“Dinah Washington” by Kate Shaffer
Artist: Kate Shaffer
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 24″
Description: Dinah Washington: born Ruth Lee Jones in 1924 has been called the “most popular black female recording artist of the 50’s”, although she called herself “Queen of the Blues”. She began by playing piano and singing in church. She got her big break when she won a talent contest at age 15. She began performing in Chicago jazz clubs with such greats as Fats Waller and playing clubs like the Three Deuces. When she went to see Billi Holiday at the Garrick Stage Bar she got the opportunity to sing for Club owner Joe Sherman. He hired her on the spot and Dinah worked the upstairs room while Billie sang in the main lounge. Dinah got her name change during the year at Garrick’s. Lionel Hampton heard her sing and made her an offer. She sang with his band until 1946. Dinah went on to record with Hank Williams, Duke Ellington and Count Basie among others. She is best known for her torch songs and falling in love having been married 7 times in her short life. Dinah went on to record many hits in the top 10 winning a Grammy in 1959 for “Unforgettable”. Three of her other songs are in the Grammy Hall of Fame and one in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1993) and the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame (1984) after her death in 1963 from a drug overdose.
Commission a smaller version, 16×20 for $700 each.