Sing Me A Swing Song (And Let Me Dance)

Ella Fitzgerald acc. by Chick Webb and his Orchestra

Record was made in 1936

This record was made in 1936 with Ella Fitzgerald, vocals; Mario Bauza, Bobby Stark, and Taft Jordan, trumpets; Nat Story and Sandy Williams, trombones; Edgar Sampson, Pete Clark, and Elmer Williams, saxophones; Joe Speele, piano; John Trueheart, guitar; Bill Thomas, string bass; and Chick Webb, drums and leader.

Chick Webb signed with the new Decca label in September 1934 and recorded prolifically for them for the remaining five years of his life; many of the records produced including this one were best-sellers.

But by November 1938, Webb’s health began to decline. He continued to play and refused to give up touring, disregarding his own discomfort so that his band could remain employed during the Great Depression. The circumstances were so dire in fact that he would often pass out from exhaustion after finishing a set. The bandleader finally had a major operation in 1939 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

William Henry “Chick” Webb died from spinal tuberculosis on June 16, 1939, in Baltimore at the age of 34. Reportedly his last words were “I’m sorry, I’ve got to go.” Webb was buried just outside Baltimore, in Arbutus Memorial Park, in Arbutus, Maryland.

Webb’s death was a crushing blow to the Jazz and Swing community. His loyal collaborator and friend Ella Fitzgerald assumed leadership of his Orchestra after his death, and stayed on until 1942 at which time she left to focus on a solo career.

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