Wednesday Open Thread |Our Gems Week: Sarah Vaughan

Today’s Gem is Sarah Vaughan.


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Sarah Vaughan Biography
Pianist, Singer (1924–1990)

Born on March 27, 1924, in Newark, New Jersey, Sarah Vaughan grew up with a love of music and performing. Winning a talent competition held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater launched her singing career. She worked with bandleaders Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine before becoming a successful solo performer who commingled pop and jazz. At age 66, Vaughan died in Hidden Hills, California, on April 3, 1990.

Early Life

Sarah Lois Vaughan was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 27, 1924. Outside of their regular jobs—as a carpenter and as a laundress—her parents were also musicians. Growing up in Newark, a young Sarah Vaughan studied the piano and organ, and her voice could be heard as a soloist at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Vaughan’s first step toward becoming a professional singer was taken at a talent contest held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, where many African-American music legends made their name. After being dared to enter, she won the 1942 competition with her rendition of “Body and Soul.” She also caught the attention of another vocalist, Billy Eckstine, who persuaded Earl Hines to hire Vaughan to sing with his orchestra.

Singing Success

In 1944, Vaughan left Hines to join Eckstine’s new band. Also working with Eckstine were trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker, who introduced the group to a new form of jazz, known as bebop. An inspired Vaughan brought bebop into her singing, which can be heard in the 1945 recording of “Lover Man” that she made with Parker and Gillespie.

After performing with Eckstine’s orchestra for a year, Vaughan briefly worked with John Kirby before leaving big bands behind to become a solo artist (though she often reunited with Eckstine for duets). Having already been given the nickname “Sassy” as a commentary on her onstage style, it was while striking out on her own that she was dubbed “The Divine One” by a DJ in Chicago. In the late 1940s, her popular recordings included “If You Could See Me Now” and “It’s Magic.”

The next decade saw Vaughan produce more pop music, though when she joined Mercury Records she also recorded jazz numbers on a subsidiary label, EmArcy. She sang hits like “Whatever Lola Wants” (1955), “Misty” (1957) and “Broken-Hearted Melody” (1959), which sold more than a million copies. Vaughan gave concerts in the United States and Europe, and her singing was also heard in films such as Disc Jockey (1951) and Basin Street Revue (1956).

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Later Career

After the 1950s, shifting musical tastes meant that Vaughan no longer produced huge hits. However, she remained a popular performer, particularly when she sang live. In front of an audience, her emotional, vibrato-rich delivery, three-octave vocal range and captivating scat technique were even more appealing. Though her voice took on a deeper pitch as Vaughan got older—likely due in part her smoking habit—this didn’t impact the quality of her singing, as could be heard on “Send in the Clowns,” a staple in her repertoire.

Vaughan’s later recordings include interpretations of Beatles songs and Brazilian music. Over the years, she collaborated with people like producer Quincy Jones, pianist Oscar Peterson and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Vaughan won her first Grammy thanks to her work with Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Gershwin Live! (1982).


Vaughan’s final concert was given at New York’s Blue Note Club in 1989. She passed away from lung cancer on April 3, 1990, at age 66, in Hidden Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. Married and divorced four times, she was survived by her adopted daughter.

Throughout her career, Vaughan was recognized as a supremely gifted singer and performer. She was invited to perform at the White House and at venues like Carnegie Hall, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1989 and was selected to join the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1990. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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32 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread |Our Gems Week: Sarah Vaughan

  1. Liza says:

    Rikers again.

    Head of Rikers Island anti-violence unit allegedly ordered officers to punt an inmate's face— NYDN Local (@NYDNLocal) March 24, 2016


  2. My daughter is here making spaghetti with texas garlic toast, corn, green beans w/ bacon, dr pepper. Mmmmm….

  3. rikyrah says:

    A Rubio post-mortem.

    Death of a Mannequin: Marco Rubio’s Last Day

    Rubio wanted voters to give him the most important job in the world because he didn’t feel like doing his current one

    By Jeb Lund March 18, 2016

    Better things were supposed to be in store for Marco Rubio. The people paid to tell you that couldn’t stop telling you.

