happy women's history month! lady ella has earned the title of "queen of jazz." from her humble beginnings, she has made it so far. below are 10 fun facts, a playlist, pictures & quote.
did you know:
1 ella jane fitzgerald was born in newsport news, virginia year 1917.
2 along with lady ella & queen of jazz, ella was known as "first lady of song"
3 throughout her career, ella recorded at least 200 albums.
4 as a child, ella enjoyed playing baseball. she was a bit of a tomboy but enjoyed singing and dancing just the same.
5 her first performance was amateur night at the apollo theater. a last-minute change from a dance act to a song. once finished, the audience demanded a second song which she obliged.
6 ella's first break into fame was her playful version of the nursery rhyme "a-tisket, a-tasket" which hit number one and sold over a million copies.
7 she married bassist ray brown, and adopted ray jr. who later had her granddaughter - alice. "i just want to smell the air, listen to the birds and hear alice laugh," she said as her health declined.
8 though her childhood was difficult, she found that it was much easier to appreciate all of her success.
9 she was the winner of 13 grammy awards and was awarded the national medal of arts by ronald reagan and the presidential medal of freedom by george h.w. bush.
10 fitzgerald was a quiet but ardent supporter of many charities and non-profit organizations, including the american heart association and the city of hope medical center. in 1993, she established the "ella fitzgerald charitable foundation", which continues to fund programs that perpetuate ella's ideals today.
“i owe marilyn monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. she personally called the owner of the mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. she told him - and it was true, due to marilyn’s superstar status - that the press would go wild. the owner said yes, and marilyn was there, front table, every night. the press went overboard. after that, i never had to play a small jazz club again. she was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. and she didn’t know it.”
ps: i think marilyn will have to be next. what a sweet gesture that was to ella.