Honoring T-Town’s Finest: Dinah Washington
92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, and 105.1 The Block in partnership with the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Delta Phi Lambda Chapter, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Xi Omega Chapter, along with Robinson Automotive, Bryant Bank, and Dixie Motors in Northport, we are proud to salute Dinah Washington.
Dinah Washington was one of the greatest female vocalists to have sung jazz and popular music in the 20th century, according to udiscovermusic. The famous singer was born on August 29,1924 right here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Though primarily a jazz vocalist, Washington performed many different genres and has been embraced as a mainstream artist. The singer was so confident in her talents that she referred to herself as the "Queen of the Blues." Some of her classic hits include: "Evil Gal Blues," "What a Diff'Rence A Day Makes," and "Baby Get Lost."
Washington was given the birth name Ruth Lee Jones and grew up in Chicago singing in the church choir. She got her big break when she was discovered by Joe Glaser in 1942. Upon Glaser's request, Washington joined Lionel Hampton's band where she was given her stage name, Dinah Washington. The singer later went on to have a short, but very successful career. In 1986, Washington was an inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Some critics viewed Washington as arrogant and despised her self-proclaimed Queen status. One of the star's most iconic quotes mentioned Queen Elizabeth as she declared to an audience, "There is but one Heaven, one Hell, one Queen, your Elizabeth is an imposter"
Washington died in 1963, but her musical legacy lives on. Tuscaloosa has honored the late singer and shown its admiration in various ways throughout the city. In 2008, the city renamed the section of 30th avenue between 15th street and Kaulton Park, "Dinah Washington Avenue." Also, the former Allen Jemison Hardware building was dedicated to Washington. In August of 2013 the former building was newly renovated as the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.
For more information on Dinah Washington and her legacy click here.
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