    He was young and good-looking and told inspiring stories that made the hairs stand on the backs of the necks of people who can be inspired by American conservatism. He stood a generation apart from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and he could deliver a new way forward, for the American people. He was the one candidate that the Beltway chattering classes knew the Democratic establishment most feared, and some Democrats agreed with them. He could make his voice warble when saying “America” emphatically…

    The fatal streak running through the Rubio narrative was the same one that runs through so many conservative candidates. For someone bound by blood to the cult of the self-made entrepreneur as the only non-cop/soldier of any value as a citizen, Rubio merely spent two awkward belches in the private sector amid a career built on taxpayer dollars, donor largesse and patronage. He was a career politician and glad-hander calling out government cronyism with a sense of self-awareness so broken that he couldn’t weather the barest standards of his own ideology…

    What the Rubio campaign needed everyone to forget was that — to anyone who doesn’t live off political news, to anyone not inured to the blocked toilet that is Florida politics — Marco Rubio sounded like either a moron or a crook.

    All that might have been enough to overlook if there had been any ideas behind Rubiomentum. But Rubio was a Reagan Republican in the same way that all other Republicans are Reagan Republicans: 95 percent of what he believes hasn’t been updated since 1981. As to the remaining five percent, any time something new came out of his mouth, half the journalists covering him wanted to run around to the side of the stage to catch a glimpse of the puppeteer from the Heritage Foundation with an arm shoulder-deep up his ass…

    His announcement that his campaign was over could not have been more fitting for what his campaign represented: A passionate delivery of an old idea everyone had already memorized, delivered instead as news. A few people listening had red eyes, as some internal mechanism in Rubio yanked down a lever to the Emotionally Uplifting Twaddle setting.

  4. rikyrah says:

    I honestly thought that they were just bullshytting when they first came up with this contested convention mess. I never thought that they were SERIOUS.

    How you gonna tell your OWN VOTERS..

    oh well…too bad….so sad…


    That they’d do it to NON-REPUBLICANS – yes…that’s who they are.

    But, do it to THEIR OWN…and think that there will be no repercussions?

    That is pony and unicorn shyt right there.


    Nominating Donald Trump will end the Republican Party as we know it. So will not nominating him.
    March 22, 2016, 8:00 a.m.

    Nominating Donald Trump will wreck the Republican Party as we know it. Not nominating Trump will wreck the Republican Party as we know it. The sooner everyone recognizes this fact, the better.

    Denial has been Trump’s greatest ally. Republicans and commentators didn’t believe he would run. They didn’t believe he could be an attractive candidate to rational people, no matter how angry with “the establishment” voters said they were. They – which includes me – were wrong.

    The denial lasted longer for some than others. Long after many observers had come to the realization that Trump was the front-runner, Jeb Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise, believed Bush’s real rival was Sen. Marco Rubio. It spent $35 million trying to destroy Rubio before it dropped its first $25,000 attacking Trump.

    Over the weekend Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus showed the first public signs of acceptance about what’s in store for the party. He finally acknowledged that the Republican nominee was probably going to be determined on the convention floor in Cleveland.

    • Liza says:

      Trump will run as a third party candidate and guarantee that they lose the election.

      Their party would be better off in the long term to let this play out and run better candidates in 2020.

      If Hillary wins, she will most likely be very vulnerable in 2020, given her dismal performance in all her other positions.

    • Ametia says:

      Both the Democratic & Republican PARTY are up to NOTHING but PURE SHADINESS!

      For sure, this election cycle, it’s all about the DEMOCRATIC PARTY VOTER SUPRESSION

      SHADY: illegitimate. underhanded. dishonorable. corrupt. sneaky.

  5. Liza says:


    5 Outrageous Examples of Voter Suppression in the Arizona Primary
    Zach Cartwright | March 23, 2016

    During last night’s primary, Arizona election officials showed America what textbook voter suppression looks like. While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both won their respective primaries, the lingering questions of voter disenfranchisement will mar those victories.

    Here are five examples of how Arizona voters were denied their voice last night:

    1. Lines were so long people literally spent an entire work day waiting in line
    In 2012, Maricopa County, which is the most populous county in Arizona, had over 200 polling locations open on primary day. In 2016, that number was reduced to just 60. This amounted to over 20,000 voters for every polling location, meaning voters had to stand in line for hours to cast their ballots.

