Blossom Dearie is Jazz Singer

February 9, 2009

This is Blossom Dearie. She was a jazz cabaret singer, with a unique girlish voice, who was a fixture in New York and London nightclubs for decades. Read her biography below, and see videos.

Blossom Dearie

As sweet as her name, the deliciously gifted jazz-cabaret singer Blossom Dearie, died of natural causes in her Greenwich Village apartment Saturday at the age of 82.

She was a singer, pianist and songwriter with an independent spirit who voraciously guarded her privacy. Her style was somewhere between jazz and cabaret, with songs that were playfully fun but sexy.

Her last record was the 2003 single ‘It’s All Right to be Afraid’ which she dedicated to the victims and survivors of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Thanks Blossom. I was a fan.

Blossom Dearie Biography

Marguerite Blossom Deary was born on April 28, 1926 in East Durham, New York so her age was 82. She was a jazz singer and pianist, and often performed in the ‘bebop genre.’ She was well known for her distinctive, girlish voice.

As a child she studied Western classical piano but switched to jazz in her teens. After high school, Blossom moved to New York City to pursue a music career and began to sing in groups such as the ‘Blue Flames’ with the Woody Herman Orchestra and the ‘Blue Reys’ with Alvino Rey’s band before starting her solo career.

She moved to Paris, France, in 1952 and formed a vocal group, called the ‘Blue Stars.’ In 1954 the group had a hit in France with a French-language version of ‘Lullaby of Birdland’. The Blue Stars would later evolve into the ‘Swingle Singers.’ While in Paris she met her future husband, the Belgian flautist and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar. One of her most famous songs from that period is ‘The Riviera’.

Blossom’s first six American albums were mostly in a small trio or quartet setting. Dave Garroway, early host of The Today Show and a fan of Blossom’s, featured her on several occasions, increasing her exposure with the popular audience. In 1962, she recorded a song for a radio commercial of Hires Root Beer which became wildly popular and in 1964, she recorded the album ‘May I Come In?’

Blossom Dearie appeared on television throughout her career, most notably giving her voice to the children’s educational series Schoolhouse Rock!. (You can watch one of them below)

Her distinctive voice and songs have been featured on the soundtracks of several films as well, including ‘Kissing Jessica Stein’, ‘My Life Without Me’, ‘The Squid and the Whale’ and ‘The Adventures of Felix’. She also recorded songs with other singers, including Lyle Lovett.

One of the last remaining supper-club performers, Blossom Dearie performed regular engagements in London and New York City over many years and up until 2006.

Blossom died on February 7, 2009, at her apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City. You can hear her distinctive style on the video above, and a couple of tribute videos after the jump.

Blossom Dearie Video

Blossom Dearie ‘Schoolhouse Rock: Figure 8′ Video

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One Response to “Blossom Dearie is Jazz Singer”

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    breona Says: