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Sarah Vaughan

Possessor of one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century, Sarah Vaughan ranked with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday in the very top echelon of female jazz singers. She often gave the impression that with her wide range, perfectly controlled vibrato, and wide expressive abilities, she could do anything she wanted with her voice. Although not all of her many recordings are essential (give Vaughan a weak song and she might strangle it to death), Sarah Vaughan's legacy as a performer and a recording artist will be very difficult to match in the future.

Vaughan sang in church as a child and had extensive piano lessons from 1931-39; she developed into a capable keyboardist. After she won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater, she was hired for the Earl Hines big band as a singer and second vocalist. Unfortunately, the musicians' recording strike kept her off record during this period (1943-44). When lifelong friend Billy Eckstine broke away to form his own orchestra, Vaughan joined him, making her recording debut. She loved being with Eckstine's orchestra, where she became influenced by a couple of his sidemen, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, both of whom had also been with Hines during her stint. Vaughan was one of the first singers to fully incorporate bop phrasing in her singing, and to have the vocal chops to pull it off on the level of a Parker and Gillespie.

Other than a few months with John Kirby from 1945-46, Sarah Vaughan spent the remainder of her career as a solo star. Although she looked a bit awkward in 1945 (her first husband George Treadwell would greatly assist her with her appearance), there was no denying her incredible voice. She made several early sessions for Continental: a December 31, 1944 date highlighted by her vocal version of "A Night in Tunisia," which was called "Interlude," and a May 25, 1945 session for that label that had Gillespie and Parker as sidemen. However, it was her 1946-48 selections for Musicraft (which included "If You Could See Me Now," "Tenderly" and "It's Magic") that found her rapidly gaining maturity and adding bop-oriented phrasing to popular songs. Signed to Columbia where she recorded during 1949-53, "Sassy" continued to build on her popularity. Although some of those sessions were quite commercial, eight classic selections cut with Jimmy Jones' band during May 18-19, 1950 (an octet including Miles Davis) showed that she could sing jazz with the best.

During the 1950s, Vaughan recorded middle-of-the-road pop material with orchestras for Mercury, and jazz dates (including Sarah Vaughan, a memorable collaboration with Clifford Brown) for the label's subsidiary, EmArcy. Later record label associations included Roulette (1960-64), back with Mercury (1963-67), and after a surprising four years off records, Mainstream (1971-74). Through the years, Vaughan's voice deepened a bit, but never lost its power, flexibility or range. She was a masterful scat singer and was able to out-swing nearly everyone (except for Ella). Vaughan was with Norman Granz's Pablo label from 1977-82, and only during her last few years did her recording career falter a bit, with only two forgettable efforts after 1982. However, up until near the end, Vaughan remained a world traveler, singing and partying into all hours of the night with her miraculous voice staying in prime form. The majority of her recordings are currently available, including complete sets of the Mercury/Emarcy years, and Sarah Vaughan is as famous today as she was during her most active years. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Complete Sarah Vaughan On Mercury, Vol. 2

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 4
Disc 5
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Track List: The Complete Sarah Vaughan On Mercury, Vol. 3

