|Dubbed "The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella.) She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common - they all loved her.
Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
She was known as the First Lady of Song, and was the greatest scat artist to ever lay down a track of bebop. She was, of course, Ella Fitzgerald, and she is remembered and honored in this double-length Biography special.
Hosted by R&B legend Nancy Wilson, this A&E Entertainment tribute highlights Fitzgerald's seven-decade career as one of the greatest and most recognizable voices in jazz. Beginning with her teenage win of the Amateur Night contest at the legendary Apollo Theatre, her alliance with some of the best bands in jazz music, two short marriages, and her passing in June 1996, the audience is treated to a definitive history of this great singer, as well as many memorable tunes that she made famous.
Interviews with some of her best friends in the music industry, such as Dizzy Gillespie, as well as contemporary voices such as Al Jarreau and Abbey Lincoln, illustrate the influence Fitzgerald's gift had on the music industry. The video features live performances, and also focuses on her signature albums, such as the enormously successful "Songbook" series.
Much of Fitzgerald's life is touched upon here, but it is a credit to this Biography that, even after 100 minutes the viewer is left wanting more.