Ella Fitzgerald Birthday Broadcast!

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald in 1946
Sunday, April 25, 2021 (All day)

Join us all day Sunday 5/21 for a 24-hour special birthday celebration of the music of Ella Fitzgerald! Born April 25, 1917 and raised primarily in Yonkers, New York and Harlem, Ella Fitzgerald rose to prominence as a jazz vocalist in Chick Webb's big band in the late 30's and early 40's. After Webb passed away in 1939, Fitzgerald assumed leadership of the band and toured and recorded with the group until 1942. In the 1940's, Fitzgerald helped to bring the bebop style to vocal jazz namely through what is known as scat singing. Fitzgerald is remembered for the tenderness and purity of her voice and for her improvisational abilities as a vocalist as well as for her many iconic collaborations with the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, and Joe Pass. 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. 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. Tune in all day 5/21 on WKCR 89.9 on-air or streaming at wkcr.org