Dinah Washington Was
The Best Blues Singers Of Our
1946 when the average person was making $50 "The Queen" was
bringing down $700 a week and making headlines in Black newspapers
for a variety of stunts. On one occasion she emptied out a L.A.nightclub
by firing shots at one of the dancers in the chorus line whom she
suspected was fooling around with her boyfriend.
Dinah Washington may be the best contemporary blues singer of them
all, and certainly one of the most colorful. Her style of singing
a blues sound to whatever she recorded. Looking to sell her talents
more widely the record company often surrounded her with big bands
and strings and a variety of crossover contraptions to make her
appealing to white audiences. None of this was able to subdue the
natural blues quality of her voice.
She was revered by Blacks as the heir to the blues throne left vacant
by Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, and no strings or big bands could
subvert that. Her years at Mercury are filled with classic songs
are delivered in a manner that make you shake your head and say "go on
There are some artists for whom a single CD of their hits is enough.
Not so with Dinah Washington. The quality of her music is such that this
three CD set seems to just scratch the surface.