Anita O'Day

Anita O'Day

One of jazz’s greatest ever singers, Anita O’Day revolutionised what it meant to be a female vocalist in a male-dominated world. A singer’s singer, O’Day was one of the first big band singers to tackle the intricacies of bebop and prevail. She patented a distinctive, vibrato-less approach to singing depended on a highly rhythmic scat-style improvisation.

Her big break was joining drummer Gene Krupa’s outfit in 1941. She scored a hit with ‘Let Me Off Uptown’, a duet with trumpeter Roy Eldridge, backed by Krupa’s men. With her career in the ascendant, O’Day joined Woody Herman’s band, then, in the mid-40s, Stan Kenton’s, before rejoining Krupa in 1945.

During this period, Anita O’Day also played an important role in changing the public perception of female jazz singers (not just for her lifestyle). She was undoubtedly a mould-breaker. In her early days, she rejected the traditional image of the cute, sweet-voiced female vocalist in the big-band era. Musically, too, she was different, using her voice like an instrument and improvising vocal lines like a horn player.

She was a vocal genius who took the art of jazz singing to new levels in the 50s. Her legacy of recordings places her in the pantheon of great jazz singers. Anita O’Day proudly stands alongside the likes of the irreplaceable  Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday.

We are extremely proud to represent the publishing rights of one of jazz’s greatest ever singers, Anita O'Day.

Anita O’Day revolutionised what it meant to be a female vocalist in a male-dominated world. A singer's singer, O'Day was one of the first big band singers to tackle the intricacies of bebop and prevail. She patented a distinctive, vibrato-less approach to singing depended on a highly rhythmic scat-style improvisation.

Her big break was joining drummer Gene Krupa’s outfit in 1941. She scored a hit with ‘Let Me Off Uptown’, a duet with trumpeter Roy Eldridge, backed by Krupa’s men. With her career in the ascendant, O’Day joined Woody Herman’s band, then, in the mid-40s, Stan Kenton’s, before rejoining Krupa in 1945.

During this period, Anita O’Day also played an important role in changing the public perception of female jazz singers (not just for her lifestyle). She was undoubtedly a mould-breaker. In her early days, she rejected the traditional image of the cute, sweet-voiced female vocalist in the big-band era. Musically, too, she was different, using her voice like an instrument and improvising vocal lines like a horn player.

She was a vocal genius who took the art of jazz singing to new levels in the 50s. Her legacy of recordings places her in the pantheon of great jazz singers. Anita O'Day proudly stands alongside the likes of the irreplaceable  Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday.

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