“I never knew how good our songs were,” Ira Gershwin once said, “until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them.” Her commendations included honorary doctorates at Yale and Dartmouth, the National Medal of Arts and 13 Grammy Awards.
We heard the echoes of shots that reverberated in America and around the world.
We mingled with criminals, leaders, protesters, artists and athletes, many who forever changed their professions.
We relived the first steps on the moon and the speech that divided India and Pakistan.
Though a listener would not have realized it hearing her crooning, belting or scatting, Ella Fitzgerald, the “first lady of song,” was a quiet person in private.
Unlike many of her jazz world contemporaries — the list is practically endless — she was abstemious.
When she was not onstage or on tour, where she spent most of her life, she preferred tranquil days at her Beverly Hills home and a placid social life with friends like Carmen Mc Rae, Sarah Vaughan and Peggy Lee.“It’s not easy for me to get up in front of a crowd of people,” Fitzgerald once said.“It used to bother me a lot, but now I’ve got it figured out that God gave me this talent to use, so I just stand there and sing.” Many who followed Fitzgerald’s career — from her singing debut at an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1934 until her death on June 15, 1996 — might have doubted that she had ever known anything like stage fright.She was just too powerful a presence, like in this clip of her singular version of “Mack the Knife.” Yet her quiet, abstemious side probably contributed to her longevity; her career lasted six decades. She sang show tunes, swing, bebop, novelties, bossa nova and opera.She recorded with Ellington, Basie and Armstrong, and made albums of songs by Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and George and Ira Gershwin.The world recognized her talent when she first sang with the drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, with whom she recorded her first hit, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket.” “As for Ella Fitzgerald, the gauche young woman who first sold the country on ‘A-Tisket, A-Tasket,’ it is a little late to remind you that her simply rendered Negro lyrics are already a part of swingdom’s folklore,” Theodore Strauss wrote in a nightclub review in The Times in 1939, a year after the song was released.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating