Home » blog » Playlist: Blossom Dearie, One of the Last Supper Club Singers

Playlist: Blossom Dearie, One of the Last Supper Club Singers

Blossom_dearieBlossom Dearie was not a superstar, but made a name for herself and had a long and successful career.

The unique name wasn’t made up. Margrethe Blossom Dearie was born near Albany, New York in 1924. After high school, she moved to New York City and joined The Blue Flames vocal group. It sang with the Woody Herman bands and others.

Dearie, who was a terrific piano player — she plays most of the piano in the songs in the playlist below — became a solo singer and moved to Paris in 1952. She formed a vocal group and had a hit with a French-language version of “Lullaby of Birdland.” Dearie returned to the states and began making solo records. She was one of the last of the supper club singers, and performed until 2006. She died three years later.

[contextly_sidebar id=”WrMudRx9Ujz5cNQqjvl9QuaXsBJ6DTyG”]Stephen Holden’s obituary in The New York Times described a singer who “blurred the lines” between jazz and cabaret. She was a minimalist who was unique, a “a genre unto herself.” She also was not afraid to let people know which music she didn’t like. Andrew Lloyd Weber, Holden writes, was a favorite song writer for whom Dearie had no use.

This is from her bio at Verve, which obviously was written before she passed away:

Her musical roots are in jazz as well as popular song, but her voice and style are uniquely hers (“chic, sleek and squeeky-clean, a voice in a million” says Leonard Feather in the Los Angeles Times). She often tours in Europe, Australia and across the globe performing her light-hearted, fanciful and funny songs for sophisticated audiences. Her very special repertoire ranges from Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart and Johnny Mercer favorites to comic gems by John Wallowitch and Dave Frishberg and romantic ballads she composed herself to lyrics by Jack Segal.

Verve, AllMusic, The New York Times and Wikipedia were used in to write this post.

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to TDMB's Free Newsletter.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

Get The Daily Music Break NewsletterIt's Free!