Ella Fitzgerald v2

24 10 2015





The Saints of Jazz

21 10 2011

They began their careers in small clubs. And cat houses. In choirs. And minstrel shows. They were applauded. Made famous. At times they were loved. They made a lot of money and spent it. On booze. On drugs. On men. And became famous. Some died in small rooms without family. Some in the arms of their children. They were all different. They were the Saints of Jazz. And they loved to sing.

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Ella Fitzgerald

12 12 2009

Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996)

A brown eyed girl. Unkept and notoriously shy. Sitting on a lonely window sill. Her knees under her chin. Poison heartache. Strumming the pain with her nails. The heat pipes are growling. Her stomach. Harmonizing. Outside the drunken sun has stumbled. Into an alley. Looking for someone to blame.

Night juiced up. Dressed up like a paramour. Wooing the ladies. Who have their hands in his pocket. And their knees on the floor. Little Ella worked the horror show. Ran numbers for her uncles. Rumble in the alley. She could hardly breathe. Ella was kidnapped by the Sisters of Mercy. And placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum. No one knew Ella’s name. But they beat her just the same.

Ella’s mother died of a heart attack. After a car accident. Ella’s life was charmed. Her living room was the street. Her bedroom. Was her lover’s arms.

One day she stumbled into the Apollo Theatre. Sang two songs. A gawk. She had eyes for a bigger prize. The belle of the ball. How that lady could scat. I don’t know if she was happy or sad. Someone said if she knew. She kept it to herself. All she heard were Gabriel’s golden horns. The rush of the percussion. That low road that simple strife. Where she stole notes from the birds. And sang for her life.

There are days. When it seems that darkness. Keeps you sane. Keeps you from seeing the thief. That steals your time. But when Ella hits a note. Opens up her soul. It seems. The sun has been laughing. All afternoon. And you discover. Everything is light.





A Woman Is A Sometime Thing

25 07 2008

I don’t know why people think they have to rate singers. Ella has been described by many as the greatest jazz singer of them all. I don’t care. She has a beautiful voice. You can feel her elegance in every phrase. She had such a difficult childhood it’s hard to understand how she survived let alone become the beautiful woman she became. One of her band leaders said that in her youth she was a diamond in the rough. Listen to this

YouTube – Ella sings “Georgia on My Mind” Sweden 1963

Ella Fitzgerald

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A Woman Is A Sometime Thing

July 15, 2008 by Maynard G. Krebs

B. A lonely girl. April 25, 1917. Ella Fitzgerald. Placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum. Years later her mother died of a heart attack. After a car accident. Ella stood guard. On those hardwood floors. In front of the doors. Where ladies entertained their paramours. By the hour. For exercise. She picked up bets from her uncles. Who felt lucky. And dropped their guesses off with various other uncles. Who felt rich. A troubled girl. Who passed some time in reform school. Where no one knew her name. But beat her just the same. Escaped and was back on the streets. Where she remained. Unkept and notoriously shy. One day she stumbled into the Apollo Theatre. Sang two songs. Went home with 25 dollars. A gawk. She had eyes for the bigger prize. A band. Where she became the belle of the ball. How that lady could scat. I don’t know if she was happy or sad. Someone said she was the only one who really knew. “I stole everything I ever heard, but mostly I stole from the horns.”