Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Ella Fitzgerald on Marilyn Monroe

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt... it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him - and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status - that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.” - Ella Fitzgerald

Imagine that. Because of segregation in the 50s, one of the greatest jazz singers on the planet couldn't get a gig in a popular nightclub until a white female movie star -- who happened to be one of her biggest fans -- interceded.  Just think of all the change that could take place if white female movie stars demanded it. Heck. White people, period.

And why do you suppose they didn't include this important moment in that made-for-tv Marilyn bio pic?

Happy belated birthday, Norma Jean. You were a lot cooler than I thought.

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