A Woman to Know: Sarah Vaughan

When I sing, trouble can sit right on my shoulder and I don't even notice. — Sarah

(image via Wikimedia Commons)


They called her "Sassy." Or "The Divine One." They said things like, "Her voice had wings."

But in the history of Dizzie Gillespie and Charlie Parker and the creators of bebop, Sarah's name is often remembered as "just" the singer. Just a voice.

But in her multi-decade career, Sarah's voice spanned multiple genres, from jazz to opera to even, at the end of her life, Brazilian fusion music. She was the master of the comeback — every decade, she would reinvent her sound for new audiences, new festivals and new productions.

"There's a category for me," she said. "But I like to be referred to as a 'good singer.' Of good songs, and of good taste."

P.S. I'm giving away some of these beautiful Julie Gough postcards depicting famous women in history. Fill out this form here to be entered to win! P.P.S. You should follow Julie's Tumblr, Illustrated Women in History. I'm seriously obsessed with it.

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