Often referred to as a blues singer, even though she more often sang jazz & pop, this woman had a hell of a voice. She's one of my absolute favorites, and her '50s albums for the EmArcy label are all brilliant.
She's in the upper echelon of jazz singers, with Sarah, Billie, and Ella.
Her recordings from 1959 on were mostly bland pop with string and choral backing, but most of what she did from 1942-1959 is gold. She died way too young, from an accidental overdose of barbiturates in 1963.
Here's one of my favorite songs of hers, a cover of Hank Snow's country classic "I Don't Hurt Anymore." Dinah sings the fuck out of this.
Love La Dinah!!!! "I Won't Cry Anymore" is fan tastic
I love her singing and, as a bonus, I was named after her! Guess my Mom was progressive because No, I'm not AA.
"She's in the upper echelon of jazz singers, with Sarah, Billie, and Ella."
Um, no, she isn't.
I like her a lot, but please.
I love Dinah too.
She's her own and an original….but I will say of all the comparisons ever made for Amy Winehouse, there was something about the texture of Amy's voice that was closer to Dinah than anyone else.
I love Dinah's version of "Ill Wind."
[quote]I love her singing and, as a bonus, I was named after her! Guess my Mom was progressive because No, I'm not AA.
A guy named Dinah? Did they laugh at you in school?
I remember at one point they were throwing Stephanie Mills' name around as the lead in a bio about Dinah...their voices did sound similar and they resembled each other a bit, both short, thickly built, albeit Dinah was more attractive.
A younger Loretta Devine could have played Dinah.
[quote] She's in the upper echelon of jazz singers, with Sarah, Billie, and Ella.
Yes, she most certainly IS.
(side eye at R3)
Dinah Washington and Anita O'Day are two of the most unappreciated ladies of jazz. I am linking to an Anita O'Day performance in case anyone would like to see it.
When Dinah Washington played Memphis, TN ages upon ages ago my dad saw her live. He still speaks of it to this day. Still. And he is not a Datalounge Mary type, btw.
Yeah. Discovered Dinah about two years ago and now have about 100 of her songs on my Ipod. My favorites are No Hard Feelings and Drinking Again. But my all time favorite: her version of That Sunday, That Summer. It's as perfect as a song gets.
r3- I wouldn't consider Dinah Washington merely a jazz singer, not to put down Ella, Billie or Sarah. Dinah was inducted to the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1993, 7 years before Billie. Ella and Sarah are no even inductees.she was the queen of the jukebox and an R&B pioneer which. She is in the upper echelon of not just jazz singers, but rock, hip hop and R&B performers.
It in an understatement to say she is under appreciated. Even her Wiki page is sparse, although there is this tidbit:
"Performing at the London Palladium, with Queen Elizabeth sitting in a box, Washington told the audience: 'There is but one Heaven, one Hell, one queen, and your Elizabeth is an imposter.'"
She always sounded like she was high on goofballs in her popular recordings.
She's extraordinary. Hearing her sing a song, it's as though discovering it for the first time - no matter how many times you've heard it before then.
Dinah referred to her dressmaker as her "motherfrocker".
Dinah Washington never confined herself to any one genre and it was hard to classify her. Her voice adapted to lots of different material. Perhaps if she had been more specialized she would be better remembered.
I don't think of her with Ella and Billie but I know many people do. An incredible talent in any case. Sadly gone waay too soon.
Her version of Nothing Ever Changes My Love for You is great. It's now used in a VW ad (which i discovered searching for it on youtube).
It's from an album called In The Land of Hi-Fi. She sings with Hal Mooney's orchestra, and the arrangements are very 50s, Ricky Ricardo style. Get it, you won't be disappointed.
OP here. Thanks for digging up this thread again!
I would agree that Dinah is harder to classify than Billie, Ella, or even Sarah Vaughan (who sang her share of pop songs, too). I do think of her mostly as a jazz singer, but out of the four mentioned, she was definitely the most diversified in terms of style or genre, although admittedly I don't care for her later forays into string & choir laden pop.
In the Land of Hi-Fi is definitely a great album, R20. :o)
I dont know the details (yeah I know I should google) but didnt she have a very sad life, alcoholic, died young ? Any brief details ? I can only listen to so much of her stuff without getting depressed.
I saw Ella at eh Newport Jazz festival
Saw Sarah at the Fairmont hotel in Dallas
My fav was Carmen McCrae
R22, I don't know that she had a sad life. Yes, she drank heavily (not sure if I'd classify her as alcoholic) and took pills - she overdosed accidentally.
