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Friday, 28 November 2014

Ethel Ennis born 28 November 1932

Ethel Llewellyn Ennis (born November 28, 1932, in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American jazz musician and a national treasure. Critics have hailed her as “the most accomplished singer performing today.” That stature was earned by her magnificent voice, her brilliant compositions, her joyful performances and her collaboration with the finest musicians.

Ethel Ennis began performing on the piano in high school, but her natural vocal abilities soon eclipsed those as a pianist. Embarking on a solo career, she recorded a number of sides for Atlantic Records before the Lp debut, 1955's Lullabies for Losers was released by Jubilee Records. In 1957, Ennis moved to the Capitol Records label for a two-album contract, and A Change of Scenery was released. Soon after the 1958 follow-up Lp Have You Forgotten, Ennis took a six-year hiatus from recording during which she toured Europe with Benny Goodman.
        (Here's Ethel's first 1957Atco single of "A Pair Of Fools") 
 Later, she was chosen as a featured singer on the Arthur Godfrey Show. After performing at the 1964 Newport Jazz Festival with Billy Taylor, Cozy Cole, and Slam Stewart, she appeared with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra on television's “Bell Telephone Hour.”

She followed those amazing achievements by wowing them at the Monterey Jazz Festival in duets with Joe Williams. She returned to her hometown to perform in concerts with the Count Basie Band and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. During that same period, she shared the bill with Cab Calloway at Harlem's Apollo Theater and played supper clubs and concert halls all over the country.

Ennis was again invited to the recording studios in 1963, recording four LPs for RCA Records. However, disenchanted with the creative direction of the label and artist management, Ennis left RCA and took another hiatus, this time eight years without a recording contract. During this period she sang the title song for the 1967 feature film Mad Monster Party. The BASF Lp 10 Sides of Ethel Ennis emerged in 1973 and later that year Ennis, a Democrat, was invited to sing at the re-inauguration of Richard Nixon. Ethel's unusual a cappella rendition of the national anthem shocked some, but inspired many others. She performed at the White House for Jimmy Carter as well. During the period, she became Baltimore's cultural ambassador, singing Chinese folk songs in Baltimore's sister city of Xiamen, China as well as performing in Rotterdam, Germany.

In the 1980's, Ethel opened her own music club, Ethel's Place with her husband, writer Earl Arnett. They presented the world's greatest jazz musicians and broadcast live concerts to national audiences. They sold the club in 1988, each returning full-time to their artistic pursuits.

Earlier on, Ethel had returned to her hometown of Baltimore, and sang outside the area only a handful of times in the next several decades. Then in 1980 to the delight of loyal fans she reappeared, releasing a live album, followed in 1994 by a self-titled studio album, and in 1998 once again recording for a major label with If Women Ruled the World on Savoy Jazz. The most recent Ennis recording was a critically praised 2005 live set, captured in performance at Montpelier in her home state of Maryland.

Frank Sinatra once described her as, “my kind of singer.” A Downbeat reviewer once said of Ethel, “her voice runs deep, exuding the personality of a sage who has lived many lives.” She is the great sage of jazz and if you can find any one of her two dozen records and singles, you will have added a national treasure to your collection.

Ethel Ennis continues to be her own woman, residing in Baltimore with what she proudly calls a “real life.” Ennis is active in her craft, performing with a voice which remains remarkably fresh, despite the passing decades.(Info edited from All About Jazz & Wikipedia)

(The Song Is Called I Got The Right To Sing The Blues
Featuring Benny Goodman On Clarinet. Vocalist Ethel Ennis. Billy Hodges, Taft Jordan, John Frosk, E.v. Perry On Trumpets. Vernon Brown, Willie Dennis, Rex Peer On Trombones. Zoot Sims, Al Block, Ernie Mauro, Seldon Powel, Gene Allen On Saxophones. Roland Hanna On Piano. Billy Bauer On Guitar. Arvell Shaw On Bass. Roy Burnes On Drums. Recorded In Brussels May 1958)


boppinbob said...


A1. Love for sales
A2. Dreamer-dreamer
A3. Blue prelude
A4. Off shure
A5. Casually
B1. Hey Jacques
B2. Lullaby for losers
B3. Say it ain’t so,joe
B4. You’d better go now
B5. Blue willow
B6. Bon voyage

Ethel Ennis(vo)
Hank Jones(p)
Abie Baker(b)
Eddie Biggs(g)
Kenny Clark(ds)

Double LP CD to follow tomorrow.

boppinbob said...

For “Change of Scenery/Have You Forgotten” by Ethel Ennis which contained two complete albums on one CD go here:

1. My Foolish Heart
2. I Still Get a Thrill
3. I Remember (The Corn Fields of Home)
4. The Song Is Ended
5. I Cried for You
6. A Change of Scenery
7. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye
8. Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe
9. Taking a Chance on Love
10. Thrill Me
11. Have You Forgotten?
12. There's No Fool Like an Old Fool
13. Serenade in Blue
14. A Little Bit Square But Nice
15. It Was So Beautiful
16. Three on a Match
17. How About Me?
18. For All We Know
19. All I Am Is You
20. Then I'll Be Tired of You
21. The Things I Love
22. My Apple Pie Guy