LOS ANGELES -Links:
Anita O'Day, whose sassy renditions of "Honeysuckle Rose," "Sweet Georgia Brown" and other song standards that made her one of the most respected jazz vocalists of the 1940s and '50s, has died. She was 87.
O'Day died in her sleep early Thursday morning at a convalescent hospital in Los Angeles where she was recovering from a bout with pneumonia, said her manager Robbie Cavolina.
"On Tuesday night, she said to me, get me out of here," Cavolina said. "But it didn't happen."
Once known as the "Jezebel of Jazz" for her reckless, drug-induced lifestyle, O'Day lived to sing and she did so from her teen years until this year when she released "Indestructible!"
"All I ever wanted to do is perform," she said in a June 1999 interview with The Associated Press. "When I'm singing, I'm happy. I'm doing what I can do and this is my contribution to life."
Cavolina recently completed a feature film about O'Day and accompanied her to shows and on tours.
NPR Jazz Profiles
"Jazz On A Summer's Day"
I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out - Anita O'Day & The Ralph Burns Orchestra
What Is This Thing Called Love? - Anita O'Day & The Will Bradley Orchestra
I Ain't Getting Any Younger - Anita O'Day & Benny Carter