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Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb

Ella Fitzgerald 4by3
Apr 12, 2017 Updated Apr 27, 2017

We're celebrating Ella Fitzgerald's centenary this week, listening to her early years with Chick Webb in the 30s.

This week on ABC Jazz, we're spinning music from the great Ella Fitzgerald, who was born 100 years ago - April 25th, 1917.

One of the foundational early female singers in jazz, Fitzgerald rose to prominence in the early 30s, making a rather famous debut at the equivalent of an open-mic night at the Apollo Theatre. From there, her career blossomed: she went on to work with Chick Webb - and after he passed away in 1939, she took on the role of leading his band. A long and fruitful solo career would ensue - and she would appear alongside greats like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and was also credited as one of the first vocalists to improvise and scat.

The album we've picked features Ella in her early days alongside drummer/percussionist and band leader Chick Webb - recorded between 1935 and 1938.

Tracks on this record

1. 'Harlem Congo'
2. 'I Got a Guy'
3. 'I'll Chase the Blues Away'   
4. 'You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)'   
5. 'Squeeze Me'
6. 'Vote for Mr. Rhythm'
7. 'If Dreams Come True'
8. 'Down Home Rag'
9. 'Crying My Heart Out for You'
10. 'Sing Me a Swing Song (And Let Me Dance)'
11. 'Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away)'
12. 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket'
13. 'A Little Bit Later On'   
14. 'Strictly Jive'   
15. 'Rock It for Me'   
16. 'Everybody Step'   
17. 'Sweet Sue, Just You'   
18. 'Pack up Your Sins and Go to the Devil'   
19. 'When I Get Low I Get High'   
20. 'Midnight in Harlem'   
21. 'Love, You're Just a Laugh'   
22. 'Take Another Guess'

Album: The complete Ella Fitzgerald with the Chick Webb Band (1935-1938); feature audio available for 1 month after broadcast.
Image: Library of Congress
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Artist Biography


Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 - June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. After tumultuous teenage years, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with...

This entry is from Wikipedia external link, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under CC-BY-SA external link. Visit Ella Fitzgerald external link on Wikipedia to correct or update this entry. Any changes made to the Wikipedia article will not be immediately available here. The ABC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

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