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Dinah Washington at The 1958 Newport Jazz Festival

I didn’t know anything about Dinah Washington — whose real name was Ruth Lee Jones — other that she was a terrific singer. It was sad that this is how her NPR bio begins:

Singer Dinah Washington, the Grammy-winning “Queen of the Jukeboxes,” left her turbulent life behind at the tender age of 39. In that short period, a volatile mix of undeniable talent and deep-rooted insecurity took her to the heights of fame and the depths of self-doubt.  (Continue Reading…)


Here is Washington’s discography. Above is All of Me performed at The Newport Jazz Festival in 1958. It’s great, from the music to the shots of the late 1950s crowd to Washington’s grabbing of the mallets (I’m guessing that is what you call the hammers with which a vibraphone is struck). Through the magic of Google, I found out — in literally five seconds, which actually is a bit frightening — that the good-natured vibraphonist is Terry Gibbs, who led the sextet. Max Roach is the drummer.

The clip’s high quality is due to the fact that it shot for a movie, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, by Bert Stern.

Below is another great clip, this one of Lover Come Back to Me.