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Vaughan, Sarah(Sarah Lois Vaughan), 1924–90, American jazz singer, b. Newark, N.J. Nicknamed "Sassie," she studied piano and organ, began singing in her church choir, and won (1942) the famous amateur contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater. Subsequently, she sang with bands led by Earl "Fatha" HinesHines, Earl "Fatha"
(Earl Kenneth Hines) , 1903–83, American jazz pianist, b. Duquesne, Pa. The son of musicians, he played jazz piano in big bands as a young man and in 1927 joined Louis Armstrong's quintet in Chicago.
..... Click the link for more information. , Billy Eckstine, and John Kirby. During this period she was also associated with Dizzy GillespieGillespie, Dizzy
(John Birks Gillespie) , 1917–93, American jazz musician and composer, b. Cheraw, S.C. He began to play the trumpet at 15 and later studied harmony and theory at Laurinburg Institute, N.C. He played with the bands of Cab Calloway and Billy Eckstine.
..... Click the link for more information. and Charlie ParkerParker, Charlie "Bird"
(Charles Christopher Parker, Jr.), 1920–55, American musician and composer, b. Kansas City, Kans. He began playing alto saxophone in 1933 and, shifting from one band to another, eventually met Dizzy Gillespie in New York City.
..... Click the link for more information. , learning much from their bop horn stylings. From 1947 on, Vaughan worked as a soloist, becoming one of jazz's finest vocalists. An alto who moved easily from honeyed to harsh, she had a huge range and a finely controlled vibrato, and was acclaimed for her performance of such songs as "Lover Man," "It's Magic," and "Misty." An active recording artist from the mid-1940s on, she frequently (1950s–80s) toured the United States and Europe.
See biographies by L. Gourse (1993) and M. Ruuth (1994); discography by D. Brown (1991).