Most of her music isn't depressing in the least - she died young, but it sounds like she had a hell of a time.
Dinah Washington's influence in American popular music is huge. She not only influenced many Blues and Jazz singers, but she influenced Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Etta James, and especially Aretha Franklin, the latter being the true heir of Dinah Washington. There would be no R&B, Soul and, hell, Rock 'n' Roll music without Dinah Washington, so I don't think it's accurate to group her in with the three jazz greats (Billie, Ella and Sarah) as she was more multifaceted and sang many different genres, more than Billie, Ella and Sarah. (Also, R3 is incorrect, most jazz historians and scholars often put her in the same rank as though three.)
Loretta Devine ten or fifteen years ago would have been the perfect person to play Washington in a biopic (plus, Devine has great singing voice). Too bad that she's too old now.
She also did the definitive version "Drinking Again," superior to Sinatra's original version. She brought just about the right amount of blues and heartache to this tune making you feel every word. Dinah is incomparable!
Dinah is my favorite diva - her voice is magnificent. If you can find the Complete Mercury Recordings set, it's a revelation!
R22, according to Wikipedia:
[quote]Washington was married seven times. Her husbands were John Young (1942–43), George Jenkins (1946), Robert Grayson (1947), Walter Buchanan (1950), saxophonist Eddie Chamblee (1957), Rafael Campos (1961), and pro football player Dick "Night Train" Lane (1963).
She married the first guy when she was 18 & married the last one the year she died at the age of 39. I don't know whether that makes for a "sad" life or just a busy one, but she did get around.
I remember my parents playing Dinah Washington records when I was a young child. The night she died you would have thought a close relative had passed away, my parents loved her music that much. I believe they even went to the funeral home to pay their respects.
My favorite song? "I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart."
getting too old for this shit
MICHAEL cLARK dUNCAN JUST Died and no thread on it. Shame on you, DL
Sarah, Ella AND Billie?... PSH! Those three were so far beyond any male or female, past or present. Don't ever again OP.
Love her "Broken Hearted Melody." Great song!!!
r38 has never heard a Dinah Washington song, ever.
In addition to her seven husbands, Dinah Washington had quite a few lovers, including Ted White, who later married Aretha Franklin. Dinah's duets with Brook Benton are legendary, not only because they are great records but because of the high-voltage friction between those two highly-strung, egomaniac singers.
At one time Oprah was considering starring in a biopic.
With seven husbands and assorted lovers, the biopic would have to be a mini-series.
Those duets with Brook Benton are garbage - throwaway teen pop.
Well, R37, it's not rocket science. Start a thread on the subject.
If you don't have a membership then kindly ask that someone who does do it for you.
Remember, ask kindly.
From Dinah Washington's "Make Me a Present of You":
"What good is a girl with a million?
What good if the world calls you Queen?
If you don't have someone to love you,
Then you really don't have anything!"
I'm sure Dataloungers can relate to that.
The contestants on the RuPaul show would kill to look like Dinah Washington at her most fierce.
The Empress Carlota
I'm among those who absolutely believes she belongs in the pantheon of great singers. Sarah and Ella also did sing a lot of other pop-oriented stuff that can't be considered jazz. Billie might have, had drugs not killed her. Dinah's output, considering her short life, was astonishing.
One of her husbands, actor Rafael Campos, had a huge dick, which she liked to brag about.
There's a good bio called QUEEN, that's recommended.
I love her voice.
[quote]Washington was married seven times.
She often said she traded in her husbands before her husbands could trade HER in.
I get the impression she wasn't easy to deal with. She wasn't a very happy person.
Don't ask me how I know but her version of The Kissing Way Home is Anderson Cooper's favorite song.
Dinah! Love Dinah! A bazillion years ago Paul Mazursky made a movie out of Shakespeare's "Tempest" that only 7 people saw. I was 3 of them because, over the closing credits, was Dinah singing "We'll Take Manhattan." It was the first time I ever heard her and it blew my fucking head off. I saw the movie two more times just to hear her sing that.
It's impossible to pick a best DW number, but the included link to "Nobody Knows the Way I Feel" is an amazing demonstration of what she could do.
And she was supposed to be a hoot out of the studio as well. Buddy Bregman (who arranged some of Ella's Songbird series ... and was quite a fine looking young man) used to tell a story about Dinah meeting him and doing everything she could to get into his pants. Very funny.
Supposedly she carried to handguns with her whenever she traveled.
LOVE the Dinah!