Satiric radio commentary for the 90s from the man who drained Lake Michigan and filled it with hot chocolate!!!

Goodbye, Ella.

Stan Freberg here. The world lost truly the first lady of song when we lost Ella Fitzgerald. She was one of those rare entertainers whose first name was all you needed to identify her. Ella. Back in a minute. [:60 SPOT BREAK]

Freberg again. I last saw Ella Fitzgerald a few years ago at a Society of Singers dinner. She sang with another great entertainer, whose first name was enough to identify him. Frank. Unforgettable.

But it's a wonder she appeared at all, seeing as how shy she was. The greatest jazz singer in the world, shy. When she came off, she always asked: "Did I do alright?" Alright? She had absolute perfect pitch. Mel Tormé said, "She had the best ear of anyone -- ever. She was the best singer on the planet." To say the least.

My son Donavan, as a young teenager tiring of the synthetic songs of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, suddenly disovered Ella. And he never looked back. Ella started singing at The Apollo Theatre in Harlem, at the age of 16 when she won a talent contest. Later, jazz empressario Norman Granz would manage her career, and talk her out of just doing her marvelous scat singing and into recording hit albums like The Cole Porter Songbook, Gershwin and Rodgers & Hart.

By the end of her life she had recorded more than 200 albums, and had become the greatest pop singer of all time. Tony Bennett said, "Her recordings will live forever. She'll sound as modern 200 years from now, no matter what kind of technology they come up with." Right on. There'll never be another you, Ella.

Stan Freberg here.

Copyright ©1996, Stan Freberg/Freberg, Ltd. (but not very) Distributed by Dick Brescia Associates and Radio Spirits, Inc.