Ann Rosenblatt, known as Ann Ronell was an American composer and lyricist. She was best known for the standards "Willow Weep for Me" and "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf". Ronell was born in Nebraska to Morris and Mollie Rosenblatt. Ronell graduated from Omaha's Central High School in 1923, she enrolled in Wheaton College, but transferred after her sophomore year to pursue a more serious music education. She graduated from Radcliffe College. While at Radcliffe, Ronell wrote music for college plays and contributed reviews and interviews to the school's music publication. After interviewing George Gershwin, she struck up a friendship with the composer, who hired her as a rehearsal pianist for his show Rosalie, it was Gershwin. Ronell was, along with Dorothy Fields, Dana Suesse, Kay Swift, one of the first successful Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley female composers or librettists. In 1929 she put her first song in a show, Down By the River. In 1930, she wrote her first hit, "Baby's Birthday Party." Written for a musical, Ronell shopped the song around several music publishers to no avail until Famous Music agreed to publish it.
In 1932, she produced the two more songs that gained her notoriety, "Rain on the Roof" and "Willow Weep for Me," the latter of which she dedicated to George Gershwin. In 1933, Ronell moved to Hollywood. There, she cowrote Disney's first hit song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" with Frank Churchill for the cartoon Three Little Pigs. She was notable for being one of the only composers at the time to handle lyrics, she wrote the lyrics and music for the Broadway musical Count Me In She wrote songs for movies including Champagne Waltz and Blockade and wrote the scores for movies including the Cowan produced The Story of G. I. Joe, the film adaptation of the Weill/Nash musical One Touch of Venus, the Marx Brothers' Love Happy, she served as musical director for Main Street to Broadway. She was nominated for Best Song, "Linda," and with co-composer Louis Applebaum for Best Score, for her work on The Story of G. I. Joe. Ronell's work scoring films was influential in the field, her score for The Story of G.
I. Joe was the first drama to feature a theme song sung over the credits, she was the first to produce a record from a film score, which she did with Ladies in Retirement. In 1942, Ronell became the first woman to write both the music and lyrics for a broadway show with Count Me In. "Willow Weep for Me," Ronell's most famous song, has been recorded by such notable artists as Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, Lena Horne, Julie London, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan June Christy. She married producer Lester Cowan; the couple had no children. "Baby's Birthday Party" "There's A Woman With The Man In The Moon" "Rain On The Roof" "Willow Weep for Me" "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" Count Me In - revue - composer and lyricist The Crucible - play - composer for the "Lullaby" Blues in the Night - revue - featured songwriter for "Willow Weep for Me" Ann Ronell Papers, the composer's personal papers in the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Ann Ronell at the Internet Broadway Database
Louis Daniel Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer and occasional actor, one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, different eras in the history of jazz. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. Armstrong was raised in New Orleans. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. Around 1922, he followed Joe "King" Oliver, to Chicago to play in the Creole Jazz Band. In the Windy City, he networked with other popular jazz musicians, reconnecting with his friend, Bix Beiderbecke, made new contacts, which included Hoagy Carmichael and Lil Hardin, he earned a reputation at "cutting contests", relocated to New York in order to join Fletcher Henderson's band. With his recognizable rich, gravelly voice, Armstrong was an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes.
He was very skilled at scat singing. Armstrong is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice as much as for his trumpet playing. Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz, by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first popular African-American entertainers to "cross over", that is, whose skin color became secondary to his music in an America, racially divided at the time, he publicly politicized his race to the dismay of fellow African Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him access to the upper echelons of American society highly restricted for black men. Armstrong stated that he was born on July 4, 1900. Although he died in 1971, it was not until the mid-1980s that his true birth date, August 4, 1901, was discovered by Tad Jones by researching baptismal records. At least three other biographies treat the July 4th birth date as a myth.
