Ella FitzGerald

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Fitzgerald, Ella,

1917–96, American jazz singer, b. Newport News, Va. Probably the most celebrated jazz vocalist of her generation, Fitzgerald was reared in Yonkers, N.Y., moving after her mother's death (1932) to Harlem, where two years later she won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater. Thereafter she performed with Chick Webb's band. After he died in 1939 she managed the band herself until 1942, when she began to make solo appearances in supper clubs and theaters. Principally a jazz and blues singer of remarkably sweet and effortless style, Fitzgerald was noted for her sophisticated interpretation of songs by George GershwinGershwin, George
, 1898–1937, American composer, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., as Jacob Gershwin. Gershwin wrote some of the most original and popular musical works produced in the United States.
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 and Cole PorterPorter, Cole,
1891–1964, American composer and lyricist, b. Peru, Ind., grad. Yale, 1913. Porter's witty, sophisticated lyrics and his affecting melodies place him high in the ranks of American composers of popular music.
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 and for her scat singing, an extremely inventive form of vocal jazz improvisation.

Fitzgerald, whose superb voice, wide repertoire, and accessible singing style appealed to both jazz and pop audiences, scored her first recording hit with "A-Tisket A-Tasket" (1938) and went on to become a perennially popular artist with such performances as the million-selling "I'm Making Believe" (1944, with the Ink Spots), the historic scat "Flying Home" (1945), the be-bop "Lady Be Good" (1947), and many hundreds more. She also wrote a number of songs and made numerous concert tours of the United States, Europe, and Asia. She appeared in several films, including Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) and St. Louis Blues (1958). Despite ill health, Fitzgerald continued performing into the early 1990s.


See biography by S. Nicholson (1994); C. Zwerin, dir., Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For (documentary film, 1999).

Fitzgerald, Ella

(1918–  ) jazz musician; born in Newport News, Va. She was discovered at an amateur show in 1934 and went on to become one of the most celebrated and influential singers in her field. She began her career with the Chick Webb Orchestra and assumed its leadership in 1939. After 1945, she worked mainly with her own trio on a continual series of concert tours, television appearances, and recordings.
References in periodicals archive ?
Established in 1993, the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation seeks to continue Ella Fitzgerald's legacy by making grants to promote a love of music, provide music education for children and young adults, and provide exposure to the joys and beauty of music.
Also, I've done a lot of research about Ella Fitzgerald and Edith Piaf which enables me to share stories and anecdotes with the audience.
ANITA WARDELL sings the Ella Fitzgerald Song Book at the Scarisbrick Hotel, April 25.
On song: Etta; James, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Suzanne Vega, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osbourne.
Eloise, 24, from Llantwit Fadre, joins a prestigious list to have sung with the choir, including S Club 7, Tom Jones, Julie Andrews, Burt Bacharach and Ella Fitzgerald.
VETERAN rocker Rod Stewart is as surprised as anyone that his latest CD, a collection of the songs Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald made famous, has gone platinum.
One of the most touching vignettes is a description of Ella Fitzgerald breaking into What A Little Moonlight Will Do on their touring bus and of band members, one by one, sensitively adding instrumental obligato and accompaniment, ".
The sequence is filled with movie-star moments, including Janet Leigh screaming in Psycho, Ada's instrument sinking into the sea in The Piano, Rita Hayworth lip-synching; among legendary musicians here are Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, and even Charlotte Moorman.
Having heard the black jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald singing at a club and meeting her backstage, the actress asked a Sunset Strip nightspot owner she knew to book Ella and, to make the offer irresistible, promised to appear at the club every night to support the singer.
For those interested in taking this fascinating seminar in bite-sized pieces, Sony has also released 10 separate CDs of the Ken Burns Jazz Collection, each featuring artists from Louis Armstrong to Billie Holiday to Ella Fitzgerald to John Coltrane.
How rich and colorful is his description of Ella Fitzgerald in "Long Live the Queen":