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Dinah Washington

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on 12 September 2012

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Transcript of Dinah Washington

The Queen of Blues and her 7 husbands Dinah Washington Born. 1924. Tuscaloosa. Died. 1963. Chicago. Princess of Blues Born as Ruth Jones in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1924
Began playing piano for St. Luke's Baptist church while in elementary school
Directed and sang in church choir as a teenager
Won talent competition at the age of 15 and began singing Chicago clubs in 1941
Secured first professional job at the Garrick Club after being discovered by Joe Sherman at the Three Deuces club
Acquired her stage name, Dinah Washington, at the Garrick club Before Fame First Gig Lionel Hampton came to the Garrick to hear Dinah sing. He hired her to be his vocalist after she performed with his band at the Chicago Regal Theater. She sang with the Hampton Band for two years. Husbands Married John Young in 1942 and split in 1943.

Married him because he put her in show business. Filed for divorce 3 months later. 1946-1954 George Jenkins. 1946-47 Jenkins was member of Lionel Hampton band. Divorced after birth of son, George Kenneth Jenkins in 1946.
Recorded first hit under Mercury Records, a version of Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'" Robert Grayson. 1947-50 Had 27 R&B Top 10 Hits between 47' and 55'

"Baby Get Lost"(1948) and "Am I Asking Too Much"(1947) were both #1 hits

Dinah's version of "I Wanna Be Loved" (1950) made it into the U.S. Top Hits Chart at #22.

Grayson was rumored to be Dinah's childhood sweetheart. They had a son named Robert Grayson.

Was making upwards of $15,000 per performance and dubbed the Queen of the Jukebox Walter Buchanan. 1950-57' Dinah's longest legal marriage even though they split after three months due to fights and alcohol abuse.

Sisters say she drank too much and took too many diet pills. Struggled with her weight.

Played with Clifford Brown in her 1954 Album 'Dinah Jams' The Queen of Blues 1959-1963 Eddie Chamblee. 1957-1961 Chamblee was a saxophonist that Dinah met in high school
Married on the stage of a night club. Dinah thought Chamblee was "The One"
Marriage ended after an on-stage brawl between the pair in a Miami nightclub. Chamblee cursed Dinah out on stage and she smashed his saxophone into a wall.

1959: First pop Top 10 Hit with "What a Diffrence' a Day Makes" which debuted at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard charts

1960: "Baby (You Got What it Takes)" debuted at #4 on the U.S. Billboard and #1 on the R&B charts. She sang with Brook Benton. A Secret Side to the Queen of Blues Dinah's sisters loved her and supported her through her rocky marriages and weight battles.

"To a lot of people, Dinah Washington's a star," says Dukes, "but to me she's my generous big sister. Because of her I got to do so many things. I grew up in the house she bought us and went to college with the money she gave us. My mama used to say, 'You're just like Ruth,' meaning we're strong willed. But Dinah was more generous than me. God bless my sister, she was generous until the day she died." Rafael Campos. 1961-1962 Hispanic actor that was 11 years younger than Dinah
Friends questioned the legitimacy of their marriage. Rumored to have left Dinah with one of her band members. The split was not a surprise. Dinah's last big hit was "September in the Rain" (1961). It debuted at #23 on the U.S. Billboard pop charts and #5 on the R&B charts. Dick "Night Train" Lane. 1963 Defensive backer for the Detroit Lions and Dinah's final husband.

They had known each other for a few years. They both cheated on each other.

Dinah died before they had even been married a year. In the summers Ruth took me and my sister and my brother and her two sons everywhere with her. I remember going to the Howard theater in Washington and the Apollo in New York. She spoiled us. She always bought us presents. Especially at Christmas--that was her favorite holiday." But during the last decade of her life Dinah Washington drank too much and took too many diet pills. She died from an overdose on December 14, 1963, when she was only 39. "We got the call at three in the morning," says Dukes. "I heard my mother on the phone outside my bedroom. I heard her say, 'Dead.' I thought she was talking about her uncle Henry, who had been very ill. When I heard it was Ruth I was devastated. Until then I had not experienced any death in my family. I took it very bad." Usually Ruth came to my mother's house for Christmas, but that year it was going to be different. She had married Dick 'Night Train' Lane, the football player. He had some money, and he didn't have to be taken care of. They had a real home. Ruth had already wrapped everybody's gifts. She really wanted us there. So there we were on Christmas unwrapping the presents she had wrapped and reading the cards she had written. I'll never forget what she gave me that Christmas--a chinchilla stole." Dinah's eldest son, George Jenkins, was killed in a train accident at the age of 53. Sources http://illkeepyouposted.typepad.com/ill_keep_you_posted/2012/01/t.html http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/dinah-wasand-wasnt/Content?oid=901004 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinah_Washington www.youtube.com
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