Dinah Washington: “Queen of The Blues” “Queen Of The JukeBox” “Queen of The Jam Sessions”



Born: Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Parents: Ollie Jones and Alice Williams

Siblings: ?

Spouse(s): Married 7 times; see more at The Many Husbands of Dinah Washington

7th husband, Dick Lane (m. 1963–1963) Former Spouse
               6th husband, Raphael Campos (m. 1961-1962) 

Children: Robert Grayson and George Kenneth Jenkins

Dinah, George , and George, Jr.
                                        Dinah, George (2nd husband) , and George, Jr.

Education: Washington learned how to play piano at an early age and became a powerful gospel singer. She and her mother became popular attractions at local churches. Eventually, Washington was drawn to more secular music, and, when she was 15, she entered a talent contest at the Regal Theater. She won the contest and began splitting her time between church performances and club appearances.  – See more at: https://rockhall.com/inductees/dinah-washington/bio/#sthash.jmysVA98.dpuf


Occupation: Blues singer primarily jazz vocalist; performed a wide variety of styles including R&B and traditional pop

Accomplishments, Achievements, and Contributions: From Wikipedia

Dinah Washington has been cited as “the most popular black female recording artist of the ’50s”.[1] Primarily a jazz vocalist, she performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, and traditional pop music,[1] and gave herself the title of “Queen of the Blues”.[2] She was a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame,[3] and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Washington’s achievements included appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival (1955–59), the Randalls Island Jazz Festival in New York City (1959), and the International Jazz Festival in Washington D.C. (1962), frequent gigs at Birdland (1958, 1961–62), and performances in 1963 with Count Basie and Duke Ellington.


Grammy Award
Year Category Title Genre
1959 Best Rhythm & Blues Performance What a Difference a Day Makes R&B
Grammy Hall of Fame

Recordings by Dinah Washington were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have “qualitative or historical significance.”[10]

Year Title Genre Label Year Inducted
1959 Unforgettable pop (single) Mercury 2001
1954 Teach Me Tonight R&B (single) Mercury 1999
1959 What a Diff’rence a Day Makes traditional pop (single) Mercury 1998
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame         

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed a song of Dinah Washington as one of the songs that shaped rock and roll.[11]

Year Title Genre
1953 “TV Is The Thing (This Year)” R&B
Honors and Inductions
  • Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington is a 1964 album recorded by Aretha Franklin as a tribute.
  • In 1993, the U.S. Post Office issued a Dinah Washington 29 cent commemorative postage stamp.
  • In 2005, the Board of Commissioners renamed a park, near where Washington had lived in Chicago in the 1950s, Dinah Washington Park in her honor.[12]
  • In 2008, the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Washington’s birthplace, renamed the section of 30th Avenue between 15th Street and Kaulton Park “Dinah Washington Avenue.”[13]The unveiling ceremony for the new name took place on March 12, 2009, with Washington’s son Robert Grayson and three of her grandchildren, Tracy Jones, Tera Jones, and Bobby Hill Jr., in attendance.[14]
  • On August 29, 2013, the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Washington’s birthplace, dedicated the old Allen Jemison Hardware building, on the northwest corner of Greensboro Avenue and 7th Street (620 Greensboro Avenue) as the newly renovated Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.”[15]
Year Title Result Notes
1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducted Early Influences
1984 Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame Inducted

Death: December 14, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan by accidental overdose of lethal combination of the drugs secobarbital and amobarbital

            Dick Lane Saying Good Bye To Wife  Dinah Washington, Jet Magazine January 2, 1964
 Dinah Washington’s sons, George and Bobby grieve for their mother.

For more see Done With Dinah: The Death and Funeral of Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington is Amy Winehouse’s IDOL.

I Salute this AMAZING Her-story making sista!


Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame



2 thoughts on “Dinah Washington: “Queen of The Blues” “Queen Of The JukeBox” “Queen of The Jam Sessions”

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