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Ivie Anderson


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Ivie Anderson (sometimes Ivy) (July 10, 1905 - December 28, 1949) was a jazz performer and singer, best known for performing with Duke Ellington’s orchestra between 1931 and 1942.
Anderson was born in Gilroy, California. With a sweet clear singing voice, she was a popular attraction with Ellington’s band. Her performance of “Stormy Weather” in the short film Bundle of Blues (1933) was eclipsed by the later and far better known version sung by Lena Horne in Horne’s movie also entitled Stormy Weather (1943).

Over Ellington’s long career as bandleader, his indifference toward vocalists changed with the hiring of Anderson, who generally considered the best vocalist he ever employed.
She also appeared as a singer in the Marx Brothers movie A Day at the Races (1937) and the same year in Hit Parade of 1937 (as Ivy Anderson).
Other Ellington songs featuring Anderson’s include “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)”, “My Old Flame”, “When My Sugar Walks Down the Street”, “Mood Indigo”, “Rocks in My Bed” and “I Got It Bad & That Ain’t Good”.
She developed chronic asthma, which forced her to retire from touring in August 1942. She ran a chicken restaurant (Ivie’s Chicken Shack) and continued singing in nightclubs on the west coast, but deteriorating health limited her engagements and led to her untimely death in Los Angeles, California.


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