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Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters had an extended and varied profession, and was among the 1st true jazz singers to record. Defying racism with her skill and bravery, Waters became a stage and celeb in the 1930s and ’40s without departing the U.S. She was raised near Philadelphia and, unlike a lot of her contemporaries, created a definite and very easily understandable diction. Originally categorized like a blues vocalist (and she could sing the blues nearly on the amount of a Bessie Smith), Waters’ jazz-oriented recordings of 1921-1928 swung before that term was actually coined. A celebrity in early stages at theaters and nightclubs, Waters launched such music as “Dinah,” “Am I Blue” (within a 1929 film), and “Stormy Climate.” She produced a smooth changeover from jazz vocalist from the 1920s to a pop music superstar from the ’30s, and she was a solid impact on many vocalists including Mildred Bailey, Lee Wiley, and Connee Boswell. Waters spent the last mentioned half from the 1930s touring with an organization going by her husband-trumpeter Eddie Mallory, and made an appearance on Broadway (Mamba’s Little girl in 1939) and in the 1943 film Cabin in the Sky; in the last mentioned she presented “Going for a Possibility on Like,” “Best for Nothing at all Joe,” as well as the name cut. In old age Waters was observed in nonmusical dramatic jobs, and after 1960 she mainly confined her shows to religious function for the evangelist Billy Graham. The Western european Classics label provides reissued most of Ethel Waters’ leading recordings plus they still sound clean and exciting today.

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