her heart and diagnosed her with diabetes, which they blamed for her failing eyesight. The press carried rumors that she would never be able to sing again, but Ella proved them wrong. Despite protests by family and friends, including Norman, Ella returned to the stage and pushed on with an exhaustive schedule.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” By the 1990s, Ella had recorded over 200 albums. In 1991, she gave her final concert at New York’s renowned Carnegie Hall. It was the 26th time she performed there.

As the effects from her diabetes worsened, 76-year-old Ella experienced severe circulatory problems and was forced to have both of her legs amputated below the knees. She never fully recovered from the surgery, and afterward, was rarely able to perform. During this time, Ella enjoyed sitting outside in her backyard, and spending time with Ray, Jr. and her granddaughter Alice. “I just want to smell the air, listen to the birds and hear Alice laugh,” she said.

On June 15, 1996, Ella Fitzgerald died in her Beverly Hills home. Hours later, signs of remembrance began to appear all over the world. A wreath of white flowers stood next to her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a marquee outside the Hollywood Bowl theater read, “Ella, we will miss you.”

After a private memorial service, traffic on the freeway was stopped to let her funeral procession pass through. She was laid to rest in the “Sanctuary of the Bells” section of the Sunset Mission Mausoleum at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. “

 

 

 

 

 

Ella Fitzgerald

 

April 25, 1918-June 15, 1996

 

Discography

Albums

Souvenir Album

‎ (10″, Album)

Decca 1949  

Ella Sings Gershwin

‎ ◄ (8 versions)

Brunswick 1950  

Songs In A Mellow Mood

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Decca 1954  

Peggy Lee And Ella Fitzgerald – Songs From Pete Kelly’s Blues ‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Decca 1955  

Ella FitzgeraldLena Horne , and Billie Holiday – Ella, Lena, And Billie ‎ (LP)

Columbia 1955  

Sweet And Hot

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Brunswick 1956  

Sings The Cole Porter Songbook

‎ ◄ (17 versions)

Verve Records 1956  

Sings The Rodgers And Hart Song Book

‎ ◄ (8 versions)

Verve Records 1956  

Like Someone In Love

‎ ◄ (8 versions)

Verve Records 1957  

Ella And Her Fellas

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Decca 1957  

Ella Fitzgerald / Count Basie / Joe Williams – One O’Clock Jump ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1957  

Ella Fitzgerald With Duke Ellington And His Orchestra – Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1957  

Ella Fitzgerald With Duke Ellington And His Orchestra – Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book Vol. 2 ‎ (2xLP, Mono)

Verve Records 1957  

Ella Fitzgerald & Billie Holiday – At Newport ‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Verve Records 1958  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book, Vol. 1

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Verve Records 1958  

Ella Fitzgerald At The Opera House

‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Verve Records 1958  

Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Verve Records 1958  

Ella Swings Lightly

‎ ◄ (9 versions)

Verve Records 1958  

The First Lady Of Song

‎ (LP, Mono)

Decca 1958  

Hello Love

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Get Happy

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Verve RecordsVerve Records 1959  

Sings The Rodgers And Hart Songbook Volume 2

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Sings The Rodgers And Hart Song Book Volume 1

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Sings The George And Ira Gershwin Song Book – Volume One 

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George And Ira Gershwin Song Book (Volume Two)

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Sings The George & Ira Gershwin Song Book Vol. 5

‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Gershwin Song Book Vol. 2

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Sings Sweet Songs For Swingers

‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Gershwin Song Book Vol. 1

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1959  

Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Verve Records 1960  

Mack The Knife – Ella In Berlin

‎ ◄ (31 versions)

Verve Records 1960  

Sings The Rodgers And Hart Song Book Volume 1

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1960  

Sings The George And Ira Gershwin Song Book – Volume Four

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Verve Records 1960  

Sings The George And Ira Gershwin Song Book – Volume Three

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Verve Records 1960  

Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!

