Ella Fitzgerald in the Studio with Musicians, 1960
Credits: Photo by Don Hunstein ęSony Collectibles. All rights reserved.
The quintessential swing singer, Ella Fitzgerald became America's undisputed "First Lady of Song" over the course of a recording and performing career lasting more than half a century. Her 1938 re-iteration of a familiar children's rhyme, "A-Tisket A-Tasket" took her from the stage of Harlem's Savoy Ballroom into her first blush of widespread national acclaim. By the mid-1940s, Ella had incorporated her wordless vocal improvisations, or "scat" singing, into a new jazz idiom. Her series of "Songbook" albums, recorded between 1956-1964, became emblematic of the musical canon lovingly known as the "Great American Songbook." Among her countless accolades, Ella Fitzgerald took home an astounding 13 Grammys as well as the National Medal of Art and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.