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Anita O'Day


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1958 Newport Jazz Fest


Singer Anita O’Day was born on October 18, 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri.

O’Day, whose birth name was Anita Belle Colton, first garnered attention while working with Gene Krupa in 1941.

One of the great jazz vocalists and one of my personal favorites.

Doctors messed up Ms. O'Day's tonsil removal when she was a child. Consequently, she claimed, she couldn't perform vibrato.

But out of the ashes came a phoenix. Forced to keep her vocal phrasing short, she sang instead as if her voice were a drum or a bass, punctuating each phrase rhythmically.

This performance is from the documentary "Jazz on a Summer's Day," which a decade ago the Library of Congress placed in the National Film Registry.


Anita O'Day, vocals
Jimmy Jones, piano
Whitey Mitchell, bass
John Poole, drums

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