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5
Disc 6

Comments

lockhartdina h
Her version of the Lord's Prayer this morning brought me to tears driving this morning.
I had the pleasure of seeing Sassy whenever she appeared at NY clubs.
esturm80
Frank Sinatra
aabraham31
She's terrific
bfap99
Every time I hear this song (this version) , I imagine a tango on Dancin with the stars
jomo44
thanks for Pandora it's a real nice treat. JZY JO
Mom and I love Sarah! Mom got to see her several times back in the day! Sarah had a voice of silk, and a heart of gold. Her voice is so smooth and soothing! Love her style and her delivery. Completely down to earth and real.
Great voice love her!
tamnmar
Such a beautiful voice.
geneveva
Sometimes I go back and forth with Ella and Sarah. At time both being co-#1s. I adore both so much, tough but great choice all around.
I love Ella, but for me it's. Sassy all the way!!
I was a little kid, maybe 4 or 5, when I first heard Sarah Vaughan singing on my father's old jukebox~size d radio. I've been told that I stood in front of that thing 4 an hour, singing my tiny lungs out along with her, so loudly that our elderly cat ran n2 the back bedroom, under the bed, & stayed there for 3 days!!!
Fortunately I was spared a human critique....
Ms. Vaughan is STILL my favorite singer!!! :-D :-D :-D
She certainly has a sublime voice and in my estimation she's on par with Ella Fitzgerald. Both women were THE BEST!!
andreanna.me t r u l a s
My Vote for Best, most Rich and versatile vocalists of Any genre !! Yes, Ella was and Is amazing but Sarah had more depth ...her voice tasted So damn good !! xoxo
beegee241
One of the very very best of all time.
I agree with the comment of royaldmd..We l l said. She compares well to Ella, Arethy, Etta James.
Simply a BEAUTIFUL SINGER/VOICE .
LOOOOVE THIS SONG!- GREAT SINGER!!!!- Stands the test of time!
Elvis
Elvis pressl
royaldmd
One of a kind! Just as Ella James, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Nina Simone, Diane Schur, Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee, Anita O'Day, Diane Krall, and Judy Garland...to name a few...were and are one of a kind! One doesn't take away from the other! They all add to the fabulous pool of music we are privileged to enjoy time and again. Bless them all for all the hours of pleasure they have given me and the rest of the world.
I love all of Sarah music. She was the Whitney Houston of her time. Check out Sarah and Billy on the 1985 Apollo special.
prsfmail-man
Lets be honest. Sarah had more similarities to Carmen then to Nancy...
A voice that comes but once in a lifetime.... . .
Let's not forget my personal fave...Etta James!
reddwine2go
A true God given talent.....b e a u t i f u l VOICE...Than k you Sarah...
helen20101
most enjoyable radio station. !!
andie2036
Have to admit, Sassy is my favorite. They''re all great! Best listening experience ever. As individuals, we all have our preferences. Choosing one artist over another does not diminish the others. Remember! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

andie20
alex35198
Alex326 unequalled unparraled there's Sassy and everybody else, thanks mom for the exposure to the Devine One
For many, many years she was always the best jazz vocalist in the Playboy Jazz poll. That wonderful voice never faded. The world was better for you.
She was another fantastic lady with a real voice that kept us going so many years ago not like today when you have to channel hop to here a good singer.R.I.P . Sarah
Effortless God given talent, a beautiful reflection of Essence and Uniqueness.. Never forgotten, gone too soon
MS. SARAH I LOVE YOU
Absolute elegance!
awesome! I absolutely love her - always have!
mcherry414
Wow, melodious voice of what love feels like.
Tbere are no words to capture the voice
Thank you pandora
Born March 27, 1924 in NEWARK, NEW JERSEY. Missing in the Bio Pandora.
@kekabas39 the sations arent just one single artist, but lots of artist who sound similar :) i like it that way, because I find lots of new artist's and songs :)
kekambas39
Why is the Sarah Vaughan radio station shared with other singers?
rdbellino
If you love Sarah, try Nancy Wilson!
showmereed7
Best ever NOW and then
awgraves9
Sarah, Ella, Carmen, and Dakota also
katesings49
Lucky enough to see her a number of times at the Fairmont Hotel, SF in the 60's. Always a special night. I feel so lucky to have seen so many of the greats. The great singers leave room for you to absorb the feel. I want to hear the singer take a breath. I agree with catholland3 wheres the brazilian stuff. Maybe it will pop up later. can't complain. Peace
catholland3
wheres brazilian nite CD
wsanton
Not doubt Sarah, Ella, Billie but Carmen was the bending end if you like that sort of thing
Sarah remains unmatched. I live in a town where you put a mic in front of any woman who can carry a tune, & she suddenly becomes a diva. All the would-be divas need to listen not only to the great singers, but to musicians.. THEY are the greatest singers, singing through their instruments, because they understand the fundamentals of music: Theory, harmony, phrasing, form. Sarah used her voice like a horn,part of the ensemble, not just sing-songing the tunes. Anyone can sing words & melody--
It seems people believe they must choose between Ella, Sarah, Billie, and so on. I love them all and am so thankful to have all the recordings. Very interesting to hear different interpretati o n s of songs. I've discovered some new favorites which does not diminish my appreciation of my old favorites. Anita O'Day, Blossom Dearie (who I've loved since School House Rock), Peggy Lee, Eve Boswell (and her sisters)are a few more ladies I love to hear on Pandora.
kind of a grudging bio -- sorry scott, i love ella too but she is a mere mortal.
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