Armstrong was born in New Orleans on August 4, 1901 to William Armstrong. Albert was from Boutte and gave birth at home when she was about sixteen. William Armstrong abandoned the family shortly after. About two years he had a daughter, Beatrice "Mama Lucy" Armstrong, raised by Albert. Louis Armstrong was raised by his grandmother until the age of five when he was returned to his mother, he spent his youth in poverty in a rough neighborhood known as The Battlefield. At six he attended the Fisk School for Boys, a school that accepted black children in the racially segregated system of New Orleans, he did odd jobs for a family of Lithuanian Jews. While selling coal in Storyville, he heard spasm bands, groups that played music out of household objects, he heard the early sounds of jazz from bands that played in brothels and dance halls such as Pete Lala's, where King Oliver performed. The Karnoffskys treated him like family. Knowing he lived without a father, they nurtured him. In his memoir Louis Armstrong + the Jewish Family in New Orleans, La. the Year of 1907, he described his discovery that this family was subject to discrimination by "other white folks" who felt that they were better than Jews: "I was only seven years old but I could see the ungodly treatment that the white folks were handing the poor Jewish family whom I worked for."
He wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life and wrote about what he learned from them: "how to live—real life and determination." His first musical performance may have been at the side of the Karnoffsky's junk wagon. To distinguish them from other hawkers, he tried playing a tin horn to attract customers. Morris Karnoffsky gave Armstrong an advance toward the purchase of a cornet from a pawn shop; when Armstrong was eleven, he dropped out of school. His mother moved into a one-room house on Perdido Street with him and her common-law husband, Tom Lee, next door to her brother Ike and his two sons. Armstrong joined a quartet of boys, he got into trouble. Cornetist Bunk Johnson said. In his years Armstrong credited King Oliver, he said about his youth, "Every time I close my eyes blowing that trumpet of mine—I look right in the heart of good old New Orleans... It has given me something to live for." Borrowing his stepfather's gun without permission, he fired a blank into the air and was arrested on December 31, 1912.
He spent the night at New Orleans Juvenile Court was sentenced the next day to detention at the Colored Waif's Home. Life at the home was spartan. Mattresses were absent. Meals were little more than bread and molasses. Captain Joseph Jones used corporal punishment. Armstrong developed his cornet skills by playing in the band. Peter Davis, who appeared at the home at the request of Captain Jones, became Armstrong's first teacher and chose him as bandleader. With this band, the thirteen year-old. On June 14, 1914, Armstrong was released into the custody of his father and his new stepmother, Gertrude, he lived in this household with two stepbrothers for several months. After Gertrude gave birth to a daughter, Armstrong's father never welcomed him, so he returned to his mother, Mary Albert. In her small home, he had to share a bed with his sister, his mother still lived in The Battlefield
A drum kit — called a drum set, trap set, or drums — is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands, the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums and idiophones – most cymbals, but can include the woodblock and cowbell. In the 2000s, some kits include electronic instruments. Both hybrid and electronic kits are used. A standard modern kit, as used in popular music and taught in music schools, contains: A snare drum, mounted on a stand, placed between the player's knees and played with drum sticks A bass drum, played by a pedal operated by the right foot, which moves a felt-covered beater One or more toms, played with sticks or brushes A hi-hat, played with the sticks and closed with left foot pedal One or more cymbals, mounted on stands, played with the sticksAll of these are classified as non-pitched percussion, allowing the music to be scored using percussion notation, for which a loose semi-standardized form exists for both the drum kit and electronic drums.
The drum kit is played while seated on a stool known as a throne. While many instruments like the guitar or piano are capable of performing melodies and chords, most drum kits are unable to achieve this as they produce sounds of indeterminate pitch; the drum kit is a part of the standard rhythm section, used in many types of popular and traditional music styles, ranging from rock and pop to blues and jazz. Other standard instruments used in the rhythm section include the piano, electric guitar, electric bass, keyboards. Many drummers extend their kits from this basic configuration, adding more drums, more cymbals, many other instruments including pitched percussion. In some styles of music, particular extensions are normal. For example, some rock and heavy metal drummers make use of double bass drums, which can be achieved with either a second bass drum or a remote double foot pedal; some progressive drummers may include orchestral percussion such as gongs and tubular bells in their rig. Some performers, such as some rockabilly drummers, play small kits that omit elements from the basic setup.
