The American jazz singer Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia. She died on June 15, 1996 in Beverly Hills. June 2021 will mark the 25th anniversary of her death.
Ella Fitzgerald made her debut as a singer in 1934 at the age of seventeen at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, where she won an amateur competition. The band leader and drummer Chick Webb hired her in 1935 as a singer in his big band. After first recordings in 1936, the two finally landed a number 1 hit with the title “A Tisket a Tasket” in 1938, which made Ella Fitzgerald a star.
Ella Fitzgerald won a total of 13 Grammys and in 1967 was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; In 1987 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
After Chick Webb’s death, Ella Fitzgerald began her solo career in 1941 and became one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Her trademark was scat singing, which she introduced on the concert stage. Ella Fitzgerald’s repertoire ranged from swing to bebop, blues, bossa nova, samba, gospel and hip-hop to jazzed up Christmas carols and her records made it into the pop, R&B and country charts of the USA. Her outstanding recordings include the “Songbooks” with which Ella Fitzgerald memorialized the most important American composers, including Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Jerome Kern. Another important recording is Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess”, which she recorded with Louis Armstrong.
The Video shows Ella Fitzgerald together with Count Basie performing the song „A Tisket a Tasket“ at the Montreux Jazz-Festival 1979.