Thursday, June 12, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ivie Anderson

Artist:Ivie Anderson w/The Duke Ellington Orchestra
Song:I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
Album:I Got It Good And That Ain't Bad!

Ivie Anderson was the featured vocalist with The Duke Ellington Orchestra from 1931 to 1942. She was forced to retire due to illness and she died in 1949. Her best known performances include It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Mood Indigo and I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good). She was born July 10, 1905 in Gilroy, CA. She learned to sing in the local convent and trained with Sara Ritt at the Nunnie H. Burroughs Institution in Washington, DC. She started singing professionally when she returned to Los Angeles. She was in the 1925 national touring company of Shuffle Along and she sang with several bands including Curtis Mosby, Paul Howard and she toured with Sonny Clay. Ivie's big break came when she sang with Earl Hines at the Grand Terrace in Chicago in 1930. Duke Ellington was scheduled to open at The Oriental Theater in Chicago in early 1931. It was suggested that he should hire a female vocalist. In the past, clubs usually provided singers. Ellington chose Ivie over May Alix because he thought May was too light skinned. And he was impressed with Ivie's training. Her first big hit with the Ellington band was It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) in 1932. She also sang Stormy Weather long before it became Lena Horne's signature song. Ivie sang All God's Chillun Got Rhythm in the 1937 Marx Brothers film A Day At The Races. Other hits included Solitude and Mood Indigo. Ivie's last big hit with Ellington was I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) in 1942. Ivie retired in 1942 due to asthma and opened the Los Angeles restaurant Ivie's Chicken Shack. She returned to music briefly in 1946 with Charles Mingus, Willie Smith and Lucky Thompson. But her illness got worse and she died on Dec. 27, 1949 at age 44. This comp from Jasmine Records is a good intro to Ivie's music. Here's the Soundie for I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) by Ivie Anderson with The Duke Ellington Orchestra featuring Johnny Hodges on sax. What's a Soundie? They were 1940s short films that played on video juke boxes. I love Soundies.

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