Before the development of the drum set and cymbals used in military and orchestral music settings were played separately by different percussionists. In the 1840s, percussionists began to experiment with foot pedals as a way to enable them to play more than one instrument, but these devices would not be mass-produced for another 75 years. By the 1860s, percussionists started combining multiple drums into a set; the bass drum, snare drum and other percussion instruments were all struck with hand-held drum sticks. Drummers in musical theater shows and stage shows, where the budget for pit orchestras was limited, contributed to the creation of the drum set by developing techniques and devices that would enable them to cover the roles of multiple percussionists. Double-drumming was developed to enable one person to play the bass and snare with sticks, while the cymbals could be played by tapping the foot on a "low-boy". With this approach, the bass drum was played on beats one and three. While the music was first designed to accompany marching soldiers, this simple and straightforward drumming approach led to the birth of ragtime music when the simplistic marching beats became more syncopated.
This resulted in dance feel. The drum set was referred to as a "trap set", from the late 1800s to the 1930s, drummers were referred to as "trap drummers". By the 1870s, drummers were using an "overhang pedal". Most drummers in the 1870s preferred to do double drumming without any pedal to play multiple drums, rather than use an overhang pedal. Companies patented their pedal systems such as Dee Dee Chandler of New Orleans 1904–05. Liberating the hands for the first time, this evolution saw the bass drum played with the foot of a standing percussionist; the bass drum became the central piece around which every other percussion instrument would revolve. William F. Ludwig, Sr. and his brother, Theobald Ludwig, founded the Ludwig & Ludwig Co. in 1909 and patented the first commercially successful bass drum pedal system, paving the way for the modern drum kit. Wire brushes for use with drums and cymbals were introduced in 1912; the need for brushes arose due to the problem of the drum sound overshadowing the other instruments on stage.
Drummers began using metal fly swatters to reduce the volume on stage next to the other acoustic instruments. Drummers could still play the rudimentary snare figures and grooves with brushes that they would play with drumsticks. By World War I, drum kits were marching band-style military bass drums with many percussion items suspended on and around them. Drum kits became a central part of jazz Dixieland; the modern drum kit was developed in the vaudeville era during the 1920s in New Orleans. In 1917, a New Orleans band called "The Original Dixieland Jazz Band " recorded jazz tunes that became hits all o
The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. As on all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player's vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. Nearly all trombones have a telescoping slide mechanism that varies the length of the instrument to change the pitch. Many modern trombone models use a valve attachment to lower the pitch of the instrument. Variants such as the valve trombone and superbone have three valves similar to those on the trumpet; the word "trombone" derives from Italian tromba and -one, so the name means "large trumpet". The trombone has a predominantly cylindrical bore like its valved counterpart the baritone and in contrast to its conical valved counterparts, the cornet, the euphonium, the French horn; the most encountered trombones are the tenor trombone and bass trombone. The most common variant, the tenor, is a non-transposing instrument pitched in B♭, an octave below the B♭ trumpet and an octave above the pedal B♭ tuba; the once common E♭ alto trombone became less used as improvements in technique extended the upper range of the tenor, but it is now enjoying a resurgence due to its lighter sonority, appreciated in many classical and early romantic works.
