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Ethel Waters

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Ethelwaters.jpeg
Ethel Waters, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1938
Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896September 1, 1977) was an African American blues vocalist who frequently performed jazz, big band, gospel, and popular music, on Broadway and off.

Waters was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a twelve-year old mother who had been raped by a white man. She died in Los Angeles, California.

Waters obtained her first Harlem club job around 1919 at Edmond's Cellar, a typical club of the period and area patroned by a black audience. Along with Fletcher Henderson and sponsored under Black Swan Records, she toured with the Black Swan Dance Masters. She stated that Henderson tended to perform in a more classical style than she would prefer, often lacking "the damn-it-to-hell bass". According to Waters, she influenced him to practice in a "real jazz" style. She was later recorded by Columbia Records in 1925; this recording was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. During the 20s, she performed and/or was recorded with the ensembles of Will Marion Cook, Lovie Austin, Fletcher Henderson

As her career continued, she evolved toward being a pop and broadway singer performing with artists like Duke Ellington. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 1949 for the film "Pinky". In 1950, she won the New York Drama Critics Award. In the period before her death, she toured with Billy Graham.

She was posthumously recognized in 1984 by the Gospel Music Association where her name was placed in its Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Awards and recognitions

She was also in Cabin in the Sky

References

  1. Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History. W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition. ISBN 0393971414
  2. Alexander, Scott. The Red Hot Jazz Archives: Ethel Waters (http://www.redhotjazz.com/waters.html) .

Template:Musician-stubde:Ethel Waters

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