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Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington (born Ruth Lee Jones; August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963) was an American singer and pianist, who has been cited as the most popular black female recording artist of the '50s. Primarily a jazz vocalist, she performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, and traditional pop music, and gave herself the title of Queen of the Blues. She was a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Ahh Dinah Washington, one of the greats of music history! Just thinking about her brings a smile to this face. Did you know that she was an incredibly inspiring figure? Not only due to her amazing talent as an artist but for leading a unique and distinguished career in Jazz, blues, and R&B despite major obstacles on her journey!



A Musical Portrait: The Life and Legacy of Dinah Washington

Music is an art form that has the power to transcend boundaries, unite communities, and inspire generations. In the world of jazz and blues, few icons are as celebrated as Dinah Washington. Her soulful voice, impeccable technique, and emotive performances still resonate with us today, more than half a century after her passing. In this post, we'll take a deep dive into the life and legacy of Dinah Washington, exploring her beginnings, her most famous albums and songs, and her numerous contributions to the world of music.

Dinah Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1924. Her parents were both devout Baptists, and Dinah was exposed to gospel music at an early age. She began singing in her church choir and later performed with local jazz bands in her teens. In 1943, she moved to Chicago to pursue a career in music, taking the stage name Dinah Washington. Her first recordings were with Lionel Hampton's band, and she quickly gained a reputation as a dynamic vocalist with a preference for blues and swing. Her solo career took off in the late 1940s, and she recorded numerous hits, including Embraceable You and What a Difference a Day Makes.

One of Dinah Washington's most celebrated albums is Dinah Jams, recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958. The album captures her expressive style and her ability to improvise with a band of jazz luminaries, including Clifford Brown and Max Roach. Another hallmark of Washington's musical output was her collaborations with other artists, including Brook Benton and B.B. King. She was known for her ability to bridge genres and create soulful duets that crossed over to the pop charts.

Dinah Washington was a trailblazer in the world of music, and she remains an influence on contemporary artists. Her style incorporated elements of jazz, blues, gospel, and pop, and her signature sound was characterized by her impeccable phrasing, powerful range, and emotive delivery. Washington was also a visionary, using her platform to advocate for civil rights and address issues of inequality. She was one of the first Black musicians to perform at venues previously closed to Black artists, and she inspired generations of singers to follow in her footsteps.

Some of Dinah Washington's most famous songs include Unforgettable, September in the Rain, and This Bitter Earth. She won a Grammy for What a Difference a Day Makes in 1959, and her influence on music can be heard in the work of artists like Adele, Alicia Keys, and Beyoncé.

Dinah Washington's musical legacy is one of passion, innovation, and inspiration. Her unmistakable voice and her contributions to the worlds of jazz, blues, and pop have left an indelible mark on music history. From her humble beginnings in Alabama to her reign as the queen of blues, Washington's story is one of determination, talent, and creativity. She paved the way for countless musicians and continues to inspire us all to this day. Let us celebrate this remarkable artist and her timeless music, which remains as relevant and vital as ever.
Tag: Dinah Washington, musical biography, best songs, playlist

The Enduring Legacy of Dinah Washington: A Tribute to a Jazz Legend

Dinah Washington was a legendary American jazz, blues and R&B singer, best known for her innovative style. Though she achieved success in the 1950s that endured long after her passing, she has been overlooked for critical appreciation in recent years. Nevertheless Dinah’s influence on modern and current day singers is undeniable - from her lyrical flair to songwriting technique there are countless elements of Dinah Washington’s repertoire that stand out as classic examples of great music-making. In this blog post we'll consider both the positive and negative aspects of Dinah's career while exploring some of her greatest tunes along the way.

Dinah Washington was a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Her unique style, ranging from jazz to blues and R&B, established her as one of the most talented and innovative singers of the 20th century. Despite her enduring legacy, Dinah's contributions have been overlooked in recent years. In this blog post, we'll explore the highs and lows of Dinah's career, while shining a light on some of her most influential tunes.

Dinah's career was full of ups and downs. Some of her most significant achievements include a recording contract with Mercury Records and a string of successful albums and singles. Her hit songs, including What a Difference a Day Makes and Mad About the Boy, showcased her impressive range as a vocalist. However, Dinah experienced challenges with record labels and management, which led to periods of inactivity and frustration. Despite these obstacles, Dinah remained an inspiration to countless singers and musicians who followed in her footsteps.

One of the most impressive aspects of Dinah's music was her talent as a songwriter. Many of her original compositions, such as Baby (You've Got What It Takes) and This Bitter Earth, became enduring classics. Her songwriting technique combined soulful melodies with lyrics that reflected her experiences as a Black woman in America. Dinah's influence can be heard in the work of contemporary singers, including Erykah Badu and Adele, who have cited her as a major inspiration.

Dinah's legacy also includes her collaborations with other legendary musicians. She worked with jazz icons like Quincy Jones and Clifford Brown, and even recorded with country legend Patsy Cline. These collaborations allowed Dinah to showcase the breadth of her talents and reach new audiences. Her performances with other musicians were often dynamic and innovative, showcasing her ability to adapt to different genres and styles.

While Dinah's influence is undisputed, it is worth noting the controversy surrounding her personal life. She faced criticism from some members of the Black community for her interracial marriages and relationships with white men. This controversy has led some to overlook Dinah's contributions to music. However, it is important to remember that Dinah was a trailblazer who challenged societal norms and paved the way for future generations of Black women in music.

Dinah Washington was a legend whose contributions to music cannot be overstated. Her unique style and songwriting techniques have inspired countless singers and musicians, while her collaborations with other artists have enriched the music industry as a whole. While her career was not without its challenges, Dinah remained a trailblazer who paved the way for future generations of musicians. As we celebrate Dinah's legacy, we should also acknowledge the obstacles she faced and remember her as an artist who pushed boundaries and challenged societal norms.
Tag: Dinah Washington, music artist, best songs, artist career
1 - Time After Time
2 - Come On Home
3 - I Diddle
4 - Mad About the Boy
5 - Unforgettable
6 - Teach Me Tonight
7 - September In The Rain
8 - Our Love Is Here To Stay
9 - Call Me Irresponsible
10 - This Bitter Earth
11 - Destination Moon
12 - Silent Night
13 - Ole Santa
14 - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
15 - Back Water Blues
16 - Blue Gardenia
17 - Love For Sale
18 - Drinking Again
19 - Cry Me A River (Truth & Soul Remix)
20 - Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby
21 - What A Difference A Day Makes
22 - Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby
23 - What A Diff'rence A Day Made
24 - Baby (you've Got What It Takes)
25 - I'll Close My Eyes
26 - Since I Fell For You
27 - Blue Skies
28 - Long John Blues
29 - I've Got You Under My Skin
30 - I Wanna Be Loved
31 - I Get A Kick Out Of You
32 - You Don't Know What Love Is
33 - All Of Me
34 - Embraceable You
35 - Evil Gal Blues
36 - Me And My Gin
37 - If I Were A Bell
38 - Pennies From Heaven
39 - Ain't Misbehavin'
40 - Romance In The Dark
41 - I Don't Hurt Anymore
42 - Lover Man
43 - You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You
44 - These Foolish Things
45 - Baby Won't You Please Come Home