DINAH WASHINGTON. { RUTH JONES } Wonderful Dinah Washington. Dinah was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on August 29,1924. Ah, what a Star. There are so many wonderful Artists I wish I could have met and Dinah is one of them.  One of the most gifted vocalists in American Music History, Dinah perfomed equally well in Jazz,Blues,R&B, even light Pop. This Lady would also have been at home in the field of Gospel Music. Dinah could sing anything, happy or sad, with an  incredible sense of drama and timing, and when she told her story it just carried you away. You believed her, simply because she meant it. Dinah grew up in Chicago, and directed her local Church choir. She also played piano, and when she sung her diction was crystal clear. But for me it's the emotional content that shines through her performances. She never went 'over the top'  and that's what carried so much power when she sung,- the understatement, - just tell the story, the hurt in life doesn't need any dressing up. She joined  Lionel Hampton's band in 1943 at the tender age of 19, and Mr Hampton is credited with persuading the young Ruth Jones to change her name to Dinah Washington.
She left Mr Hampton's band in1946. The Great Jazz critic Leonard Feather was also a successful composer and was responsible for some her biggest R&B hits in the 40s. Dinah dominated the R&B charts in the 40s and 50s but also did jazz sessions for EmArcy and Mercury, working with such Luminaries as Clifford Brown, Clark Terry, Joe Zawinul, Wynton Kelly, and Maynard Ferguson, so you can see the High Standard of musicianship that this Lady was into. In today's world of music she would be called a crossover superstar. Look at this : "Baby Get Lost" {No.1 1949} "Trouble in mind" { No. 4 1952} "What A Diff'rence a day makes" { No.4 R&B and No.8 pop,1959} and "This Bitter Earth" { No.1 R&B,No.24 pop 1960}.  Also in 1960 Dinah sang two No.1 R&B duets with Brook Benton- " Baby,You've Got What It Takes" and " A Rockin' Good Way To Fall In Love" -these two titles showing at No.5 and No. 7 respectively in the Pop charts.and this is just the short list. Bringing this Ladies name to the attention of a wider audience gives me particular pleasure. If you have heard her you'll know what I'm talking about, if not, do your Soul a favour and listen to the incredible talent that is Dina Washington. Dinah has been just about the biggest influence on Black Female Soul and R&B singers - Ever.  I love her.  Dinah died in 1963 after mixing alcohol and pills. She was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of fame in 1993.  God Bless Her Memory.  
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