July 17, 1998
Beryl Bryden, 78, a jazz singer dubbed "Britain's queen of the blues" by Ella Fitzgerald, died in London on Tuesday of cancer. In a career spanning 50 years, she performed with many of the jazz greats, including Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.Pub Date: 7/17/98
July 28, 1996
Thousands of mourners turned out at Waters African Methodist Episcopal Church at 417 Aisquith St. on a warm summer's day in 1939, to say farewell to Chick Webb, the famous jazz-era band leader and East Baltimore native who had died earlier that month.Born and raised near Madison Street and Ashland Avenue, Webb sold newspapers as a boy and taught himself to play the drums in his spare time.Despite physical deformity, which resulted from a childhood fall down a flight of steps and left him in constant pain throughout his life, Webb went on to become a popular band leader and drummer whose popularity was rivaled only by that of Gene Krupa.
August 25, 1996
Lillian Clark,70, a big band singer who recorded with Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, died Tuesday in New York of cancer. Born Autilia Ventimiglia, she studied at the Julliard School, intending to become a classical pianist. However, when one of the members of the Clark Sisters left the popular singing group, she auditioned, got the job and changed her name.Alberto Gonzalez,33, the first man in the United States convicted of attempted murder for having unprotected sex while carrying the AIDS virus, died Friday of complications from the disease at Salem Hospital, according to the Oregon Department ofCorrections.
April 25, 1993
Birthdays are traditionally a time for warm wishes and heartfelt praise, and Ella Fitzgerald's 75th -- which is today -- is no exception. Particularly since this year's festivities include the release of two new retrospective packages: "75th Birthday Celebration" (GRP 619), drawn from her Decca recordings; and "First Lady of Song" (Verve 314 517 898), which skims the cream from her work for Verve.Laudable collections, both of them. But that's the problem. Because when you get right down to it, there are few pursuits more pointless than trying to think up new ways to praise Ella Fitzgerald.
December 8, 2004
Shirley Horn holds a cigarette to her lips between gloved fingers. She drags on it deeply, slowly. And when that one is done, she lights another. And another. And another until the pack is empty. Then she calls out to her quiet husband of 49 years, Shep Deering, for more Pall Malls, which he promptly retrieves from another room. The Grammy-winning jazz singer-pianist sits at a card table inside her sparsely furnished living room - surrounded by freshly painted ivory walls, plush Kelly green carpet underfoot.
January 18, 1994
Roger "Ram" Ramirez, 80, a jazz pianist and composer best known for writing "Lover Man," a song Billie Holiday recorded in 1944, died Jan. 11 of kidney failure at Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills, N.Y. Though he is best known for "Lover Man," which he wrote in 1942, his career as a pianist spanned a good portion of jazz history. He was a child prodigy, and by the age of 20 he was performing with some of the best jazz musicians in New York. In 1933, he worked with the cornetist Rex Stewart and the drummer Sid Catlett, and a year later joined the Spirits of Rhythm.