Seven of Ella Fitzgerald's greatest songs on her 100th birthday.
Today (April 25th 2017) marks what would have been jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday, and with that in mind we celebrate the influence she has had on the music industry with just a few of her best cover numbers from 'Mack The Knife' to 'Summertime'.
Ella Fitzgerald was born 100 years ago today
1. Goodnight My Love - Ella Fitzgerald's first single with King of Swing Benny Goodman. Written by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel and originally sung by Shirley Temple for the 1936 film 'Stowaway', Ella's version was released in 1937 and topped US charts. She later released it on her 1968 album '30 by Ella'.
2. A-Tisket, A-Tasket - This lively number was chart-topping extended incarnation of a nineteenth century nursery rhyme. She co-wrote the lyric embellishments with Al Feldman and was joined by the Chick Webb Orchestra upon its 1938 release. She followed that up with another version entitled 'I Found My Yellow Basket'.
3. T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) - Another song with the Chick Webb Orchestra, Ella recorded this in 1939 where it got to number 19 in the charts. Co-written by Sy Oliver and Trummy Young and co-recorded by Jimmie Lunceford and Harry James, the song is perhaps best known now for the Fun Boy Three and Bananarama pop version released in 1982.
4. Mack the Knife - A 1960 recording of the Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht standard. Ella didn't receive as much chart success with her version as Bobby Darin did with his a year before, but her flawless improvisation of the song's lyrics on 'Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife' won her the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
5. How High the Moon - This single joined 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket' in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002, having been recorded in 1960. Originally written by Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis for the 1940 Broadway revue 'Two for the Show', it was first recorded as a hit by Benny Goodman & His Orchestra. Now it serves as one of Ella's signature concert tunes.
6. Summertime - From her collaborative 1958 album with Louis Armstrong, 'Porgy and Bess', based on the George and Ira Gershwin opera of the same name. The album itself won a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2002 and it remains one of the most covered songs in the history of music with more than 33,000 to its name.
7. The Lady Is A Tramp - Another show tune, this time from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical 'Babes in Arms', this was more of a hit for the likes of Frank Sinatra than it was for Ella, but that doesn't change the fact that it is one of her greatest covers in her career. Her duet with Sinatra was a bonus.