Ella Fitzgerald

Today is the great Ella Fitzgerald‘s birthday (1917 – 1996).

One sample won’t do it.  Above is her 1956 version of “Blue Moon,” and it proves a point: when Ella sings the most familiar of standards, you hear it like it’s the first time.  That voice.  Always that voice.

After the jump, some rare footage and live performances.  And, yes, of course, a couple of duets with Louis Armstrong.

Singing “A Tisket, a Tasket” in her first film role, Ride ‘Em Cowboy.

Singing “Mack the Knife” at a time when you could actually turn on the television and see such things.

“Dream a Little of Me” with Louis Armstrong.

Finally, something perfectly seasonal: “April in Paris,” also with Louis Armstrong.

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