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The Dinah Washington Appreciation Thread

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.

by Anonymousreply 5501/24/2013

Love La Dinah!!!! "I Won't Cry Anymore" is fan tastic

by Anonymousreply 106/08/2012

I love her singing and, as a bonus, I was named after her! Guess my Mom was progressive because No, I'm not AA.

by Anonymousreply 206/08/2012

"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.

by Anonymousreply 306/08/2012

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."

by Anonymousreply 406/08/2012

[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?

by Anonymousreply 506/08/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 606/08/2012

A younger Loretta Devine could have played Dinah.

by Anonymousreply 706/08/2012

[quote] She's in the upper echelon of jazz singers, with Sarah, Billie, and Ella.

Yes, she most certainly IS.

(side eye at R3)

by Anonymousreply 806/08/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 906/08/2012

Blythe Danner could nail it!

by Anonymousreply 1006/08/2012

So could Dina Merrill!

by Anonymousreply 1106/08/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1206/08/2012

My sista!

by Anonymousreply 1306/08/2012

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.'"

by Anonymousreply 1409/02/2012

She always sounded like she was high on goofballs in her popular recordings.

by Anonymousreply 1509/02/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1609/02/2012

Dinah referred to her dressmaker as her "motherfrocker".

by Anonymousreply 1709/03/2012

"Relax Max" - my favorite DW song!

by Anonymousreply 1809/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1909/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2009/03/2012

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)

by Anonymousreply 2109/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2209/03/2012

did she like to lick the pussay???

by Anonymousreply 2309/03/2012

she can't do it like THIS:

by Anonymousreply 2409/03/2012

I saw Ella at eh Newport Jazz festival Saw Sarah at the Fairmont hotel in Dallas

My fav was Carmen McCrae

by Anonymousreply 2509/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2609/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2709/03/2012

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!

by Anonymousreply 2809/03/2012

Love the Dinah.

1959's hit What a Difference a Day Makes is my own favorite. Here she is in a clip introduced by 'Ronnie' Reagan! Bonus: Makin' Whoopie!

by Anonymousreply 2909/03/2012

ove Teach Me Tonight. That's the song that did it for me.

by Anonymousreply 3009/03/2012

Have you heard the remix that was done of her This Bitter Earth (a Quincy Jones-produced song) that was remixed with an instrumental by Max Richter?

Very compelling.

by Anonymousreply 3109/03/2012

During the 70s-80s they toyed around with the idea of giving Stephanie Mills the role in a film bio of Dinah, but nothing ever came of it. I think Steph would have been wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 3209/03/2012

I like I'll Close My Eyes and this one:

by Anonymousreply 3309/03/2012

Dinah is my favorite diva - her voice is magnificent. If you can find the Complete Mercury Recordings set, it's a revelation!

by Anonymousreply 3409/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 3509/03/2012

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."

by Anonymousreply 3609/03/2012

MICHAEL cLARK dUNCAN JUST Died and no thread on it. Shame on you, DL

by Anonymousreply 3709/03/2012

Sarah, Ella AND Billie?... PSH! Those three were so far beyond any male or female, past or present. Don't ever again OP.

by Anonymousreply 3809/03/2012

Love her "Broken Hearted Melody." Great song!!!

by Anonymousreply 3909/03/2012

r38 has never heard a Dinah Washington song, ever.

by Anonymousreply 4009/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 4109/03/2012

At one time Oprah was considering starring in a biopic.

by Anonymousreply 4209/03/2012

With seven husbands and assorted lovers, the biopic would have to be a mini-series.

by Anonymousreply 4309/03/2012

Those duets with Brook Benton are garbage - throwaway teen pop.

by Anonymousreply 4409/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 4509/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 4601/24/2013

The contestants on the RuPaul show would kill to look like Dinah Washington at her most fierce.

by Anonymousreply 4701/24/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 4801/24/2013

I love her voice.

by Anonymousreply 4901/24/2013

[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.

by Anonymousreply 5001/24/2013

Don't ask me how I know but her version of The Kissing Way Home is Anderson Cooper's favorite song.

by Anonymousreply 5101/24/2013

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!

by Anonymousreply 5201/24/2013

I saw the play (musical?) about her life: Dinah Was!

Definitely recommended

by Anonymousreply 5301/24/2013

She sang one of the most suggestive songs ever is "Big Long Slidin' Thing". Supposed to be about a trombone, but . . .

"I need my daddy with that big long slidin' thing!"

by Anonymousreply 5401/24/2013

Deborah Cox released a tribute album to Dinah titled "Destination Moon." Her cover of "What A Difference A Day Makes" and "September In The Rain" is nice.

by Anonymousreply 5501/24/2013
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