Dinah Washington

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Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington , born as Ruth Lee Jones (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, August 29, 1924-Detroit, Michigan, December 14, 1963), was a singer American rhythm and blues, jazz, blues.

Known by appellations such as Queen of the Blues, Queen D or Miss D, it is one of the best and most important female voices of black music.

He has influenced several notable singers of his generation, such as Nancy Wilson, Esther Phillips and Diane Schuur. Dinah Washington expressed in her lyrics and concerts the aspirations and disappointments of the black community, always with a certain sardonic humor.

The origin of his name is discussed; some sources indicate that it is the work of the manager of the Garrick Stage Bar, one of the clubs where he began to sing; others say it was Lionel Hampton who chose him.

Dinah_Washington’s Biography

Born into a family with certain musical interests, her mother played the piano at St. Luke’s Baptist Church, moved to Chicago after three or four years and then formed in the musical environment of the gospel, playing the piano and directing the choir of the church. At 15, he wins an amateur contest at the Regal Theater. Spirituals are his first musical interests, associating with a gospel pioneer like Sallie Martin in 1940 to accompany him throughout a tour. After that, she started performing in nightclubs as a pianist and singer, starting at the Garrick Bar in 1942. There she was heard by the manager of young talents Joe Glaser and recommended to Lionel Hampton, who invited her to join his band. He was in it between 1943 and 1946 and made his record debut for Keynote at the end of 1943 in a blues session organized by Leonard Feather. The recording was a success and, with time, left Hampton to play solo. Before the end of the year, he recorded three sessions in Los Angeles for the Apollo label before signing with Mercury, with which he recorded his first session in January 1946. With this company he would become one of the stars of rhythm and blues between 1948 and 1955. He sang blues, standards, pop, etc. He also recorded many jazz sessions with big bands and small combos, being the most memorable with Clifford Brown, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Ben Webster, Wynton Kelly and Joe Zawinul.

In 1959, he achieved great success in the pop market with “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes”. The rest of his career was concentrated on ballads, backed by a youthful orchestration and recorded for Mercury and Roulette, in the style of Ray Charles. Washington died at 39. The autopsy indicated a strong presence of barbiturates in his body whose intake would have mixed with alcohol.

More Facts about Dinah Washington

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