Monday, May 12, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nancy Wilson

Artist:Nancy Wilson
Song:Satin Doll
Album:Yesterday's Love Songs, Today's Blues

Over the years Nancy Wilson has proven to be one of the most versatile singers. But she is mainly known as a jazz singer. This version of the Duke Ellington classic Satin Doll was recorded early in her career when Nancy was at the height of her talent. She was born Feb. 20, 1937 in Chillicothe, OH which is a suburb of Columbus. Nancy grew up singing in church and her dad was a big jazz fan. She says she knew at age four that she would be a singer. She won a talent contest that led to her hosting a TV show in Columbus and she also sang in local clubs. Nancy spent a year in college to possibly pursue teaching. She quit school to join sax player Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Big Band in 1956. She toured with them for two years. Nancy's big break came when she met legendary sax player Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. He told her to move to New York City. Nancy sang a regular gig at a club while working during the day as a secretary. Adderley's manager John Levy sent Nancy's demos to Capitol Records and she signed in 1960. She would record for Capitol for almost twenty years. Capitol was unsure of what Nancy's musical direction should be. That's what happens when a singer is versatile. They were thinking R & B after a couple of singles charted. But Adderley told her to stick to jazz. And the two recorded a 1962 album together. The 1964 album Yesterday's Love Songs, Today's Blues was her biggest success to date. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 200. Nancy had four albums on the Billboard Hot 200 at the time. On this album, Nancy was accompanied by a big band and strings arranged by Gerald Wilson. Wilson was one of the best big band leaders of the 60s. Musicians include Jules Chaiken, Freddie Hill, Carmell Jones and Al Porcino on trumpet, Teddy Edwards, Paul Horn, Harold Land and Don Ruffell on sax, Bob Edmonson, Lester Robertson and Kenny Shroyer on trombone, Jack Wilson on piano, Wild Bill Davis on organ, Joe Pass on guitar, Jimmy Bond on bass and Kenny Dennis (Nancy's husband) on drums. Blue Note released this album on CD in 1991 with four bonus tracks with Nancy accompanied by a small band featuring Davis and Pass. This CD is a must for jazz fans. Probably the high point of Nancy's career was when she hosted her own variety show on NBC in 1967. She moved to Columbia Records in the 80s and has recorded with guys like Ramsey Lewis and Stanley Clarke. She still performs occasionally but she retired from regular touring in 2006. Here's Nancy Wilson performing Satin Doll 1964.

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