GRIFFIN Della 1960's

Della Griffin is the kind of singer you can count on for moving performances and delivers a ballad with all the heartbreak you could ask for. Her voice fills the songs she sings, weaving their way into your heart. The albums she has recorded contain classic standards and although many have seen the light of day many times there is always the nuance that is found when heard performed by a new singer. Della's versions are worth the listen. 

When her trumpeter brother-in-law gave Della Griffin a Billie Holiday record when she was 11 years old, it was the seed which eventually grew into a singing career. Griffin immediately reallocated her weekly allowance from paying for movies to buying all of Holiday's records as well as records by Count Basie, Charlie Barnet and other swinging big bands of the day. Griffin started singing professionally while still in South Carolina, performing at local clubs and dances. In the 1950's, she moved to New York to become part of The Enchanters, singing Doo Wop, cutting two records with them. She then went on the road with tenor man Jimmy Forrest of "Night Train" fame. The life of the road didn't suit her, so she hooked up with the Del-Tones when Gloria Lynne was in the group. She first gained fame with this group, singing arrangements by Slide Hampton. Griffin also recorded with Sonny Till and the Orioles during this time. In 1973, Griffin opened at Harlem's Blue Book Club. It became a steady gig for 14 years, ending only when Griffin was injured in a car accident. Frequent comparisons to Billie Holiday were both a blessing and a frustration. A frustration because she was persistently asked by audiences to sing the songs Billie sang. Limited in her ability to consistently do her own stuff, Griffin left the business. Returning in the 1980's, she worked with both Etta Jones and Irene Reid, recording with Jones. This work lead to two albums for Muse Records, I'll Get By and Travlin' Light, both produced by Houston Person. When Muse folded, Griffin followed many of that label's performers to newly-formed HighNote-Savant. Her first album for Savant, also produced by Person and on which he appeared, The Very Thought of You, came out in 1998. Ms Griffin continues to reside in New York and gigs regularly at clubs and other jazz events


Sorry, the lp is old and noisy but it is an interesting sample of Griffin early work.

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