Blossom Dearie

Blossom Dearie was a jazz vocalist and pianist that began to make a name for herself in New York City during the fifties. Blossom is one of the old school style jazz singers that had to actually work for her fame by playing nightly at supper clubs. This was no lowly task as many of the big names of jazz played supper clubs. You may ask, what is a supper club? You know in those old black and white movies from the fifties when the main character is eating dinner some glitzy night club place and Sinatra comes out on the stage and performs, everybody wearing top notch suits, everybody on their best behavior, well that’s a supper club or what we think of today as a social club.

Born in 1924 in East Durham, New York Blossom grew up in the shadow of New York City. It must have been a glimmer in her eye from an early age to make it big in NYC. She moved to NYC shortly after graduating high school. After performing regularly there for around ten years she moved on to Paris France for a few years then returned. Paris also had a thriving jazz community, perhaps more so then any other European city at the time. Spending time there gave Blossom a unique take on the music and also allowed her to try things on new audiences. Her big break came after she returned to NYC when she did a radio ad for Hires Root Beer. This musical ad did was received really well and led to a Blossom Dearie album titled “Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin’ Songs” which she recorded for the beverage company. This album was distributed solely through Hires by way of a dollar and a proof of purchase. How’s that for a collectors item?

I gotta be honest I didn’t realize until I was doing research for this article that Blossom had quite so many albums. Simply said she has a shitload of albums. Not including her work with other artists, of which she did much, Blossom Dearie released something to the tune of thirty albums, I’ll list them below just so you can see the craziness. Of all of her albums I am familiar with one, “Once Upon a Summertime”, it really is a fantastic album when I initially listened to it I assumed it was a greatest hits but no, it’s just one of her typical releases. I’d strongly recommend it as a starting point.

1) Blossom Dearie Plays “April in Paris” [1956]
2) Blossom Dearie [1957]
3) Give Him the Ooh-La-La [1957]
4) Once Upon a Summertime [1958]
5) Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green [1959]
6) Soubrette Sings Broadway Hit Songs [1960]
7) My Gentleman Friend [1961]
8) Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin’ Songs [1963]
9) May I Come In? [1964]
10) Blossom Time at Ronnie Scott’s [1966] *live
11) Sweet Blossom Dearie [1967] *live
12) Soon It’s Gonna Rain [1967]
13) That’s Just the Way I Want to Be [1970]
14) Blossom Dearie Sings [1974]
15) 1975: From The Meticulous to the Sublime [1975]
16) My New Celebrity is You [1976]
17) Winchester in Apple Blossom Time [1977]
18) Needlepoint Magic [1979] *live
19) Simply [1983]
20) Positively [1983]
21) Et Tu, Bruce [1984] *live
22) Chez Wahlberg: Part One [1985]
23) Songs of Chelsea [1987]
24) Tweedledum & Tweedledee -Two People Who Resemble Each Other, in this Case Musically- [1991] *with Mike Renzi
25) Christmas Spice So Very Nice [1991] *with Mike Renzi
26) Our Favorite Songs (1996) *greatest hits
27) I’m Hip (1998) *greatest hits
28) Blossom’s Planet [2000]
29) It’s All Right to Be Afraid [2003] *single

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