Tuesday, April 25, 2017
They called her "The First Lady of Song." Ella Fitzgerald, born 100 years ago today. Since her death in 1996, she has ascended to a level she was said to occupy in life, that of a genuine musical legend; she is now interred in box sets with celestial collaborators.
It's hard for me to believe now, but I was once in her presence - backstage at Cincinnati's Music Hall in September 1977 - and even touched her shoulder, which was covered in heavy mink, in hello and farewell. I don't think she felt it, and she might have looked askance at me or clobbered me if she had. But it's what I came away with from our brief encounter, rather than an autograph or a conversation. I stood beside her as she talked with another fan. She had a charmed music even in her speaking voice, but she also had the staunch aura of a warrior, of someone who had endured a lot of ugliness to bring a little beauty into the world.
(c) 2017 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.
Posted by Tim Lucas at Tuesday, April 25, 2017