Dinah's distinctive and heartfelt voice quickly became her trademark -- she was a song stylist, crossing over from the "race music" category to the pop and jazz charts. Known in her day as the Queen of the Blues and queen of the Juke Boxes, Dinah was regarded as a rare "first take" artist, her studio recordings reflecting the same passion that she brought o every one of her live performances. She was known to make every single song she sang her own, having once said, George Gershwin wouldn't know his own song when I'm through with it. I can't stay hidebound to any melody."
Please enjoy Dinah's remarkable live performance of All of Me from 1958, complete with a very participatory audience. She was loved, and continues to be loved for her remarkable singing voice, an unmistakable sound that can never be matched. And she lived a fascinating, sad, and far too short of a life. To read more about Dinah, read Nadine Cohodas's book, Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington ( Pantheon, 2004). Much of the research on Dinah's earliest years was done at the Hoole Library! She spoke to a rapt audience at UA in 2005 about her book -- we even had a little Dinah-esque performance with blues singer, Elnora Spencer.
Not to be outdone, Nadine's latest book,