who was Marilyn Monroe
- Much more than she was portrayed to be apparently...
from GKeillor's "Writer's Almanac":
It's the birthday of Ella Fitzgerald, born in Newport News, Virginia, in
1918. She loved to sing and dance as a child; and when she was 16, she
entered a contest at the Apollo Theater—at that time no more than a hip
local club in Harlem. She had a dance routine worked out, but once she got
on stage she lost her nerve. So instead of dancing, she sang. She won the
contest and soon became a celebrity across all of New York. She joined Cab
Calloway and Duke Ellington as the only performers who could draw
audiences at the Apollo from south of 125th Street.
Marilyn Monroe was one of her biggest fans. Ella said, "I owe Marilyn a
real debt. It was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular
nightclub in the '50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and
told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she
would take a front table every night. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was
there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I
never had to play a small jazz club again."