Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dinah Washington - "What A Difference A Day Makes" (information, lyrics, sound file, and comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a three part series on the last name (surname) "Washington" in the United States.

Part II presents information about the African American vocalist Dinah Washington and showcases her singing "What A Difference A Day Makes". Information and comments about that song and about Dinah Washington and song lyrics are also included in this post.

Click for Part I of this post. Part I presents excerpts from several online articles about the last name "Washington". Part I also includes excerpts from a 2002 research project that I commissioned on surnames in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Part I presents excerpts from several online articles about the last name "Washington". Part I also includes excerpts from a 2002 research project that I commissioned on surnames in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Click for Part III. Part III presents information about the African American musician Grover Washington, Jr and showcases an example of his rendition of "Inner City Blues". A post on the tune "Soulful Strut" that features a version by Grover Washington will be published ASAP.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Dinah Washington for her musical legacy. Thanks also to Mexican songwriter María Grever for composing "What A Difference A Day Made" and Stanley Adams for writing English lyrics for this song. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this sound file on YouTube.

"Dinah Washington (born Ruth Lee Jones; August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963), was an American singer and pianist, who 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...

After winning a talent contest at the age of 15, she began performing in clubs. By 1941–42 she was performing in such Chicago clubs as Dave's Rhumboogie and the Downbeat Room of the Sherman Hotel (with Fats Waller). She was playing at the Three Deuces, a jazz club, when a friend took her to hear Billie Holiday at the Garrick Stage Bar. Club owner Joe Sherman was so impressed with her singing of "I Understand", backed by the Cats and the Fiddle, who were appearing in the Garrick's upstairs room, that he hired her. During her year at the Garrick – she sang upstairs while Holiday performed in the downstairs room – she acquired the name by which she became known. She credited Joe Sherman with suggesting the change from Ruth Jones....

In 1959, she had her first top ten pop hit, with a version of "What a Diff'rence a Day Made",[8] which made Number 4 on the US pop chart. Her band at that time included arranger Belford Hendricks, with Kenny Burrell (guitar), Joe Zawinul (piano), and Panama Francis (drums). She followed it up with a version of Irving Gordon's "Unforgettable", and then two highly successful duets in 1960 with Brook Benton, "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" (No. 5 Pop, No. 1 R&B) and "A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love)" (No. 7 Pop, No. 1 R&B). Her last big hit was "September in the Rain" in 1961 (No. 23 Pop, No. 5 R&B).[7]"...

"What a Diff'rence a Day Made" is a popular song originally written in Spanish by María Grever, a Mexican songwriter, in 1934. Originally, the song was known as “Cuando vuelva a tu lado” ("When I Return to Your Side"). The song is also known in English as “What a Diff'rence a Day Makes”, as popularized by Dinah Washington.[2]....

Song information
The English lyrics were written by Stanley Adams, and was played by Harry Roy & his Orchestra. It was published in late 1934. The most successful early recording, in 1934, was by the Dorsey Brothers, although it was first recorded in English by Cleveland crooner Jimmie Ague.[1]

Dinah Washington won a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance with this song. Her version was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.[3] It also earned her first top ten Pop hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]
This Wikipedia page gives the song genre as "Pop". However, Dinah Washington's "What A Difference A Day Makes" has also been categorized as "Blues", "Rhythm & Blues", and "Jazz".

(composed by María Grever; English lyrics by Stanley Adams)

[as sung by Dinah Washington]

What a diff'rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain

My yesterday was blue, dear
Today I'm part of you, dear
My lonely nights are through, dear
(Since you said you were mine)

What a diff'rence a day makes
There's a rainbow before me
Skies above can't be stormy
Since that moment of bliss
That thrilling kiss

(It's heaven when you find romance on your menu)
What a diff'rence a day made
And the difference is you

(What a diff'rence a day makes)
(There's a rainbow before me)
(Skies above can't be stormy)
Since that moment of bliss, that thrilling kiss

(It's heaven when you find romance on your menu)
What a diff'rence a day made
And the difference is you


SHOWCASE EXAMPLE : Dinah Washington: What Difference A Day Makes

phalenopsis1Published on Jul 2, 2009
A commenter wrote that this was recorded in 1959.

Selected comments from this sound file's discussion thread:
These comments are given in chronological order based on their publishing date, except for replies, with the oldest comment given first. These comments may not be in consecutive order. I've assigned numbers for referencing purposes only.

[Note: Unfortunately a glitch in YouTube or in my computer only won't allow me to read comments after number of page loadings.]

1. 2011Ohmygoodness
"Wow. When I was a little girl, I grew up listening to music like this. My Dad used to play this all of the time, may he rest in peace. Dad, thanks for playing such wonderful music around me and I miss you so much." 

2. Rick Newsome
"This song is part of my young DNA. Miss Washington's voice mixed with the oxygen of our Queens apartment along with the Q5A bus fumes and cigarette smoke; I breathed it all in which fueled my mind with jazz, blues and life."

3. firstbornbirdman
"She was born to sing this song! She owns it completely. Definitely one of my favorites of classic jazz."


4. tippimail1
"The best-all bow down to her."

5. Elaine Dennis
"Feel lucky that my parents had such good taste in music and was brought up listening to music like this." 

6. Gabriel Sandoval
"Originally a bolero, one of the most beautiful expressions of music. Titled, Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado. Written by the female Mexican song writer Maria Grever. Check out the original, I think you'll enjoy."

7. FazeSouthLDN
"Wow! Big up YouTube for giving access to dinah's angelic voice ;-). "

8. Bjr Adrian
"Lord, she was Dinah. She left us too soon."

9. Tamara Vukcevic Jankovic
"Music for all times!!!!"

10. Jonathan K. [2016]
"She wasn't even 40... She had a hard life though.

mark Prescott [2016]
11. "+Jonathan K. sorry to hear she had a hard life. She deserved the best. RIP my darlins."

12. Wayne Brasler
"The song was titled "What A Difference A Day Made." It was at the recording session it became "What A Difference A Day Makes." It proved a smash and gave Dinah an entire new career at a point she might be expected to have done her greatest work. She as a genius talent; listen to that phrasing, listen to that in-the-moment expression, listen to that pitch perfect vocalizing, listen to that great sense of timing, listen to that voice! She was a singer other singers admired."

13. John Palazzini
"Dinah was the very best......and this song is an everlasting classic ! ! !"

14. oceantracks
"We moved to FL in the early Sixties when I was 11. The house we moved in was airy and Mom often kept the windows open, and all through those long Summer days she played this album on our living room stereo. Dinah's voice filled our home, and now these songs bring back the memories so clearly of that time. She loved Dinah, and now that I'm an adult, I can see why."

15. Jasmine Baloyan
""first take" artist “She had a voice that was like the pipes of life. She could take any melody in her hand, hold it like an egg, crack it open, fry it, let it sizzle, reconstruct it, put the egg back in the box and back in the refrigerator, and you would’ve still understood every single syllable of every single word she sang. Every single melody she sang she made hers. Once she put her soulful trademark on a song, she owned it and it was never the same.”
~ Quincy Jones ~"

16. routeman680
"I could not remember who sang this song, and I found Brenda Lee and now Dinah Washington. Dinah's voice is perfect, excellent diction, phrasing and pitch. This is the classic version by a top class performer."

17. rick smiff
"She told Kenny"just brush the drums,man"...and THAT made a difference"

18. mkl62
"This hit from Dinah Washington, aka The Queen of Blues, went to #4 on the Top 40 charts. It went to #1 on the Rhythm & Blues charts. It would finish at #45 for the year, 1959."

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