Dinah Washington, Queen of the Blues

Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington, "Queen of the Blues"

Dinah Washington was one of the greatest blues singers of all time.

In 1959 she received a Grammy for Best R & B performance for What a Difference a Day Makes.

Three of Dina's recordings received posthumous Grammy awards:

1954 Teach Me Tonight

1959 Unforgettable

1959 What a Difference a Day Makes

And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed Dinah's 1948 R&B recording Am I Asking Too Much? as one of the 500 recordings that influenced Rock and Roll.

Dinah was born Ruth Jones in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1924 and moved with her family to Chicago as a child. As so many other great vocalists, she sang gospel music in church,. She became church choir director at age 16 and was a member of the Sallie Martin Gospel Singers. After winning a talent contest at age 15 she began performing in clubs. She joined Lionel Hampton in 1943 as his vocalist and changed her name to Dinah Washington. She went on from there to become the greatest blues singer of the 1950s.

I heard Dinah Washington sing at the Flame Show Bar in Detroit in the early 1960s when she was dating and then married to star Lions running back, Dick "Night Train" Layne, her eighth husband. She died of a drug overdose at age 39 in 1963. Her performance was unforgettable.


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6 comments

jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 9 years ago from Scotland

sorry ralph that video doesn't work


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Thanks Jimmy. It worked on YouTube. Try this one. Also one of my favorites.


IĆ°unn 9 years ago

wonderful~


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I heard Dinah live at the Flame Show Bar in Detroit.


Whitney 7 years ago

that first picture is Billie Holiday, not Dinah Washington.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You are so right! Thanks! It's a famous picture of Billie Holliday. I'll correct the error.

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