Here is a great song performed by the beautiful jazz and soul singer Jean DuShon.
Detroit native, Jean DuShon (born Anna Jean Harris) was the very first artist to record the legendary Ron Miller/Orlando Murden classic, “For Once in My Life”. Others have claimed to be the first, but it was DuShon who was invited to Miller's home to interpret the tune. DuShon started singing gospel as a child in a Baptist church and later won numerous talent contests which inspired her to go professional at 15. Like countless young singers, DuShon was fascinated by the artistry of blues queen Dinah Washington, whose “home away from home” was Detroit. Washington confronted DuShon one night backstage at the Flame, prompting the young girl to develop her own style. Years later, DuShon sensed someone in the audience at Birdland staring at her intensely and her gaze zeroed in on an evil-eyed “blond” woman, who turned out to be the Queen of the Blues herself, Dinah Washington! After studying voice at the Detroit Conservatory, DuShon caught the attention of famous agent, John Levy, who was managing he likes of Joe Williams, Dakota Staton, Cannonball Adderley, Sarah Vaughan, Ramsey Lewis, Wes Montgomery, George Shearing and his new star, the dynamic Nancy Wilson. He secured many class engagements across the nation for DuShon and her national fame grew. One of the premiere jazz and blues singers ever, DuShon also starred on Broadway. For a brief period, DuShon sang with Lloyd Price's Band and the legendary Fats Domino invited her to tour the nation with him. They played the best places, culminating in Las Vegas at the lavish Flamingo Hotel. Back in New York at Birdland, DuShon also shared marquees with jazz greats Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt. During this period, she wowed audiences at the Blue Note and Basin Street East. While she was with ABC-Paramount, she appeared at the Village Gate with Ray Charles and was the sole female vocalist at the 1967 New Jersey Jazz Festival with Count Basie, Joe Williams and Ramsey Lewis. Her nightclub schedule was grueling as she worked in all types of venues with a plethora of performers including Etta James, Motown's Marvin Gaye, and Smokey Robinson. In southern states she shared bills with T-Bone Walker, Screamin' Jay Hawkins. At New York's Apollo Theatre, she graced the stage with Big Mama Thornton, Big Maybelle. She was called to Chicago to replace Odetta in the musical "Little Dreamer: A Nite in the Life of Bessie Smith". DuShon made time for several TV appearances, most notably "PBS's Soul!" (with B. B. King), The Merv Griffin Show. DuShon then received a call in Paris, France from the producers of "Blues in the Night", which was set to open in New York in four weeks. Famed R&B legend, Ruth Brown had become ill and was unable to continue. DuShon flew to New York and went into rehearsals with Leslie Uggams and Debbie Shapiro. Her scorching rendition of Bessie Smith's heart-breaking “Wasted Life Blues” had the same impact as Jennifer Holliday's “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going”. During a European stint, she sang for Princess Grace of Monaco and was invited to perform for King Hussein of Jordan. Returning home in 1992, she performed at one of Bill Clinton's inaugural galas with Little Jimmy Scott and B. B. King. Still performing, DuShon is ready to record again!
Enjoy Jean Dushon's voice and great class!
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