‎ ◄ (9 versions)

Verve Records 1961  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Harold Arlen Song Book

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1961  

Ella In Hollywood

‎ ◄ (8 versions)

Verve Records 1961  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Song Book, Volume 1

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1961  

Ella

‎ (LP)

Brunswick 1961  

Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook, Volume 2

‎ (LP)

Verve Records 1961  

Ella Fitzgerald With Nelson Riddle And His Orchestra – Ella Fitzgerald Swings Brightly With Nelson ‎◄ (9 versions)

Verve Records 1962  

Rhythm Is My Business

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Verve Records 1962  

Ella Fitzgerald With Count Basie And His Orchestra* – Ella And Basie! ‎ ◄ (15 versions)

Verve Records 1963  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Jerome Kern Song Book

‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Verve Records 1963  

These Are The Blues

‎ ◄ (8 versions)

Verve RecordsVerve Records 1963  

Ella Fitzgerald with Rodgers & HammersteinLerner & LoeweAdler* & Ross*, Frank Loesser – Ella Sings Broadway ‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Verve Records 1963  

Hello, Dolly!

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Verve Records 1964  

Ella At Juan-Les-Pins

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Verve Records 1964  

Ella In Hamburg

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Verve RecordsStern Musik 1965  

Ella At Duke’s Place

‎ ◄ (8 versions)

Verve Records 1965  

Ella Fitzgerald

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Metro Records 1965  

Ella Fitzgerald With Marty Paich And His Orchestra* – Whisper Not ‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Verve Records 1966  

Hello Ella!

‎ (LP, Album)

PolydorBertelsmann Club 1966  

Ella Fitzgerald / Duke Ellington – Ella & Duke At The Côte D’Azur Vol.2 ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1967  

Brighten The Corner

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Capitol Records 1967  

Smooth Sailing

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Decca 1967  

Ella Fitzgerald / Duke Ellington – Ella & Duke At The Côte D’Azur ‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Verve Records 1967  

Ella Fitzgerald’s Christmas

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Capitol Records 1967  

Ella In Concert

‎ (LP, Album)

Verve Records 1967  

Ella Live

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1968  

30 By Ella

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Capitol Records 1968  

Misty Blue

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Capitol Records 1968  

Walkin’ In The Sunshine

‎ (LP, Album)

Sounds Superb 1968  

Ella

‎ ◄ (9 versions)

Reprise Records 1969  

Sunshine Of Your Love

‎ ◄ (12 versions)

MPS RecordsMPS Records 1969  

Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (And You Better Believe It)

‎ ◄ (9 versions)

Reprise Records 1971  

Ella A Nice

‎ (LP, Album)

CBS 1971  

Ella Fitzgerald

‎ (LP, Album, Ltd)

SupraphonGramofonový Klub 1971  

Ella Loves Cole

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Atlantic 1972  

Newport Jazz Festival Live At Carnegie Hall, July 5, 1973

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Columbia 1973  

Memories

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

MCA Coral 1973  

I Maestri

‎ (LP)

Capitol RecordsEMI 1973  

Ella In London

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Pablo Records 1974  

Joe Pass & Ella Fitzgerald – Take Love Easy ‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Pablo Records 1974  

Ella Fitzgerald At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1975

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Pablo Records 1975  

It’s Only A Papermoon

‎ (LP)

S*R InternationalS*R International 1975  

Chick Webb And His Orchestra Featuring Ella Fitzgerald – Silver Star Swing Series Presents Chick Webb And His Orchestra ‎ (LP)

MCA Coral 1975  

Ella Fitzgerald & Chick Webb Orchestra, The* – Ella Fitzgerald & The Chick Webb Orchestra ‎ (LP)

Record International Service 1975  

Элла Фитцджеральд

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Мелодия 1976  

Ella Fitzgerald & Oscar Peterson – Ella And Oscar ‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Pablo Records 1976  

Ella Fitzgerald / Joe Pass – Fitzgerald & Pass…Again ‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Pablo Records 1976  

Basin Street Blues

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Intercord 1976  

Ella Fitzgerald With Tommy Flanagan Trio, The* – Montreux ’77 ‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Pablo Live 1977  

The Rodgers And Hart Song Book

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1977  

Ella Fitzgerald & Cole Porter – Dream Dancing ‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Pablo Records 1978  

Ella Fitzgerald And Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The* – The George And Ira Gershwin Songbook ‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Verve Records 1978  

Ella Fitzgerald With Jackie Davis And Louie Bellson* – Lady Time ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Pablo Records 1978  

Lionel HamptonCount BasieDuke EllingtonElla FitzgeraldLouis Armstrong – Original History Of Jazz ‎ (2xLP, Gat)

Amati 1978  

Ella Fitzgerald And Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The* – The George And Ira Gershwin Songbook ‎ (Cass, RE, Dou)

Verve Records 1978  

Ella

‎ (2xLP)

