When I Get Low I Get High - Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb Orchestra (1936)

Publication Year: 
1936

Image and text retrieved from pbs.org on July 5th, 2014.

Born in Newport News, Virginia in 1917, Ella Fitzgerald moved with her mother to New York after the death of her father. Living in Yonkers, Fitzgerald attended public school, where she sang in the glee club and received her musical education. After her early success at the Apollo, and as a popular performer at a number of other amateur venues, Fitzgerald was invited to join Chick Webb’s band. Within a short while she was the star attraction, and had made a number hits including her trademark “A-tisket, A-tasket” (1938). After Webb’s death in 1939, Fitzgerald led the band for three years.

During her time with Webb’s band, Fitzgerald recorded with a number of other musicians, including Benny Goodman. By the time she began her solo career in the mid-1940s, she was a well-respected figure throughout the music industry. Her vibrant and energetic voice showed an exceptional range and control. Performing with “Jazz at the Philharmonic,” her popularity grew beyond the music world. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, she continued to perform as a jazz musician, but concentrated primarily on popular music. Rivaled only by Frank Sinatra, her recordings of work by Cole Porter, Ira and George Gershwin, and Rogers and Hart were incredibly successful.

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