Happy  Birthday  Dinah  Washington!


Dinah Washington, vocalist
b. Tuscaloosa, AL
d. Dec. 14, 1963, Detroit, MI, USA.
née: Ruth Lee Jones.
Sang with Lionel Hampton and other bands.
Dinah Washington was at once one of the most beloved and controversial singers of the mid-20th century -- beloved to her fans, devotees, and fellow singers; controversial to critics who still accuse her of selling out her art to commerce and bad taste. Her principal sin, apparently, was to cultivate a distinctive vocal style that was at home in all kinds of music, be it R&B, blues, jazz, middle of the road pop -- and she probably would have made a fine gospel or country singer had she the time. Hers was a gritty, salty, high-pitched voice, marked by absolute clarity of diction and clipped, bluesy phrasing.
Washington's personal life was turbulent, with seven marriages behind her, and her interpretations showed it, for she displayed a tough, totally unsentimental, yet still gripping hold on the universal subject of lost love. She has had a huge influence on R&B and jazz singers who have followed in her wake, notably Nancy Wilson, Esther Phillips, and Diane Schuur, and her music is abundantly available nowadays via the huge seven-volume series The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury.
Born Ruth Lee Jones, she moved to Chicago at age three and was raised in a world of gospel, playing the piano and directing her church choir. At 15, after winning an amateur contest at the Regal Theatre, she began performing in nightclubs as a pianist and singer, opening at the Garrick Bar in 1942. Talent manager Joe Glaser heard her there and recommended her to Lionel Hampton, who asked her to join his band. Hampton says that it was he who gave Ruth Jones the name Dinah Washington, although other sources claim it was Glaser or the manager of the Garrick Bar. In any case, she stayed with Hampton from 1943 to 1946 and made her recording debut for Keynote at the end of 1943 in a blues session organized by Leonard Feather with a sextet drawn from the Hampton band. With Feather's "Evil Gal Blues" as her first hit, the records took off, and by the time she left Hampton to go solo, Washington was already an R&B headliner. Signing with the young Mercury label, Washington produced an enviable string of Top Ten hits on the R&B charts from 1948 to 1955, singing blues, standards, novelties, pop covers, even Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart." She also recorded many straight jazz sessions with big bands and small combos, most memorably with Clifford Brown on Dinah Jams but also with Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Ben Webster, Wynton Kelly, and the young Joe Zawinul (who was her regular accompanist for a couple of years). 
In 1959, Washington made a sudden breakthrough into the mainstream pop market with "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes," a revival of a Dorsey Brothers hit set to a Latin American bolero tune. For the rest of her career, she would concentrate on singing ballads backed by lush orchestrations for Mercury and Roulette, a formula similar to that of another R&B-based singer at that time, Ray Charles, and one that drew plenty of fire from critics even though her basic vocal approach had not changed one iota. Although her later records could be as banal as any easy listening dross of the period, there are gems to be found, like Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain," which has a beautiful, bluesy Ernie Wilkins chart conducted by Quincy Jones. Struggling with a weight problem, Washington died of an accidental overdose of diet pills mixed with alcohol at the tragically early age of 39, still in peak voice, still singing the blues in an L.A. club only two weeks before the end.
~by Richard S. Ginell
Dinah Washington - Wikipedia
The Majesty of Dinah!
Dinah Washington

Jimmy Bell, piano, b. Peoria, IL, USA.
Jimmy Bell (August 29, 1910 in Peoria, IL - December 31, 1987 in Chicago, IL) was an American jazz and blues pianist and singer.
Boogie-woogie pianist and singer Jimmie Bell led one of the many piano trios which were so popular in South Side clubs. (Aristocrat hedged its bets by calling him Jimmy and Jimmie on the same label, but he spelled his name with the "ie.") At the time of his lone session for Aristocrat, in December 1947, his trio partners were Leo Blevins on electric guitar and Andrew Harris on bass. (Our source for the personnel is Bell's 1978 interview in Living Blues.) Bell's wry vocalizing on "Just about Easter Time" (a song written by Tom Archia)) may have missed its seasonal window in 1948. Aristocrat 1901 was apparently released in March 1949. (It was probably the first Aristocrat 78 to carry the new green label; however, a copy with the older white label has turned up.) The other two sides from this session were finally released on the new Chess label, in June 1950.
Bell was born on 29 August 1910, in Peoria, Illinois. After graduating from high school in St. Louis in 1928, he pursued a career in music. Starting out with a carnival band, he spent the 1930s in local Swing bands like Earl Van Dyke's Plantation Cotton Pickers, Al Williams' St. Louis Syncopators, and Cecil Scott's Salt and Pepper Shakers. Near the end of the decade he headed his own band, before joining the great Jeter-Pillars band in 1940 (where he played trumpet!). During the 1940s, leading his own bands, he worked out of St. Louis, Detroit, and New York. He was discovered by Leonard Chess working with his trio. After Aristocrat, Bell did a session in Shreveport in 1949 that remained unreleased until JSP put out an LP of his work in 1979. In 1950, he recorded two sides for the Texas-based Royalty label and another two for Premium in Chicago; a final session on Chance in 1954 led to one obscure release that the company put in its pop series. During his last decades, Bell worked in Peoria playing piano bars. He died on 31 December 1987 in Peoria.
#2 - Jimmy Bell. Jimmy was in fact Jimmy Sweeney, a black Nashville R&B singer/ songwriter who sang in the 1940s with the Five Bars and later worked for Hickory Records. As 'Jimmy Bell' he had a big hit in Canada, doing the original "She Wears My Ring", a song later to be covered by Elvis, it was the Boudleaux/Bryant adaptation of the old Italian "La Golondrina".
"Lunch in a Bucket" was intended to be the follow-up.

