#881: Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald first came to national attention with her #1 hit in 1938, “A Tisket, A Tasket.” Before Billboard Magazine began in the 1940’s the song was listed at #1 on the Record Buying Guide and the weekly radio broadcasts of Your Hit Parade, a radio a radio institution on NBC, started in 1935, that billed itself as “an accurate, authentic tabulation of America’s taste in popular music.” She was born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1917. Ella’s mother Temperance “Tempie” Fitzgerald and a second lover, Joseph Da Silva, moved to Yonkers, New York, in 1920. Joe dug ditches and was a part-time chauffeur, while Tempie worked at a laundromat. At age 15 both her mother and Joe died in quick succession, her mom from complications arising from an automobile accident and Joe from a heart attack. In 1934, Ella won a draw to complete in an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Originally planning a dance routine, a troupe that performed ahead of her were so spectacular she spontaneously decided to sing instead. Her performance brought the crowd to its feet and she did an encore.