Ernestine Anderson Biography

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11 November 1928, Houston, Texas, USA. Raised in Seattle, Anderson has been singing professionally since her mid-teens. She worked extensively with R&B bands in the 40s, including those led by Russell Jacquet and Johnny Otis. A year with Lionel Hampton in the early 50s and a Scandinavian tour with bop trumpeter Rolf Ericson broadened her repertoire, but she remained well rooted in the blues. In later years Anderson developed her technique and range, her rich, molten sound being especially effective on the better contemporary pop songs. Despite spending long periods overseas (including several years’ residence in England from 1965), her international appeal remained limited. Indeed, the spell in Europe adversely affected her career in her homeland; even a national magazine profile that described her as the ‘new Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald’ did not help. A chance appearance at the 1976 Concord Summer Jazz Festival deservedly brought her to the attention of a new and wider audience, and since then she has performed and recorded extensively for the Concord label and she is now based chiefly on the west coast of America.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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