Holiday went on to record with jazz pianist Teddy Wilson in 1935. That same year, she appeared with jazz pianist, Duke Ellington, in the film Symphony in Black. She began working with jazz tenor saxophonist, Lester Young in 1936 who gave her her nickname “Lady Day”. They became very close friends and even lived with Billie and her mother Sadie for a period of time. She joined jazz pianist, Count Basie in 1937 and clarinetist, Artie Shaw in 1938.
“Marian Anderson [...] one of this country’s most successful classical singers” (Teachout 1). With a rough background, she rose above and became very famous because of her newly found their voice. “Anderson a world-famous symbol of black aspiration and achievement” (Teachout 1). Marian was a leading inspiration to all young blacks and whites of her time. Marian was born into a poor family, she started singing in church.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, there was the need and desire for social justice, so that African Americans could gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement defeated the injustice of public facilities being segregated by “race” in the South. Two women who advocated for black justice during the Civil Rights Movement through the use of music are Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Simone is an American singer who sang a mix of blues, jazz, and folk music. She was known for songs like “ Young, Gifted and Black,” “ Four Woman,” and “ Mississippi Goddam.”
Benjamin started her singing career singing at nightclubs, community dances and other social events. Powerful women figures like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald influenced her sound as a musician. Other very influential people in Benjamin’s life include Duke Ellington and Abdullah Ibrahim, her husband who she had a child with. Following the Sharpeville massacre, Benjamin and her husband Ibrahim lived in New York, raising both money and awareness for the anti-apartheid cause (Chinen, 1). Benjamin is in the history books as one of the greats alongside Billie Holiday because of the way she told stories using her voice and a microphone.
Freda Josephine McDonald also known as Josephine Baker was a star and hero. Baker had a rough start to her life but those obstacles didn’t hold her back from obtaining success. Baker had major achievements for a black woman during her time. She was a big influence during the Jazz age. Baker can remembered as an outstanding dancer and a civil rights activist who paved the way for African American women.
Join singer Laura Wright as she takes you through her musical journey as an entertainer. From performing in her small hometown in Georgia to the Las Vegas strip, from her American Idol days to touring and traveling the world. Laura’s path has guided her from one end of the music world to the other, and everywhere in between! Laura’s show will take you on a heartfelt journey through all styles of music, highlighting the greatest divas to the dynamic male icons, paying tribute to the past, and honoring the present. Her voice has been described as “flawlessly smooth with a perfectly unique mixture of emotional vulnerability and absolute power.”
The band was forced to disband with World War II taking place, and Fitzgerald became a solo artist singing bebop (“Ella Fitzgerald Tribute”). This was the height of the singer’s career when she focused only on singing. Ella Fitzgerald became known as “The First Lady of Song,” and won many awards, including 13 Grammys and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (Oliver). Fitzgerald was so talented and a bright singer who never failed to bring warmth to her audience. She would sing a sad song in a sweet tone that brought smiles to her listeners (Gourse 30).
Dancer, actress, editor, cook, madam, singer. Maya Angelou at the age of 40 was doing all of these things, and then at the age of 41 she became an author. I chose this person because I think it was interesting how managed to do all of these shows on broadway, and got to create a whole bunch of books herself. Many people interviewed her, about her books and everyone finds all her books inspiring, and everything else she does is inspiring. Another reason I also picked Maya Angelou is because she was one of the first black woman to have certain screenplays and be on different shows and sing.
Maya Angelou Poetic Analysis Research Paper Angelou was a famous poet known for her inspirational works such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, “On The Pulse of Morning.” Angelou was not only a famous poet, but she was also a famous actress, dancer, screenwriter, and award winning author. Born Marguerite Ann Johnson, she worked with Martin Luther King Jr. as a civil rights activist. Angelou would write about her life as a young child going through many turmoils. Angelou has written numerous autobiographies about the difficult times, defeats, and accomplishments she’s faced throughout her life.
In Roll of Thunder, the main character Cassie Logan was a 9-year-old black girl growing up in 1930’s Mississippi. This was a difficult time for black people, as racial segregation was still prominent in the region. Because of this, she suffered many humiliations growing up in this time period, but triumphed over them with an admirable struggle. One exponential reason that ties into her earning this award is that she stood
Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles and had a very tumultuous childhood as she was brought up by foster parents who ill-treated her. By the age of 5, she was known as a gospel prodigy, gaining fame by singing in her church choir and on the radio. At 12, she moved north to San Francisco, formed a trio and was soon working for band leader Johnny Otis. Four years later, she recorded, Roll with Me Henry, with the Otis band. James’ solo career was a slow starter, and she spent several years cutting low-selling singles for Modern and touring small clubs until 1960, when Leonard Chess signed her to a new record deal.
Born in Washington D.C in 1899, Duke Ellington was an American composer, pianist and bandleader of a jazz orchestra. He settled in New York City from the mid-1920s and earned a national profile for his Cotton Club performances in Harlem. In 1930’s, Ellington toured in Europe and became a pivotal figure in the history of Jazz. One of the many albums he has recorded is Ellington at Newport which was a live jazz album from 1956 and it was performed by his band at the Newport Jazz Festival. It’s producers were George Avakian and Phil Schaap.
Louis Armstrong was a singer, soloist, comedian, trumpeter and a film star. He was and still is considered one of the most influential artists in jazz history, he is known best for songs like “What a Wonderful World,” “ Stardust,” and "La Vie En Rose." In Armstrong’s early career he received a call from King Oliver to come to Chicago and join his Creole Jazz Band on second cornet and he accepted. He made his first record with Oliver on April 5, 1923, thus the start of Armstrong’s career with his first recorded solo being “Blues Chimes.”
Billie Holiday is one of the most influential jazz singers of her time. Her attitude, determination and most of all her music inspired artists throughout time and inspired major social change. Throughout her lifetime she explored the world of jazz, her identity, and how far the limits of her talent would take her. She exchanged her poor life, full of drugs and scandal for a life of performing the arts and showcasing her talents and abilities. Her incredible determination led her to do what she loved regardless of what anyone thought , which led to her inciting major social exchange; moving black suffering into white consciousness.
Simone began recording her music in the 50s under the Bethlehem label, releasing her first full album in 1957, which featured "Plain Gold Ring" and the title track "Little Girl Blue." It also included her one and only Top 20 pop hit with her version of "I Loves You Porgy" from the George and Ira Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess. Under different labels, Simone released a bevy of albums from the late '50s throughout the '60s and early '70s, including records like The Amazing Nina Simone (1959), Nina Simone Sings Ellington! (1962), Wild Is the Wind (1966) and Silk and Soul (1967). She also made cover songs of popular music, eventually putting her own spin on such songs as Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun.