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eBook Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington ePub

eBook Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington ePub

by Nadine Cohodas

  • ISBN: 0823084477
  • Category: Music
  • Subcategory: Photo and Art
  • Author: Nadine Cohodas
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Billboard Books; 1st edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Pages: 592
  • ePub book: 1523 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1620 kb
  • Other: azw lrf txt mobi
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 846

Description

Queen is the landmark biography of the brief, intensely lived life and soulful music of the great Dinah Washington.

Queen is the landmark biography of the brief, intensely lived life and soulful music of the great Dinah Washington. A gospel star at fifteen. Her career had already spanned more than 20 years, and she had become first the queen of the blues, sophisticated big-band variety, and then a premier jazz singer before turning to the orchestrated pop treatments of "This Bitter Earth" and "What a Difference a Day Makes" that began making her a household name.

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While this book provided some insight into (as the title says) the life and music of Dinah Washington, it seemed tedious at times and to be more of an itinerary of her club dates.

Dinah Washington had a way with songs. The title "Queen of the Blues" came early in her career, but the more fitting "Queen of the Jukeboxes" reflected the fact that she was the most popular black female vocalist of the 1950s. That bittersweet, clarion voice, grounded in gospel, was ideally suited for blues, R&B, pop, and even rock & roll. Her instinctive interpretive skills were a natural for jazz and allowed her to turn ballads and pop pablum into gems of soulful expression.

In a September, 2004 interview with Jerry Jazz Musician publisher Joe Maita, Cohodas talks about the life of Dinah Washington - a complex woman who was born to entertain, and to be loved. She had a voice that was like the pipes of life. Born Ruth Lee Jones in 1924 in Alabama, singer Dinah Washington's family moved to Chicago where she became a local gospel star at fifteen - but she didn't stop there.

Born Ruth Lee Jones in 1924 in Alabama, singer Dinah Washington's family moved to Chicago where she became a local gospel star at fifteen - but she didn't stop there. When she was discovered by Lionel Hampton at eighteen, Dinah made her way to New York's Apollo Theatre and became a legend. A fine insider's guide to the real Dinah.

Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington, Nadine Cohodas, 2004, Pantheon. Queen of the Blues: A Biography of Dinah Washington, Jim Haskins, 1987, William Morrow & Co. ISBN 0-688-04846-3.

Nadine Cohodas is the author of several books about race, politics and music. I went to Tuscaloosa three times and many trips to Chicago and talked to her siblings who were younger than she. But going to Tuscaloosa was wonderful. Among her books are: And the Band Played Dixie; Strom Thurmond & The Politics of Southern Change; Spinning Blues Into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records; Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington. Her most recent book is Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone. She spoke with JT about that book and her other books on music.

Biographer Nadine Cohodas talks about Washington's life and music. Cohodas has written Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington. Born in Tuscaloosa, Al. in 1924, the former Ruth Lee Jones moved with her family to Chicago as a young girl. She considered the Windy City her true home. And it was there in the early 1940s that a local nightclub owner provided her first gig - and a new name that she would make famous. By 1959 she had earned a Grammy for her version of the song "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes.

Cohodas, who grew up in Appleton, Wi. has written several books about race, politics and music, including "Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone" and "Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington. Simone and Washington were both prominent African-American singers in the mid-20th century. Cohodas' talk, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free," focuses on how Washington and Simone's musical talents reflected the civil rights movement.

•Based on extensive family interviews and newly discovered documents

•Intriguing story of a black woman pioneer in recorded music

Dinah Washington sang pop, jazz, R&B and gospel, but most of all she sang the blues—"Maybe I’m a Fool" and "I Wanna Be Loved" and Muddy Water" and (of course) "What a Difference a Day Makes" and countless others—all in a distinctive honey-and-vinegar voice that made everything she sang unmistakably her own. Dubbed both the Queen of the Blues and Queen of the Juke Box, Dinah Washington had songs, shows, lovers, and husbands. Controversial to the critics of her time, vastly influential to the next generation of singers, Washington will always be remembered for a life that was, first and foremost, music.

Comments

Gindian Gindian
I have loved the beautiful voice of Dinah Washington since I first heard her in my early teens. Dinah's voice is her own, such a sense of fun, laughter and tragedy. This book is insightful, poignant, and brought Dinah to life for me. Dinah was always impeccably attired, her sense of style was beautiful. Dinah accomplished so much in her too short life. I was saddened by her early death, I would have loved to see, and hear her perform live.
Hi_Jacker Hi_Jacker
I finished this book while listening to her multiple CD collections. The book gets five stars for its scholarship, its extensive notes, its all inclusive index.

