In Memoriam: Anita O'Day

Jazz legend Anita O'Day died on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 87. She was known for her amazing interpretations of classic songs, as well as her hard-living lifestyle of men, drugs and booze. Anita was a survivor and she was still recording and giving concerts this year. This is Anita at the height of her fame in 1958 singing Tea For Two at the Newport Jazz Festival. This is also for my friend Jennifer Perry, who was influenced by Anita and later became her friend.


Jilly said…
She was amazing.
Collin said…
She was indeed.
J.Perry said…
Thank you for putting a tribute to Miss O'Day in your blog, and especially the video of Tea For Two. Often called the 'singer with a beat,' she used her skills as a drummer and her ingenuity to create a unique style of handling notes and scatting. Plus it was a way to overcome not being able to create a vibrato sound due her uvula being cut in a botched tonsillectomy. She really knew how to use the voice as an instrument and I saw firsthand many times how she'd direct musicians -swapping fours around the head over and over and never lose her place - at 85 years old!
Too bad that singers nowadays substitute slut-like behavior and studio techno tricks for talent - and the buying audience eats that crap like caviar.
I was so lucky to get to know her, her manager Robbie and become part of a whole group of folks who knew her, loved her and were devoted to her. We knew this time would come, and we'd all be emotionally devastated. But how blessed we were, and still are. To Anita, Thanks For The Boogie Ride!
One more thing, if you have the chance to see The Gene Krupa Story watch for the party scene where she's singing "Memories Of You."
A woman singer goes over to a wasted Gene (played by Sal Mineo,) and he asks "Who's the snake charmer?"
Woman: Anita O'Day
Gene: She any good?
Woman: She's okay, if you like talent.

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