My Vintage Musical Journey: Ella Fitzgerald & Nina Simone

vintage, jazz singers, female jazz singer, ella fitzgerald

A lot of my week is spent on public transport, going to and from work.  It is my time to distress, to unwind before getting home.  Personally I don’t mind public transport but to pass the time I like to listen to music.

Being found of all things vintage I also like to delve a little deeper in to times past with music.  At the moment I am listing to Ella Fitzgerald, there is no better way to listen than to give your full attention to her voice, I mean when you listen to Cry Me A River, you can’t help but get goose bumps.

Ella started singing following a troubled childhood with her first appearance in the Apollo Theatre in 1932.  She became the top female jazz singer and in 1958 made history by winning a Grammy Award, the first African-American woman to do so.  This wasn’t her last Grammy, she went on to win 13 more, not to mention selling more than 40 million albums.  Ella Fitzgerald died in 1996 but her music lives on.

Another artist I am listing to is Nina Simone.  Nina was born in 1933, she was not only a jazz singer but a pianist and civil rights activist.   She began singer in her local church and her first performance came at the age of 10.  During this concert her parents were forced to sit at the back of the concert to make way for white audience members, this incident it is believed contributed to her involvement in the civil rights movement.

Nina studied at New York City’s Julliard School of Music but was forced to cut study short due to lack of funds.  Although when she went on to concentrate on jazz she had several hits with Broadway musicals such as My Baby Just Cares for Me, Feeling Good and Love Me Or Leave Me.

In 1987, Nina’s popularity resurged with My Baby Just Cares for Me.  Nina died from cancer in 2003 in the south of France.


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