    As it turns out, elections in Arizona are governed by the county recorder, who determines how many polling places are actually open on Election Day. The recorder in Pima County, which houses Tucson, had twice as many polling locations open than in Maricopa County. And Pima County is roughly one-third the size of Maricopa County.

    Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell was responsible for the reduction in polling places in 2016, justifying it by saying turnout was traditionally low, so the solution was to reduce the number of places where citizens could cast their vote.

    In the wake of so many stories and social media outbursts about long lines, Helen Purcell became the target of outrage. However, when confronted by a local reporter, Purcell instead blamed the voters for getting in line. Literally.

    Purcell may have been responsible for a new Maricopa County record: The last ballot in her county wasn’t cast until after midnight local time, or 3 AM Eastern time.

    2. Clear voter suppression in Latino neighborhoods

    In Helen Purcell’s mad dash to consolidate polling locations across Maricopa County, she somehow forgot to have polling places open in densely-populated Latino communities on the day of the primary. This is a glaring oversight given that 40.8 percent of Phoenix’s 1.5 million residents are Latino. State Senator Martin Quezada told that the lack of available polling locations for the Latino community was problematic.

    “In my district, there is only one polling place,’’ Sen. Quezada said. “In my neighboring district, LD 30, there are no polling places.”

    “It is no coincidence many poor and predominantly Latino areas didn’t get a polling place,” editorial columnist Elvia Diaz wrote Tuesday night.

    3. Democrats mistakenly registered as independents, given provisional ballots

    As Arizona voters were still waiting to cast their ballots, US Uncut reported on allegations that voters who had previously registered as Democrat were instead listed in the voter database as “independent” or “no party listed.” In Arizona’s closed primary system, independent voters are denied their voice by having to vote with a provisional ballot. But what voters classified as “independent” who cast provisional ballots don’t realize is that their ballots are never counted.

    42-year-old Kelly Thornton, who worked as an Election Day Technician in Yavapai County voting center 5 on Tuesday, told US Uncut that roughly two thirds of voters who came to her precinct had been mistakenly identified as independent by the election software. All of those voters were subsequently forced to cast a provisional ballot.

    “One man was a lifelong Democrat who was listed as independent. He left the precinct, went to his house, and came back with a card showing that he was registered as a Democrat,” Thornton told US Uncut. “But when I called the election center (administered by the county recorder’s office), they told me to just give him a provisional ballot anyway.”

    Given that one of Bernie Sanders’ largest bases of voter support comes from independents, it isn’t hard to see why the Vermont senator lost Arizona handily — his core supporters’ ballots weren’t counted.

    4. Suspicious evacuations of county buildings at peak voting times

    The office of the Pima County recorder, which oversees elections in the Tucson area, received warning of a suspicious package in an adjacent garage, and workers answering calls from polling places had to put everything on hold for nearly an hour. By the time workers returned to the phones, they had to bring in additional staff to help with the call load.

    According to Tucson News Now, that wasn’t the only location that received a bomb threat on primary day:

    Four locations in Tucson received bomb threats on Tuesday, so the building was evacuated as a precaution. At the time of the evacuation, the Pima County Recorder’s Office had been staffing a voter help line to answer questions about voter eligibility, polling locations and other voting-related issues.

    5. Calling Arizona for Hillary Clinton while people were still in line

    At roughly 8:30 PM local time, a little over an hour after polls closed, with less than one percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the Arizona primary. In Democratic primaries and caucuses, delegates are awarded proportionally, meaning that even if a candidate “wins” a state, their opponent still gets a share of delegates. If the win is razor-thin, delegates are split. A premature declaration of victory for one candidate may discourage thousands of people still waiting in line from voting.

  6. rikyrah says:

    AIPAC’s apology for Trump speech is unprecedented
    March 22 at 6:41 PM

    This morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu experienced something that American politicians have become all too familiar with — being overshadowed by Donald Trump.

    The prime minister’s video-linked speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference was preceded by the unscheduled introduction of AIPAC President Lillian Pinkus and four other leaders. Choking back tears, Pinkus apologized for Monday night’s speeches, implying that Donald Trump had violated a nonpartisan standard.