Lawrence Brown
b. Jacksonville, FL, USA.
Played with Paul Robeson.
One of the great swing trombonists, Lawrence Brown tends to be underrated because he spent so much of his career with Duke Ellington's Orchestra. Actually, Brown's initial solos with Ellington upset some of Duke's fans because it was feared that his virtuosity did not fit into a band where primitive effects and mutes were liberally utilized. But over time, Brown carved out his own place in the Ellington legacy.
Lawrence Brown learned piano, violin, and tuba before deciding to stick to the trombone. He recorded with Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders (1929-1930) and Louis Armstrong (with Les Hite's Orchestra in 1930) in Los Angeles before joining Ellington in 1932, staying until 1951 when he left to join Johnny Hodges' new small group. After 1955, Brown became a studio musician in New York, but then spent 1960-1970 back with Ellington (where he reluctantly had to play some solos with a plunger mute) before retiring. Although he only led two albums of his own (a 1955-1956 outing for Clef and 1965's Inspired Abandon for Impulse), Brown was well-featured on many recordings with Ellington through the years; "The Sheik of Araby" (1932) and "Rose of the Rio Grande" (1938) were favorites.
~ Scott Yanow
Buell Kazee, C&W vocals/banjo
b. Magoffin County, KY, USA.

Buell Kazee (August 29, 1900 - August 31, 1976) was an American country and folk singer. He is considered one of the most successful folk musicians of the 1920s and experienced a career comeback during theAmerican folk music revival of the 1960s due in part to his inclusion on the Anthology of American Folk Music.

Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, alto/tenor sax
b. Kansas City, KS, USA.
d. March 12, 1955, New York, NY, USA.
né: Charles Christopher Parker, Jr.
In 1945, Parker - sometimes called "Bird" - and Dizzy Gilespie got together and formed a style originally called "rebop", later "bebop", and finally just plain "bop". In later years, Gilespie told various reviewers that they formed the music because they thought that "lesser" (codeword for "White") musicians would not be able to play in such a style. Early on, Parker had played with the Jay McShann Band, Earl Hines and also with vocalist Billy Eckstine's band. Parker's solos were bold and exhibited a technical virtuosity with his instrument.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

"Stump" Evans, sax/clarinet
died in Douglas, KS, USA.
Age: 23.
Played with Ida Cox

Paul Whiteman Presents, a summertime radio replacement show, was heard for the last time. The show's hostess was vocalist Dinah Shore.
Paul Whiteman's Orchestra ON THE AIR
Oett M. "Sax" Mallard, sax
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 70.
Played with 'Memphis Slim', Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon, and others.
Mallard: Information from

Jimmie Short, guitarist
died. Played with the

Horace Henderson, piano
died in Denver, CO, USA.
Age: 83.
Horace Henderson, 83...

"Waxie Maxie" Silverman, DJ
died in Washington, DC, USA.
Age: 79.

Songs Recorded/Released 
On This Date Include:


The Seven Black Dots
  • Bandana Days Introducing "Gypsy Blues"
  • Love Will Find A Way Introducing "In Honey Suckle Time"

Mamie Smith and her Jazz Band - A-Wearin' Away The Blues


New Orleans Rhythm Kings - Bugle Call Rag

New Orleans Rhythm Kings Discontented Blues

New Orleans Rhythm Kings Eccentric
All Star Trio - No Use Crying


Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
Harry Reser and his Orchestra
  • Ooh ! Maybe It's You

Harry Reser and his Orchestra - Shaking The Blues Away - (Tom Stacks vocal)


Fats Waller
Annette Hanshaw - Lovable And Sweet


Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra


Abe Lyman and his Californians


Artist: Annette Hanshaw

Dum dum be dum,
Dum dum be dum,
I’m not lonely,
Dum dum be dum,
I got a real man,
What an ideal man, now!

Dum dum be dum,
Dum dum be dum,
He’s my only dum dum be dum!
Person I love,
Has all of my love,
And how!

Talk about your classic lover,
And you couldn’t help discover,
That he’s that way lovable and sweet,
He’s candy!

No one else can hold a candle,
What a precious thing to handle!
And he’s that way lovable and sweet!

Oh gee!
Oh gosh!

Whenever we’re all alone,
Oh gosh and Oh gee!
What happens, it simply wouldn’t be known!

Bubblin’ over with affection,
Satisfyin’ to perfection,
Is he that way lovable and sweet!
Talk about your nifty dresser!
What a lover, some caresser!
Is he that way lovable and sweet!

Do I know just what I’m gettin’,
When it comes to real love pettin’!
Is he that way lovable and sweet!
That guy, oh my,
Has made me lose all control!

His kiss!
What bliss!

It weakens the heart, but it turns into soul!
And although he’s such a night-man,
Could he even be the right man?
Yes, he’s that way lovable and sweet!

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