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Died – Demise – Obituary : Janet Thurlow, who sang throughout Seattle’s Jackson Road jazz heyday, dies at 96 #Janet #Thurlow #sang #Seattles #Jackson #Road #jazz #heyday #dies



Died – Demise – Obituary

Janet Thurlow, who sang throughout Seattle’s Jackson Road jazz heyday, dies at 96

Janet Thurlow, a singer who labored on Seattle’s Jackson Road throughout its post-World Conflict II jazz heyday and later toured with Lionel Hampton, encouraging him to rent her childhood good friend Quincy Jones, died Oct. 4 in Lynwood, California, close to Los Angeles.

The trigger was congestive coronary heart failure. She was 96.

For Seattle jazz musicians of the late Nineteen Forties, Thurlow was not solely a revered singer however a hip den mom who made it her enterprise to attach everybody on the scene.

“She invited me to the Washington Social and Instructional Membership to listen to Bumps Blackwell’s band,” Invoice Crow, a bassist who was a pupil on the College of Washington who would go on to work with Stan Getz, stated in an e-mail. “She launched me to Bumps, Gerald Brashear, R.C. (I didn’t discover out his title was Ray Charles for fairly some time), Quincy Jones, Buddy Catlett (on alto), Floyd Standifer and Main Pigford. R.C. was taking part in piano and doubling on alto sax.”

Born in Seattle in 1926, Thurlow grew up in a musical household and sang on the Main Bowes Beginner Hour radio present when she was 5 years outdated.

“We had been all very musical,” recalled Thurlow’s sister, Carolyn Burke. “Our mom performed classical piano and we might all get across the piano and sing.”

Thurlow took violin and voice classes and attended Seattle’s Broadway Excessive Faculty, however dropped out after ninth grade, when her dad and mom divorced, to assist increase her 4 siblings. When her mom died a number of years later, Thurlow moved into an house on East Madison Road.

“That’s the place I actually began listening to jazz,” stated Thurlow in a 1989 oral historical past interview. “Ray Charles lived about 5 blocks down from me and used to name me to come back down and repair his lunch, or his dinner … he’d play piano and I’d sing with him. So I began going out to the after-hours locations.”

At the moment, mixing in a Black jazz scene was a daring and strange transfer for a younger white lady. However Thurlow enthusiastically embraced a world she discovered welcoming and heat, fronting a combo with pianist Cecil Younger and relationship Black musicians reminiscent of pianist Winfield King and Lionel Hampton trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, whom she later married. For many of 1951, she additionally toured with Hampton, changing into one of many first white singers to work with a Black band.

On the street, Thurlow pestered Hampton to rent Jones, and earlier than the yr was out, he did. An Aug. 31, 1951, commercial for a Hampton look at Seattle’s Trianon Ballroom boasted: “Two Seattleites, Quincy Jones and Janet Thurlow.”

“Janet Thurlow was candy,” recalled Jones in one other oral historical past interview. “She used to put in writing me, ‘Come on all the way down to New York — Hamp desires to see you.’ She saved bugging him about ‘Don’t neglect about Quincy.’”

Thurlow may be heard with Hampton on his recording of “I Can’t Consider That You’re in Love With Me” in addition to a 1953 Charlies Mingus Octet album that includes Mingus’ music about interracial love, “Eclipse.”

Thurlow and Cleveland moved to Los Angeles in 1967 and for a few years she taught vocal music there however didn’t carry out. In 1983 she started showing round city with Cleveland’s “little large band.”

Trying again over her time in Seattle, Thurlow was matter-of-fact and down-to-earth.

“It was simply strange folks making an attempt to make it, that’s all,” she stated within the 1989 interview. “And our hearts had been in music.”

Thurlow was preceded in dying by her husband in 2008 and by their solely little one, James, Jr., in 2021. Along with her sister Burke, of Lynnwood, she is survived by many nieces and nephews.

A memorial was held final month in Lynwood. No memorial is deliberate for Seattle.

Janet Thurlow, who sang throughout Seattle’s Jackson Road jazz heyday, dies at 96

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