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    Is there a bio. on Laura Washington who sang with Erskine Hawkins in 1947

    0  Views: 306 Answers: 1 Posted: 3 years ago

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    All I could find were a couple obituaries, which were identical:


    JAZZ SINGER OF 1940S DIES OF CANCER


     


    Sep. 4, 1990 11:33 AM ET


    BIRMINGHAM, ALA. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ Laura Washington, a smoky-voiced jazz vocalist who sang with Erskine Hawkins' orchestra on Broadway in the 1940s and made the hit record ''I've Got A Right To Cry,'' has died of cancer. She was 64.


     


    A memorial service was planned tonight for Miss Washington, who died Thursday. Members of the Birmingham Heritage Band planned to play an old Johnny Mercer ballad, ''Laura,'' in her memory.


     


    Miss Washington made her debut at the Strand Theater on Broadway in 1946, the same year she made ''I've Got A Right To Cry.'' She performed in the 1940s as the only woman member of Hawkins' 18-piece band.


     


    In New York, Miss Washington met her idol, Ella Fitzgerald, and became friends with another Alabama native, blues singer Dinah Washington.


     


    ''Her whole style was similar to Ella's,'' said Birmingham jazz musician J.L. Lowe.


     


    Lowe, who discovered Miss Washington's singing talents as a child and later recommended her to Hawkins, said she could have become a jazz legend if she had not left her career in the 1950s to return to Birmingham to raise a family.


     


    She did not sing professionally again for more than 25 years, until her children were grown and her husband, Julian Dash, had died. She returned in the 1980s to perform weekends at a downtown club, Grundy's.


     


    ''Musicians who remembered her from the old days were astounded to find out she still had that voice, even in her 60s,'' said Lowe. ''Her voice was like an instrument. It was a gift.''




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