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Spotlight on Jazz-Dinah Washington

April 14, 2011

Dinah Washington, born Ruth Lee Jones, was a blues, R&B and jazz singer. She has been cited as “the most popular black female recording artist of the ’50s”, and called “The Queen of the Blues”. She is a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

According to Richard S. Ginell at Allmusic:
“She was at once one of the most beloved and controversial singers of the mid-20th century – beloved to her fans, devotees, and fellow singers; controversial to critics who still accuse her of selling out her art to commerce and bad taste. Her principal sin, apparently, was to cultivate a distinctive vocal style that was at home in all kinds of music, be it R&B, blues, jazz, middle of the road pop – and she probably would have made a fine gospel or country singer had she the time. Hers was a gritty, salty, high-pitched voice, marked by absolute clarity of diction and clipped, bluesy phrasing…”

Ms. Washington left us at the young age of 39 but her recordings, well-documented musical milestones and the fond memories of fans and friends keep her alive in our hearts. Here she is with the gorgeous Love Walked In.

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