Trombone music is written in concert pitch in either bass or tenor clef, although exceptions do occur, notably in British brass-band music where the tenor trombone is presented as a B♭ transposing instrument, written in treble clef. A person who plays the trombone is called a trombone player; the trombone is a predominantly cylindrical tube bent into an elongated "S" shape. Rather than being cylindrical from end to end, the tube is a complex series of tapers with the smallest at the mouthpiece receiver and the largest just before the bell flare; the design of these tapers affects the intonation of the instrument. As with other brass instruments, sound is produced by blowing air through pursed lips producing a vibration that creates a standing wave in the instrument; the detachable cup-shaped mouthpiece is similar to that of the baritone horn and related to that of the trumpet. It has the venturi: a small constriction of the air column that adds resistance affecting the tone of the instrument and is inserted into the mouthpiece receiver in the slide section.
The slide section consists of a leadpipe, the inner and outer slide tubes, the bracing, or "stays". Modern stays are soldered, while sackbuts were made with unsoldered stays. The'slide', the most distinctive feature of the trombone, allows the player to extend the length of the air column, lowering the pitch. To prevent friction from slowing the action of the slide, additional sleeves were developed during the Renaissance, these "stocking" were soldered onto the ends of the inner slide tubes. Nowadays, the stockings are incorporated into the manufacturing process of the inner slide tubes and represent a fractional widening of the tube to accommodate the necessary method of alleviating friction; this part of the slide must be lubricated frequently. Additional tubing connects the slide to the bell of the instrument through a neckpipe, bell or back bow; the joint connecting the slide and bell sections is furnished with a ferrule to secure the connection of the two parts of the instrument, though older models from the early 20th century and before were equipped with friction joints and no ancillary mechanism to tighten the joint.
The adjustment of intonation is most accomplished with a tuning slide, a short slide between the neckpipe and the bell incorporating the bell bow. However, unlike other instrumentalists, are not subject to the intonation issues resulting from valved or keyed instruments, since they can adjust intonation "on the fly" by subtly altering slide positions when necessary. For example, second position "A" is not in the same place on the slide as second position "E". Many types of trombone include one or more rotary valves used to increase the length of the instrument by directing the air flow through additional tubing; this allows the instrument to reach notes that are otherwise not possible without the valve as well as play other notes in alternate positions. Like the trumpet, the trombone is considered a cylindrical bore instrument since it has extensive sections of tubing, principally in the slide section, that are of unchanging diameter. Tenor trombones have a bore of 0.450 inches to 0.547 inches after the leadpipe and through the slide.
The bore expands through the gooseneck to the bell, between 7 and 8 1⁄2 inches. A number of common variations on trombone construction are noted below. "Trombone" comes from the Italian word tromba plus the suffix -one, meaning "big trumpet". During the Renaissance, the equivalent English term was "sackbut"; the word first appears in court records in 1495 as "shakbusshe" at about the time King Henry VII married a Portuguese princess who brought musicians with her. "Shakbusshe" is similar to "sacabuche", attested in Spain as early as 1478. The French equivalent "saqueboute" appears in 1466; the German "Posaune" long predates the invention of the slide and could refer to a natural trumpet as late as the early fifteenth century. Both towns and courts sponsored bands of shaw
Walter Gross (musician)
Walter Gross is best known for having composed the music for the popular 1946 song "Tenderly". In addition to composing dozens of other titles, he was a pianist, orchestra leader, record industry executive. Born in New York City, Gross gave his first piano recital at age 10. In 1923, he had a 15-minute piano program on radio station WEAF in New York City, he began performing professionally in the early 1930s, played piano in bands led by Paul Whiteman, Andre Kostelanetz, Tommy Dorsey, Raymond Scott. He was a staff pianist on CBS radio in the 1930s. In 1942, Gross led the orchestra for Reflections. After serving in the military during World War II, Gross became an executive at Musicraft Records, where he served as conductor and pianist for recording sessions. In 1946, he was approached by noted lyricist Jack Lawrence, who asked permission to add words to an untitled melody Gross had composed. At first Gross was reluctant to cooperate, after Lawrence presented his finished lyrics, Gross expressed dissatisfaction with the words and title.
