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Jazz radio history: L.A. Theater Works does Dinah Washington

Dinah WashingtonInteresting jazz radio stuff all around the ‘Net this weekend:

First, L.A. Theater Works has a great radio portrait of Dinah Washington. Starts out with Washington famously refusing to leave the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas in 1959 (she didn’t have a white escort), and moves on from there:

“Miss Washington, if you choose to use the casino you will have to be accompanied by a man.”

“White man?”

“Yes.”

“You free?”

Yvette Freeman plays Dinah Washington. Dinah Was Part One here. Part Two here.

Second, you can get a first listen to Esperanza Spaulding’s new album “Radio Society” on NPR’s music site.

“The benefit of the radio is, something beyond your realm of knowledge can surprise you, can enter your realm of knowledge,” Spalding tells NPR’s Weekend Edition. “Part of the premise of that stems from my concern about the accessibility of jazz, just how people can access it. If you don’t already know about jazz music, how would you be exposed?”

Third, the NPR Jazz blog has a huge array of interesting stuff, including an interview with bassist Christian McBride, a conversation with Eddie Palmieri on the eve of his 75th birthday, and a jazz lecturer’s shocking discovery that some of his students have never heard of Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington.

I was sort of shocked some years back when I discovered that none of my students had ever heard of Enrico Caruso. But given that the guy died in 1921, I gave them a pass. But never heard of The Bird? Egads . . .


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