Dinah Washington
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Born in Alabama but raised in Chicago, Dinah Washington (real name Ruth Lee Jones), the profane counterpart to Mahalia Jackson, worked out a charismatic and thundering synthesis of gospel, blues, jazz and pop singing, a dramatic monologue venting her existential neurosis that forged the archetype for the "soul ballad". After moving from Alabama to Chicago in 1927, she became a gospel singer in a female choir and a jazz singer in Lionel Hampton's big band for Salty Papa Blues (1944), Leonard Feather's Evil Gal Blues (1944) and Blowtop Blues (1945). Capable of turning any melody into a show of acrobatic melisma, she dominated the charts with an eclectic repertory that included Am I Asking Too Much (1948), Baby Get Lost (1949), Long John Blues (1949), Trouble In Mind (1952), Teach Me Tonight (1954), Maria Grever's Latin-tinged What a Difference a Day Makes (1959), This Bitter Earth (1960).

The "evil gal" died at 39 in 1963 of an overdose of alcohol and dietary pills.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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