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Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington (August 29, 1924 - December 14, 1963) was a legendary American blues, jazz, and gospel singer. Born Ruth Jones in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Washington moved to Chicago, Illinois before starting school. She began performing in 1942 (see 1942 in music) and soon joined Lionel Hampton's band. In 1943, she began recording for Keynote Records[?] and released "Evil Gal Blues", her first hit. By 1955, she had released numerous hit songs on the R&B charts, including "Baby, Get Lost," "Trouble in Mind," "You Don't Know What Love Is" (arranged by Quincy Jones), and a cover of "Cold, Cold Heart[?]" by Hank Williams.

1959's "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" sent Washington into the mainstream market, where she stayed for many years with a string of hits. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance. Washington died of an overdose of diet pills and alcohol in 1963 and was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Further Reading

  • Queen of the Blues: A Biography of Dinah Washington, Jim Haskins, (c) 1987, William Morrow & Co. ASIN 0688048463

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