musicology #466

2LegendsClash II #2

(Dinah Washington – How Deep Is The Ocean)

Dinah Washington…for themusicologist, the greatest female singer to ever record. Yes there are others such as the sublime Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Aretha Franklin, Randy Crawford and a whole host of magnificent vocalists to consider but for me Dinah wears the crown.

Not sure how much importance it has to anyone else, (but for me it has resonance), Ruth Lee Jones was born August 29th 1925 under a sign I am inextricably drawn to..Virgo…I know and love too many, (more than any other sign), to dismiss it as coincidence. Not sure exactly why but in my experience honesty is a key trait of those born under the sign and for me that alone is magnetic…when Dinah sings I listen.

Her career begun in 1940 but it wasn’t until hooking up with Lionel Hampton, (who had previously been part of Benny Goodman’s trailblazing quartet along with Teddy Wilson), on December 29th 1943 that her star began to rise. Much has been written about Dinah’s battles with various substances as well as her seven husbands !! which considering she died at the tender age of 39 says plenty about her credentials to sing about the Joys and Pains of love with such authenticity and passion.

Quincy Jones, (who knows a thing or two about musicology !!), described Dinah’s style with this eulogy saying she “could take the melody in her hand, hold it like an egg, crack it open, fry it, let it sizzle, reconstruct it, put the egg back in the box and back in the refrigerator and you would’ve still understood every single syllable.”

Today’s cut is Dinah at her best singing a song written by master songwriter Irving Berlin.

Listen Tune….


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