Sarah Vaughan was a popular twentieth century African-American Jazz singer. She was recognized for her beautiful voice and often nicknamed ‘Sassy’, ‘Sailor’ and ‘The Divine One’ for her salty speech. Moreover, she won a Grammy Award and was awarded the “highest honor in jazz” by The National Endowment for the Arts.
Sarah Lois Vaughan was born on March 27, 1924 in Newark, New Jersey to carpenter and guitarist father, Asbury Vaughan. Her mother also had a singing background as she used to sing in choir. During the First World War her family moved from Virginia to Newark. Sarah began to take piano lessons at the young age of seven. She would sing in the church choir and play piano at different services. The popular records and radio music were her favorite. Newark in those days had an active live music scene at night clubs. Seeing various bands on tour performing at those clubs inspired Sarah and she ventured into Newark’s night clubs and performed as pianist and sang occasionally.
At first Sarah went to Newark’s East Side High School and later transferred to Newark Arts High School. However, the academic pressure began to affect her love of music and late night performances, thus she dropped out of the high school. This time around Sarah and her friends began to wander across New York City to catch popular bands playing music. Inspired by their performances, Sarah tried her luck at Harlem’s Zeus Theater. It is recorded by some biographers that she immediately became popular after that amateur night performance. Soon after, she was introduced to bandleader and pianist Earl Hines. He took her under his wings and replaced the current male singer in his band with her.
During 1943 to 1944, Sarah Vaughan toured with Hines’ band which she joined as a pianist. But when Hines brought another pianist to the band, her duties became limited exclusively to singing. The major band member Billy Eckstine, left the band in late 1943. He gathered various talented jazz artists to perform in his band. Upon invitation from him in