Lawrence succeeded in finding a publisher for the new work, shortly thereafter it was recorded by Sarah Vaughan. While it was a modest hit, the song was Vaughan's first solo chart success and marked her transition from jazz artist to popular singing star. "Tenderly" continued to find favor with pop musicians over the next few years. However, when vocalist Rosemary Clooney recorded it for Columbia Records in 1952, it became a million-seller and entered the repertoire of pop standards. Clooney remarked, "Technically, it's the most satisfying record I made." Over the years the composition has been recorded by Billie Holiday, Nat "King" Cole, Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Kenny Burrell, Lionel Hampton, Stan Kenton, Eric Dolphy, The Dominoes, Vic Damone, Chet Atkins. Joan Crawford sang it over the opening credits in the 1953 film Torch Song; some of Gross's other compositions include "Your Love," "I'm in a Fog About You," "Mexican Moon," "How Will I Remember You" and "Just a Moon Ago."
His lyric collaborators included Carl Sigman, Bobby Troup, Ned Washington. He played piano for Maxine Sullivan, Alec Wilder, others, conducted orchestra for singers Gordon MacRae, Mel Tormé, Phil Brito, he recorded solo piano singles in the early 1940s for the Bluebird label, including his original compositions "Creepy Weepy," "Improvisation in Several Keys," and "A Slight Case of Ivory." He recorded for the MGM, ABC-Paramount, Royale labels. Gross relocated to California during the'50s, made occasional club appearances on the west coast. Gross died November 17, 1967 in St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, after being found unconscious in his apartment in Los Angeles, California. ASCAP Index of compositions by Walter Gross The story behind the composition "Tenderly" by lyricist Jack Lawrence Ella Fitzgerald Sings "Tenderly" on YouTube on TV, Italy, 1960 History of "Tenderly" at JazzStandards.com Cowbell Serenade, composed in 1938 by Walter Gross for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, performed at Berklee School of Music, Boston, MA, May 5, 2008 Walter Gross papers at the University of Wyoming - American Heritage Center
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression, it emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes and response vocals and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms"; as jazz spread around the world, it drew on national and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation.
In the 1930s arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music", played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines; the 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter and formal structures, in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues and blues in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay.
Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Afro-Cuban jazz. The origin of the word "jazz" has resulted in considerable research, its history is well documented, it is believed to be related to "jasm", a slang term dating back to 1860 meaning "pep, energy". The earliest written record of the word is in a 1912 article in the Los Angeles Times in which a minor league baseball pitcher described a pitch which he called a "jazz ball" "because it wobbles and you can't do anything with it"; the use of the word in a musical context was documented as early as 1915 in the Chicago Daily Tribune. Its first documented use in a musical context in New Orleans was in a November 14, 1916 Times-Picayune article about "jas bands". In an interview with NPR, musician Eubie Blake offered his recollections of the slang connotations of the term, saying, "When Broadway picked it up, they called it'J-A-Z-Z', it wasn't called that. It was spelled'J-A-S-S'; that was dirty, if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies."
The American Dialect Society named it the Word of the Twentieth Century. Jazz is difficult to define because it encompasses a wide range of music spanning a period of over 100 years, from ragtime to the rock-infused fusion. Attempts have been made to define jazz from the perspective of other musical traditions, such as European music history or African music, but critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt argues that its terms of reference and its definition should be broader, defining jazz as a "form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of the Negro with European music" and arguing that it differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time defined as'swing'". Jazz involves "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role" and contains a "sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician". In the opinion of Robert Christgau, "most of us would say that inventing meaning while letting loose is the essence and promise of jazz".
A broader definition that encompasses different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, group interaction, developing an'individual voice', being open to different musical possibilities". Krin Gibbard argued that "jazz is a construct" which designates "a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition". In contrast to commentators who have argued for excluding types of jazz, musicians are sometimes reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, said, "It's all music." Although jazz is considered difficult to define, in part because it contains many subgenres, improvisation is one of its defining elements. The centrality of improvisation is attributed to the influence of earlier forms of music such as blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of African-American slaves on plantations; these work songs were structured around a repetitive call-and-response pattern, but early blues was improvisational.