    “From the moment this conference began, until this moment, we have preached a message of unity,” Pinkus said. “We have said, in every way we can think of: Come together. But last evening, something occurred which has the potential to drive us apart, to divide us. We say, unequivocally, that we do not countenance ad hominem attacks, and we take great offense to those that are levied against the president of the United States of America from our stage.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz, calls on GOP to ‘overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity’ of Trump
    MARCH 23, 2016 7:29 AM

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney did not back down from his feud with Donald Trump at a GOP dinner Tuesday night.
    The former Republican presidential nominee joked about the billionaire’s foreign-born wives.

    “Donald Trump has had several foreign wives. It turns out that there really are jobs Americans won’t do,” Romney reportedly quipped at the annual dinner hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)

  9. rikyrah says:

    Folks, what kind of phuckery happened in Arizona last night?

    • Liza says:

      Good question and the answer is that it’s all bad. I posted an article from, but so far the msm seems to be avoiding this story like a plague. Instead they are hawking Hillary’s “big win in Arizona.”

    • Ametia says:

      That’s the $64,000 QUESTION!


      • Liza says:

        Well, the spin the Hill-bots are using is that “Hillary had a big win in a state with a large Latino population.” I want to know the percentage of “Latino” Democrats who voted for Hillary. There is a large concentration of Hispanic Democrats in Raul Grijalva’s district. Given that he endorsed Bernie Sanders, I just don’t see the majority of them voting for Hillary.

        And, statewide, I sure as hell do not see Latino voters supporting Trump. Arizona has a closed primary, so they would have to be registered Republican to vote from Trump.

        Also, early voting by mail is huge in Pima County and I doubt those votes have been counted yet. Oh, and then there’s that mishap with the provisional ballots and registered Democrats somehow showing up as Independents on the voter listings.

        This is starting to feel like Mississippi, circa 1964, nothing to be proud of here in Arizona today.

  10. rikyrah says:

    WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2016 04:58 AM CDT
    Ted Cruz’s terrorism freakout: He perfectly demonstrates how to not appear “presidential” after a terrorist attack
    Ted Cruz lectures Barack Obama about post-terrorism leadership, then proposes creating an anti-Muslim police state

    News of the Brussels terrorist attacks came at an opportune moment for Republicans who are ever eager to paint President Obama as a weakling on the world stage. The bombings occurred as the president was in the middle of his historic visit to Cuba, and Obama’s Republican and conservative critics leaped at the opportunity to make a devastating non sequitur: while terrorism strikes in Belgium, Obama is hanging out with the Castros. It’s a two-fer that casts Obama as weak on both terrorism and international communism. Those lines of attack shoot right for the dopamine centers of the right-wing national security lizard brain.

    Obama, for his part, issued a brief statement on the attacks on Monday morning, saying that the United States stands with Belgium and will “do whatever is necessary” to bring the responsible parties (early signs point to the Islamic State) to justice. “This is yet another reminder that the world must unite,” Obama said, “we must be together, regardless of nationality, or race, or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.” It was a condensed version of the statements Obama delivered in response to the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and the San Bernardino terrorist attack the month after that: unity, resolve, calm.

  11. rikyrah says:

    High-stakes election results offer something for everyone
    03/23/16 08:00 AM—UPDATED 03/23/16 08:22 AM
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    By Steve Benen
    With five candidates from two parties remaining in the 2016 presidential race, yesterday’s nominating contests spread the victories around. Everyone except John Kasich woke up this morning with something to brag about.

    But as the dust settles on this week’s primaries and caucuses, the frontrunners also took one step closer to their goal.
    The western state primaries represented another step in forts to amass support in the race to the nomination, with both Trump and Clinton hoping that they may tally an outright majority of their party’s respective delegates before the summer conventions get contentious.

    But Cruz and Sanders both got some great news that can help stall the momentum each of their rivals have received with recent wins.
    Among Republicans, yesterday’s two contests went exactly the way everyone expected them to go. Donald Trump, who was expected to win easily in Arizona did exactly that, beating Ted Cruz by more than 20 points. This is no small prize: the primary in the Grand Canyon State was the first major contest in the West, and with 58 delegates on the line, Trump walks away with all of them in the winner-take-all affair.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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