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Unformatted text preview: Ella Fitzgerald "First Lady of Song" Beginning(1918) to End(1996) The Beginning Ella Jane Fitzgerald Born in Newport News, Virginia, April 25, 1917 Child of William and Temperance Fitzgerald. Parents separated and her halfsister Frances Fitzgerald, was born in 1923 1932Ella's mother died from car accident injuries Stayed with Joseph Da Silva for a short time then was taken in by her aunt Virginia. Shortly afterward, Da Silva died from a heart attack and her Frances joined her in Virginia. Early years Following those events: Ella's grades dropped At one point worked as a lookout at a bordello and also with a Mafiaaffiliated numbers runner. Ran into trouble with the police; taken into custody and sent to a reform school. Escaped from the reformatory, and was homeless for a while Singing debut at 17on November 21, 1934 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. She had originally intended to go on stage and dance, but got intimidated by the Edwards Sisters Decca Years (19351955) In 1942 Fitzgerald left the band to begin a solo career. Signed with Decca record label; had several popular. Demise of the Swing era: brought the decline of the big bands Coming of bebop: a major change in Fitzgerald's vocal style (influenced by her work with Dizzy Gillespie's big band) Fitzgerald started including scat singing as a major part of her performance Ella Fitzgerald & Dizzy Gillespie While singing with Gillespie, 1947 Fitzgerald was recorded as saying "I http://youtube.com/watch?v=HeXaEN55mkU just tried to do [with my voice] what I 1958 heard the horns in the band doing." Big Band Singing
January 1935 Won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House Met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb at the Opera House Webb offered Ella the a test with his band when they played at Yale Webb hired her to travel with the band Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them including: "Love and Kisses" (her first recording) "(If You Can't Sing It) You'll Have to Swing It" 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, "ATisket, ATasket"brought her wide public acclaim. Chick Webb died on June 16, 1939, Ella took the role and bandleader and the band was renamed "Ella Fitzgerald and her Famous Orchestra"recorded nearly 150 with them Verve (19561966) AND Mainstream success 1955, Fitzgerald left the Decca label, and Granz, now her manager, created the jazz record company Verve around her. Her soundbook was part of a bigger collection called Great American Soundbook singer's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work The New York Times wrote that Fitzgerald "integration of white and AfricanAmerican soul." Other albums at Verve: Ella at the Opera House Ella in Rome Ella in Berlin Ella at JuanLesPins Ella and Duke at the Cote D'Azur Fitzgerald on the cover of her landmark 1956 album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook. Was the first of eight "Songbooks" Fitzgerald would record for Verve a black woman popularizing urban songs often written by immigrant Jews to a national audience of Film and Television she sung briefly in the 1942 Abbott and Costello film Ride 'Em Cowboy played singer Maggie Jackson in Jack Webb's 1955 jazz film Pete Kelly's St. Louis Blues in1958 Let No Man Write My Epitaph 1960 1980s television drama The White Shadow. Numerous guest appearances on television shows: Fitzgerald also appeared in TV commercials: singing on the The Frank Sinatra Show alongside Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Mel Torm and many others 1968 TV Special, sang 'Three Little Maids' song from Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta The Mikado alongside Dame Joan Sutherland and Dinah Shore. Memorex, she sang a note that shattered a glass while being recorded to a Memorex cassette tape. The tape was played back and the recording also broke the glass, asking "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" Numeroues Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials, singing and scatting to the fastfood chain's longtime slogan, "We do chicken right!" American Express, in which she was photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Later Years Verve Records was sold to MGM in 1963, 1967 MGM failed to renew Ella's contract Over the next 5 years, several labels Mostly: Departure away from her typical jazz repertoire Capitol 6768 Reprise 6970 Atlantic 72 Surprise success of album Jazz at Santa Monica Civic '72 led Norman Granz (manager at Decca) to found his first record label since the sale of Verve, Pablo Records Brighten the Corner, an album of Christian hymns Misty Blue, a country and western influenced album, 30 by Ella, a series of six medleys that fulfilled obligations for the label. Ella recorded some 20 albums for the label Personal Life people have commented upon the irony of Ella's romantic life: that she sang about perfect romances, but then never seemed to live the dreams that she sang about Married twice: 1957, Reuters reported that Fitzgerald had secretly married Thor Einar Larsen, a young Norwegian, in Oslo (rumors quickly faded) 1941 married Benny Kornegay, a convicted drug dealer and hustler. The marriage was annulled after two years. 1946 married bassist Ray Brown adopted a child born to Fitzgerald's halfsister, Francis divorced in 1953; still performed together Final Years September of 1986, Ella underwent quintuple coronary bypass surgery Had a valve replaced in her heart and was diagnosed with diabetes Fitzgerald made her last recording in 1989 and last public performance in 1993 Legs amputated in 1993 due to diabetes Died June 15, 1996 in Beverly Hills Awards/Personal Accomplishments
13 Grammys Honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha (1960) American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers highest honor (1965) Bing Crosby Lifetime Achievement Award (1967) Honorary chairmanship of the Martin Luther King Foundation (1967) Award of Distinction from the National Association of Sickle cell Diseases (1976) Women at Work organization's Bicentennial Woman (1976) Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medal of Honor Award (1979) Inductee into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame (1979) Will Rogers award from the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association (1980) Lord & Taylor Rose award for outstanding contribution to music (1980) Doctor of Human Letters from Talladega College of Alabama (1980) Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year from Harvard (1982) George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America (1983) National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters award (1985) National Medal of Art awarded by President Ronald Reagan (1987) UCLA Medal for Musical Achievements (1987) NAACP Image Award (1988) The first Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, named "Ella" in her honor (1989) Order of Arts and Letters, France (1990) Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President George Bush National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award Pied Piper Award George and Ira Gershwin Award for Outstanding Achievement Honorary doctorates from Yale University, Dartmouth, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Howard University and Princeton References Scott Yanow. Ella Fitzgerald. allmusic.com. Retrieved on 2007, March 16. Vickie Smith, Jazz Vocalist. Dedicated To Ella. VickieSmith.com. Retrieved on 2007, March 16. Johnson, J. Wilfred (2001). Ella Fitzgerald: An Annotated Discography. McFarland. Gourse, Leslie (1998). The Ella Fitzgerald Companion. London: Omnibus Press www.wikipedia.com. Wikipedia. "Ella Fitzgerald". Retrieved 2007, April 3. http://www.justsoul.net/artists/ellafitzgerald.htm. "Ella Fitzgerald". Copyright 2006 Retrieved 2007, April ...
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