space space space space
Ella Fitzgerald: 1917-1996
Ella Fitzgerald: 1917-1996
Home Text Express Essays Text Express Remember Text Express Carnegie Text Express Discography Text Express Listen Text Express Links

The Fans Remember ELLA...
PAGE 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

This section is a place where everyone can share their reminiscences about Miss Fitzgerald. If you have a fond memory you would like to share, please e-mail it to us. We're eager to hear your comments and memories regarding the First Lady of Song, and will publish it on these pages for posterity.

Ella Close Up
Ella Fitzgerald.
The greatest...

Now the paradise
has the right voice.

Paolo Raggi

Even though much has been written about the passing of Ella, one line that keeps sticking out is 'what would have happened had Norman Granz not taken control and started the Songbook series ??'
spaceI'm sure that those albums were the real intro to Ella for many and I don't believe anyone has ever come as close to purely singing that material without stamping their own 'trademarks' all over it.
spaceI have found myself going back to the Louis & Ella material, especially the "Porgy and Bess" sessions. I still prefer those to the Torme- (name escapes me) or Charles-Laine versions.
spaceFor as much heat as she took for doing contemporary material, I have always loved the Santa Monica Civic concert with Basie (on Pablo), for things like "You've Got A Friend" and "What's Going On" which complement trio versions of "Night and Day", "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" and "Little White Lies". The surprise jam session at the end with Getz, Eldridge, Grey, Edison is a true testament to her fun with scat in JATP style.
spaceI remember listening, faithfully, to NPR's "Jazz Alive" series about twenty years ago. Each artist was featured for a full hour in uninterrupted performance, and NPR had to promise not to license the performances to the public.
spaceA truly magical moment was a surprise duet of "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" by Ella and Stevie Wonder. If only I had thought to tape those shows...
spaceStevie Wonder said, onstage, "We all love Ella..." and that pretty much sums it up nicely.

spaceGregg Dispenza

I just want to say thank you to this great lady for her love and commitment to music. Hopefully this woman was saved and is in heaven because she sure deserves it.

spaceGary Mastrella

The most complex musical instrument ever created under God's heaven is the human voice, and I have never heard anyone play that instrument more beautifully than Ella. My life has been enriched by the knowledge of this magnificent songstress.
spaceMy twin brother [of blessed memory, Donald L. Tavel (1952-1988), Associate Professor of Music, Indiana University Graduate School of Music, the School of Electronics and Computer Music (which was founded upon his entry into graduate school)] designed a synthesizer in the middle 1970's. He used to explain the computer's tracking abilities by way of reference to "A Foggy Day" as sung by Ella because there was no finer example to graphically display the "reading" of this input and show that the words were not "understood" but that the scat was, just as when the input was a piano or violin.
spaceIn addition to having listened to her recordings for over thirty years, I was graced with the opportunity to see her in concert with the late great Count Basie in Lansing, Michigan in 1976. There was a Republican fund raiser going on (at which Liz Taylor choked on the chicken bone, remember?) and the "music hall" that was booked for this performance was a gymnasium. Lord have mercy, but the limitations of the spatial environment were completely transcended by Ella and the Count's perfect projections.
spaceI will always treasure my memories of Ella, and though it is presumptuous to suggest that there is a best set of recordings, my favorites are the 1957 Norman Granz production of "Porgy and Bess" with Louis Armstrong (artwork from which can be seen at my homepage that provides a link to this memorial site) and the 1941 "Birthday (her 40th) Concert" in Rome.

Sweet Sleep Ella, with love...

spaceR. J. Tavel

If God could sing, He'd STILL want to sound like Ella.

spaceGavin Arneaux

As a very little girl in the late 1930s, I remember Ella in a movie - perhaps an Abbott & Costello film. I recall her strolling up and down an aisle on a bus singing in her unique and wonderful style - A TISKET A TASKET. Everybody back then hummed and/or sung these lyrics:

"A tisket - a tasket, a green and yellow basket,
I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I lost it.
I lost it, I lost it, the green and yellow basket -
a little fellow picked it up and put it in his pocket.
Was it red?        No, no, no, no.
Was it blue?      No, no, no, no.
Just a little yellow basket."

spaceThe words are close enough. Perhaps "golden oldies" like myself will recall this cherished and nostalgic bit of Ella Fitzgerald's marvelous career.

spaceRose Pranger

homenext  This site rescued by