[JPL] Anita O'Day October 18, 1919-November 23, 2006

Jazz Promo Services jazzpromo at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 23 11:08:07 EST 2006


November 23, 2006
 
To: Listings/Critics/Features
From: Jazz Promo Services
Press Contact: JIM EIGO, jazzpromo at earthlink.net

ANITA O'DAY
October 18, 1919-November 23, 2006


Jazz Vocal legend Anita O¹Day passed this morning October 23, 2006 at 6:17AM
in West Los Angeles. The cause of death was cardiac arrest according to her
manager Robbie Cavalina.

Born Anita Belle Colton in Chicago, Illinois on October 18, 1919, O¹Day got
her start as a teen. She eventually changed her name to O¹Day and in the
late 1930¹s began singing in a jazz club called the Off- Beat, a popular
hangout for musicians like band leader and drummer Gene Krupa. In 1941 she
joined Krupa¹s band, and a few weeks later Krupa hired trumpeter Roy
Eldridge. O¹Day and Eldridge had great chemistry on stage and their duet
³Let Me Off Uptown² became a million-dollar-seller, boosting the popularity
of the Krupa band. Also that year, ³Down Beat² magazine named O¹Day ³New
Star of the Year² and, in 1942, she was selected as one of the top five big
band singers. 

After her stint with, Krupa, O¹Day joined Stan Kenton's band. She left the
band after a year and returned to Krupa. Singer Jackie Cain remembers the
first time she saw O¹Day with the Krupa band. ³I was really impressed,² she
recalls, ³She (O¹Day) sang with a jazz feel, and that was kind of fresh and
new at the time.² Later, O¹Day joined Stan Kenton¹s band with whom she cut
an album that featured the hit tune ³And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine²

In the late¹40s, O¹Day struck out on her own. She teamed up with drummer
John Poole, with whom she played for the next 32 years. Her album ³Anita²,
which she recorded on producer Norman Granz¹s new Verve label, elevated her
career to new heights. She began performing in festivals and concerts with
such illustrious musicians as Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Georg
Shearing and Thelonious Monk. O¹Day also appeared in the documentary filmed
at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 called ³Jazz on a Summer Day², which
made her an international star.

Throughout the Œ60s Anita continued to tour and record while addicted to
heroin and in 1969 she nearly died from an overdose. O¹Day eventually beat
her addiction and returned to work. In 1981 she published her autobiography
³High Times, Hard Times² which, among other things, talked candidly about
her drug addiction.

Her final recording was "Indestructible Anita O'Day" and featured Eddie
Locke, Chip Jackson, Roswell Rudd, Lafayette Harris, Tommy Morimoto and the
great Joe Wider. A documentary, "ANITA O'DAY-THE LIFE OF A JAZZ SINGER" will
be released in 2007.

For more info visit: http://www.anitaoday.com/


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