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Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters had a long and varied career, and was one of the first true jazz singers to record. Defying racism with her talent and bravery, Waters became a stage and movie star in the 1930s and '40s without leaving the U.S. She grew up near Philadelphia and, unlike many of her contemporaries, developed a clear and easily understandable diction. Originally classified as a blues singer (and she could sing the blues almost on the level of a Bessie Smith), Waters' jazz-oriented recordings of 1921-1928 swung before that term was even coined. A star early on at theaters and nightclubs, Waters introduced such songs as "Dinah," "Am I Blue" (in a 1929 movie), and "Stormy Weather." She made a smooth transition from jazz singer of the 1920s to a pop music star of the '30s, and she was a strong influence on many vocalists including Mildred Bailey, Lee Wiley, and Connee Boswell. Waters spent the latter half of the 1930s touring with a group headed by her husband-trumpeter Eddie Mallory, and appeared on Broadway (Mamba's Daughter in 1939) and in the 1943 film Cabin in the Sky; in the latter she introduced "Taking a Chance on Love," "Good for Nothing Joe," and the title cut. In later years Waters was seen in nonmusical dramatic roles, and after 1960 she mostly confined her performances to religious work for the evangelist Billy Graham. The European Classics label has reissued all of Ethel Waters' prime recordings and they still sound fresh and lively today. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Her Eve was on the Sparrow all her life. Arguably one of the most caring, kind entertainers ever to come down the pike. She was truly one of a kind. How lucky we can still hear her voice and see her films. Truly one of the great ones. Rest in Peace Ms. Waters. You are missed.
The Lady with the Heart of song! The Best!!!!!
dave2650
I first saw Ethel Waters with the Billy Graham Crusades. Her music before she saw the light was much more interesting (IMO.)
When i was child the last hour she sing , lot of nice songs
beachgirls19 6 2 1
Wow wish could of seen that Tony
tony89777
Over 40 years ago, I heard her sing Sparrow at a Billy Graham meeting... changed my life.
beachgirls19 6 2 1
she was and is still great
When I was 12 years old I picked up her bio, His Eye Is On The Sparrow, I read her book over and over. It was bliss whenever, I spied a drama show on the telly, with Ms Waters, I was and I am still glued to her, beautiful face and that voice... Nel
Beautiful
beachgirls19 6 2 1
love my ethel shes the greatest
great song! she does it the best!! Love this version!
where are the Ethel Waters fans ??????
beachgirls19 6 2 1
soo much better then mae west
s
beachgirls19 6 2 1
nobody does it better
beachgirls19 6 2 1
What great woman
carolaha06
I'm looking for Ethel Water's His Eye is on the Sparrow. Do you have that?
Ethel Waters stage name was Sweet Mama String Bean :)
pdllll
do you have any of her work done post 1960?

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