Personalities | Little Esther | Forties | Jazz & Blues

(Vocals, 1935–84)

Esther Mae Washington was born in Galveston, Texas. She moved to the Los Angeles area at the age of five and in 1949 was discovered by Johnny Otis. Her first recording with Otis, ‘Double Crossing Blues’, was a number-one R&B hit in 1950. In that year the pair had two more number ones on the R&B chart, ‘Mistrustin’ Blues’ and ‘Cupid’s Boogie’. On her own after 1951, Esther continued to record but her career suffered ups and downs due to her narcotics addiction. As Esther Phillips, she returned in 1962 with yet another R&B number-one, ‘Release Me’, and other hits.

Styles & Forms | Forties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Machito | Forties | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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