Lakeshore Music 1978  

Fine And Mellow, Ella Fitzgerald Jams

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Pablo Records 1979  

I Grandi Del Jazz

‎ (LP)

Fabbri Editori 1979  

Ella Fitzgerald & Billie Holiday – Ella Fitzgerald Und Billie Holiday ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

AMIGA 1980  

Ella Fitzgerald And Count Basie – A Perfect Match ‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Pablo Records 1980  

Ella FitzgeraldCount BasieJoe PassNiels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen – Digital III At Montreux ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Pablo Live 1980  

The Duke Ellington Songbook

‎ (2xLP, Album, RE)

Verve Records 1980  

Ella Abraça Jobim – Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Antonio Carlos Jobim Song Book

‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Pablo Records 1981  

Webb On The Air

‎ (LP)

Jazz Bird 1981  

The Best Is Yet To Come

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Pablo Records 1982  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings Count Basie Plays With Count Basie Orchestra, The* – A Classy Pair ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Pablo Today 1982  

The Duke Ellington Songbook, Volume Two: The Small Group Sessions

‎ (2xLP, Gat)

Verve Records 1982  

Ella FitzgeraldJoe Pass – Speak Love ‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Pablo Records 1983  

Ella À Nice

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Pablo Live 1983  

The Ella Fitzgerald Set

‎ (LP, Mono)

Verve Records 1983  

Sings The Johnny Mercer Song Book

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Verve Records 1984  

Ella FitzgeraldDuke Ellington – The Stockholm Concert, 1966 ‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Pablo Live 1984  

Sings The Harold Arlen Song Book

‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Verve Records 1984  

Live And Rare

‎ (LP)

Delta Music 1984  

Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass – Easy Living ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Pablo Records 1986  

The Very Thought Of You

‎ (LP)

Contour 1987  

Sentimental Journey

‎ (LP, Album)

Hallmark Records 1988  

Ella In Rome – The Birthday Concert

‎ (Vinyl, Album)

Verve RecordsGong 1988  

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Success 1989  

For The Love Of Ella

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Verve Records 1989  

Ella / Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (And You Better Believe It)

‎ (CD, Album)

Reprise Records 1989  

Ella Returns To Berlin

‎ (CD)

Verve Records 1991  

Элла Фитцджеральд Поёт Произведения Дюка Эллингтона / Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book

‎ (LP)

Мелодия 1991  

Ella Fitzgerald With Nelson Riddle And His Orchestra – Ella Swings Gently With Nelson ‎ ◄ (3 versions)

Verve Records 1993  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs From Let No Man Write My Epitaph

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Classic Records 1994  

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George And Ira Gershwin Songbooks

‎ (4xCD, Album, RE, Dig)

Verve Records 1998  

Frank Sinatra + Ella Fitzgerald + Antonio Carlos Jobim – A Man And His Music + Ella + Jobim ‎ (DVD-A, Mono)

Warner Reprise Video 1999  

Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass – Sophisticated Lady ‎ (CD, Album)

Pablo Records 2001  

Sings The George & Ira Gershwin Songbook

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Not Now Music 2010  

Newport Jazz Festival Live At Carnegie Hall, July 5, 1973

‎ (2xLP, Album, Ltd)

Analogue Productions 2012

Links

The Official Web Site of Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald – Music Biography, Credits and Discography : …

Ella Fitzgerald 1954Ella Fitzgerald, Brubeck, Coltrane and …

Ella Fitzgerald – PBS: Public Broadcasting Service

Ella Fitzgerald : NPR

Ella Fitzgerald @ All About Jazz

Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation

 

 

 

Concert Videos

Joe Pass & Ella Fitzgerald – Duets in Hannover 1975

Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson Live Paris Olympia 63 part II

Ella Fitzgerld Live at The Montreux Jazz Festival 1977

Ella Fitzgerald Live Jazz festival in Cannes 1958 part II

ella fitzgerald in berlin feat. freddie waits

 

 

 

Interviews

Ella Fitzgerald interview 1974

Bobbie Wygant Interviews Ella Fitzgerald

ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART  Of 11

Music

iTunes – Music – Ella Fitzgerald – Apple

Ella Fitzgerald on Spotify

Amazon.com: Ella Fitzgerald: Songs, Albums, Pictures, Bios

Ella Fitzgerald – Listen to Free Music Pandora

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements