Ella Fitzgerald Biography (BBC)
The story of Ella Fitzgerald is a classic rags to riches tale, of her ascent from a one-parent family in Yonkers, New York, to headlining at the Savoy with Chick Webb by way of winning a talent contest at the Apollo Theatre and landing her first professional gigs with bandleader Tiny Bradshaw. Once she joined Webb, in 1934, it was not long before she began to break through to a large audience, and eventually had a major hit with A-Tisket, A-Tasket (1938).
She recorded copiously both with Webb and under her own name with members of his band. She took over running the orchestra when he died of TB in 1939, but broke up the band in the early 1940s to focus on a solo career. She recorded some fine discs for Milt Gabler, her producer at Decca, but then she moved to the Verve label, set up by Norman Granz, who also directed the Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts on which she became a firm and popular fixture.
For Granz she recorded her splendid series of Songbook albums, which are some of the finest ever recorded versions of classic American songs by the likes of Kern, Gershwin, Berlin and Ellington. Fitzgerald's light, sweet, voice and perfect diction was ideal for delivering these songs, but she could also improvise and scat sing with great freedom, which made her an ideal member of the JATP touring jam sessions. She dominated the world of jazz and popular song for half a century, continuing to appear into the early 1990s when failing sight and physical frailty finally ended her career.
Ella Fitzgerald Biography (Wikipedia)
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
After tumultuous teenage years, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country, but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Fitzgerald's rendition of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. Taking over the band after Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start a solo career that would last effectively the rest of her life.
Signed with manager and Savoy co-founder Moe Gale from early in her career, she eventually gave managerial control for her performance and recording career to Norman Granz, who built up the label Verve Records based in part on Fitzgerald's vocal abilities. With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretation of the Great American Songbook.
- Ella Fitzgerald is inducted into Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Famehttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01cvmnb.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01cvmnb.jpg2013-07-21T20:00:00.000ZAnne Rowe in Basingstoke nominates Ella Fitzgerald for a place in Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame on Radio 2http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01cvmny
Ella Fitzgerald is inducted into Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame
Ella Fitzgerald Tracks