Another bobsluckycat post presented by Mellow's Log Cabin!
♪ Billie Holiday - Solitude
Helen Humes born in 1913 in Louisville Kentucky, the only child of a well-to-do Black couple and was raised with a solid background in church singing and piano and organ lessons. By age 14, she had the good luck to be recorded by Okeh Records and again in in 1929. at age 16. Music did not appear to be in the cards for her professionally, but a trip to Buffalo New York turned into a $35.00 a week job singing with a small group for a long while. 1936 saw Helen at the Cincinnati Cotton Club still making that $35.00 a week. Count Basie came through Cincinnati about that time and offered Helen $35.00 a week to replace the now gone Billie Holiday. She turned him down flat as she was already making an easy $35.00 a week with Al Sears and his small group whom she originally played with in Buffalo N.Y. During a gig in New York City, producer John Hammond convinced her to record 4 sides with the Harry James Orchestra and that led to four years with the aforementioned Count Basie and his band. The nearly constant touring after four years took a toll on her health and, stressed out, she quit the band in 1942. After recovering at home in Louisville, John Hammond came calling again and insisted that she return to several dates in New York City. In 1944, Helen moved to L.A. and did work at film studios and limited tours with Jazz At The Philharmonic and started to record again in an early R&B style and had a couple of hits from 1945 into 1950, but otherwise her career stagnated and after some touring in Europe and a few American Jazz Festivals, Helen retired and stayed retired in Louisville until 1973 when she returned to the Newport Jazz Festival which was followed by very successful European tours and a series of LP's for the French label Black And Blue Records, also picking up the Music Industry Of France Award in 1973 and regular engagements in New York City. Outgoing and gracious to a fault to everyone, Helen was given the Key To The City Of Louisville Ky. in 1975 as well. Helen Humes died from Cancer in 1981 in Santa Monica CA. shortly after the release of her final LP "Helen", recorded live over three evenings June 17, June 18,and June 19 1980.
♪ Helen Humes - Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness
After World War 2, Ella's career hit the heights and stayed there until she was forced to retire due to ill health and diabetes in 1993. Her most notable albums were devoted to famous pop and jazz music composers and a lot of touring in America and Europe and elsewhere. She shared the stage with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and many, many more in many venues world wide and was truly a household world. Ella Fitzgerald passed away in 1996 from diabetes.
♪ Ella Fitzgerald - Putting on the Ritz