Issue Date: January 10, 2007
City: New York, NY
Quantity Issued: 150,000,000
Printed by: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing method: Lithographed
Perforations: Die cut 11
Ella Jane Fitzgerald’s (1917-96) pure, ageless voice spanned three octaves. She sang sultry ballads and sweet jazz and worked with all the jazz legends of her era. She is the 30th honoree of the Black Heritage Series.
Born in Virginia, Fitzgerald and her mother moved to Yonkers, NY. In 1934, Ella competed in Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. At home in the spotlight, she entered more talent shows. She said, “I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life.”
Bandleader Chick Webb hired the teenaged Ella to travel with his band, and in 1936, she made her first recording. She experimented with scat singing, using her voice as a jazz instrument, and recorded You Have to Swing It. Over the course of her career, Fitzgerald turned scat singing into an art form. Her recording A-Tisket, A-Tasket (1938) made her famous.
As a soloist, Fitzgerald joined Norman Granz’s “Jazz at the Philharmonic” tour. She also worked with Louis Armstrong on several albums and produced her famous songbook series during the 1950s and 1960s.
In her lifetime, Ella Fitzgerald recorded over 200 albums, won thirteen Grammy awards, and sold over forty million albums. According to Fitzgerald, “The only thing better than singing is more singing.”