But still it seems too cold for the subject at hand, or perhaps I'm just disappointed that Dinah Washington was more shallow than I imagined her to be. Probably the latter.

Also Cohodas's appraisal of the albums I enjoyed most is just the opposite of what I feel myself. What I hear as honest and tragic, the biography calls tired and too husky. And the other way around.

I had no idea that Dinah Washington did "It's Too Soon To Know" before Etta James (who owns the song in my estimation). Etta James came later, and she idolized Dinah Washington and made her sound her own, strings and all.

When Etta James spotted Dinah Washington in the audience at the nightclub where she was singing, she abandoned her original program and sang "Unforgettable" as a tribute to her idol. The song was broken up by Dinah Washington screaming at her, pointing a finger at her saying, "Girl, don't you ever try to do the Queen's songs."

According to Cohodas, Dinah Washington's lovers, to whom she dedicated songs, were usually gone by the time the records were released. She was married seven times and had many lovers in-between. Such as the "Rafael" she mentions on her cover of Irving Berlin's "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm."

Dinah was dead at thirty-nine, but her music lives on and always will for this listener. This biography reminds me again that Art is part the author and part the reader, part the singer and part the listener. What I hear in her music has not changed.
Ť.ħ.ê_Ĉ.õ.о.Ł Ť.ħ.ê_Ĉ.õ.о.Ł
Dinah Washington straddled all forms of pop music successfully and also was a wild woman, tearing through men at an exhaustive rate. However, this book is like trying to swim in quicksand, trying to get to insights about the music and the juicy adventures of this legendary artist.
Sermak Light Sermak Light
Wow! This a great book, I have always loved listening to Dinah Washington, but reading about her life was excellent experience in understanding Dinah Washington
Xlisiahal Xlisiahal
Dinah Washington was a great human being as well as a great singer. Cohodas' limited writing skills and lack of insight result in an unwieldy, superficial account of dates, places and people in the life of this passionately human, outstanding artist who was decades ahead of her time. On the other hand, the book provides significant documentation for future biographers. The book gets one star for the excellent cover by Carol Devine Carson who also designed the cover of Bill Clinton's autobiography. Dinah would have loved it!

Given Dinah's magnificent talent, deep spirituality, and complex personality, only a highly skilled writer capable of penetrating social and psychological insights and access to personal materials could craft a biography worthy of her. Someone of the caliber of Toni Morrison, or Maya Angelou at her best, could do her justice. Until then, the brilliant light of Dinah's talents, generosity and love will continue to shine upon the earth bestowed - solo - by the Queen.
Mariwyn Mariwyn
Because no one has ever written about legendary Dinah Washington before (at least not published in Europe),I snatched this book immediately just to find it a bit overwhelming & too detailed.Where author dazzled in her previous book,this time she seems she wasn't sure is she writting about Washington or the whole afro-american society of post WW2 America.Sure,she had done her homework and reasearched high and low (future authors will have to rely on her) but after a while,the book turns into list of every concert performance Washington ever gave in her life,therefore a bit dry.Strange how vital and exciting singer like Washington ended up with such uninspired biographer! The little episodes,like the only time this overworked woman spent time with her family in Disneyland tell much more than all the concerts and recording dates.I love Washington dearly and thanks to her music legacy,for me she lives forever.Read the book if you are curious,but stick to the music.
you secret you secret
Dinah Washington, like Etta James and Esther Phillips, is one of the underrated singers of the post WWII era, and very little has been written about her. So when I saw this book and who its author was,(Nadine Cohodas, who wrote a superb history of Chess Records,Spinning Blues Into Gold), I eagerly anticipated reading it.

After finishing it, unfortunately I'm still waiting for the definitive biography of the Queen. It's very apparent that Cohodas did a lot of research, but the result was turned into a laundry list of club dates, recording sessions, clothes inventories, and rotating musicians and husbands which becomes numbing. What is missing is context and interpretation of these events aside from the repetitive assertion that Washington was narrowly promoted and marketed because of race. I wasn't looking for sensationalism or psychobiography from this book, but I was hoping to gain some insight into Dinah Washington's life, or music, and the lack of analysis left me still wondering both who she was and how she created such wonderful music.
Oh Dear Dinah, your life & music deserves more than a mere listing of your shows and records in such a big collage(awfully long to read)of a book! I guess it is well researched but are magazine writings reliable? Not really.
I DO know more about Washington, for sure...
It is not the 1st book of the kind I read, certainly not the last but hopefully, not another one like this in the near future...