Swinging and Soulful

“It is pretty much agreed that the list of jazz divas would include Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and Anita O’Day.” so says Jazz Singing historian Well Friedwald in his Biographical Guide. Agreed. But I would not include Dinah in this list, I would agree with Friedwald that she is the lead in his “Dinah’s Daughters” group, along with Gloria Lynne, Lorez Alexandria and I would add Dakota Staton and Marlena Shaw. “They formulated styles that were equal parts jazz. mainstream pop and blues (or R&B with more than a bit of gospel", says Friedwald. We’re calling them Swinging and Soulful.

What is Rhythm and Blues?
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz-based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.

image of Gloria LynneGloria Lynne (1929–2013) was a jazz vocalist who climbed onto the pop charts with her recording of “I Wish You Love” in 1964 and continued singing for more than half a century.

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Image of Marlena ShawMarlena Shaw, (1942-      ) is a jazz, blues, and soul singer who began her singing career in the 1960s and is still singing today. Her music has often been sampled in hip hop music and used in television commercials.

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Image of Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington (1924-1963) was the most popular black female recording artist of the 1950s. Primarily a jazz vocalist, she sang in a wide variety of styles and gave herself the title of "Queen of the Blues.”

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image of Lorez AlexandriaLorez Alexandria (1929–2001) was described as "one of the most gifted and underrated jazz singers of the Golden Age era.

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Image of Dakota StatonDakota Staton (1930- ) was out of the Dinah Washington school. She had that natural swing built right into her voice, a wonderful feeling for the blues, and great spontaneous instincts when it came to interacting with her musicians.

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Oscar Winner 1962