Classical music performance is evaluated more by its fidelity to the musical score, with less attention given to interpretation and accompaniment. The classical performer's goal is to play the composition. In contrast, jazz is characterized by the product of i
Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, intonation, a "horn-like" improvisational ability in her scat singing. After a tumultuous adolescence, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country but most associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, her rendition of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. After taking over the band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start her solo career, her manager was Moe Gale, co-founder of the Savoy, until she turned the rest of her career over to Norman Granz, who founded Verve Records to produce new records by Fitzgerald. With Verve she recorded some of her more noted works her interpretations of the Great American Songbook. While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career.
These partnerships produced some of her best-known songs such as "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Cheek to Cheek", "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall", "It Don't Mean a Thing". In 1993, she ended her nearly 60-year career with her last public performance. Three years she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health, her accolades included fourteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Fitzgerald was born on April 1917, in Newport News, Virginia, she was the daughter of Temperance "Tempie" Henry. Her parents lived together for at least two and a half years after she was born. In the early 1920s, Fitzgerald's mother and her new partner, a Portuguese immigrant named Joseph Da Silva, moved to Yonkers, in Westchester County, New York, her half-sister, Frances Da Silva, was born in 1923. By 1925, Fitzgerald and her family had moved to a poor Italian area, she began her formal education at the age of six and was an outstanding student, moving through a variety of schools before attending Benjamin Franklin Junior High School in 1929.
Starting in third grade, Fitzgerald admired Earl Snakehips Tucker. She performed for her peers on the way at lunchtime, she and her family were Methodists and were active in the Bethany African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she attended worship services, Bible study, Sunday school. The church provided Fitzgerald with her earliest experiences in music. Fitzgerald listened to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, The Boswell Sisters, she idolized the Boswell Sisters' lead singer Connee Boswell saying, "My mother brought home one of her records, I fell in love with it... I tried so hard to sound just like her."In 1932, when Fitzgerald was fifteen, her mother died from injuries received in a car accident. Her stepfather took care of her until April 1933; this swift change in her circumstances, reinforced by what Fitzgerald biographer Stuart Nicholson describes as rumors of "ill treatment" by her stepfather, leaves him to speculate that Da Silva might have abused her. Fitzgerald began skipping school, her grades suffered.
She worked as a lookout with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. She never talked publicly about this time in her life; when the authorities caught up with her, she was placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale in the Bronx. When the orphanage proved too crowded, she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls, a state reformatory school in Hudson, New York. While she seems to have survived during 1933 and 1934 in part from singing on the streets of Harlem, Fitzgerald made her most important debut at age 17 on November 21, 1934, in one of the earliest Amateur Nights at the Apollo Theater, she had intended to go on stage and dance, but she was intimidated by a local dance duo called the Edwards Sisters and opted to sing instead. Performing in the style of Connee Boswell, she sang "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection" and won first prize, she won the chance to perform at the Apollo for a week but because of her disheveled appearance, the theater never gave her that part of her prize.
In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. She was introduced to drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, who had asked his signed singer Charlie Linton to help find him a female singer. Although Webb was "reluctant to sign her...because she was gawky and unkempt, a'diamond in the rough,'" he offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University. Met with approval by both audiences and her fellow musicians, Fitzgerald was asked to join Webb's orchestra and gained acclaim as part of the group's performances at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs, including "Love and Kisses" and " You'll Have to Swing It", but it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", a song she co-wrote, that brought her public acclaim. "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" became a major hit on the radio and was one of the biggest-selling records of the decade. Webb died of spinal tuberculosis on June 16, 1939, his band was renamed Ella and Her Famous Orchestra with Fitzgerald taking on the role of bandleader.
She recorded nearly 150 songs with Webb's orchestra between 1935 and 1942. In The New York Times obituary o