How Marilyn Monroe & Ella Fitzgerald broke the Color Barrier at the Mocambo Night Club.
Photo: “Marilyn Monroe with Ella Fitzgerald at the Mocambo. A popular Hollywood night club at the time that would not book Ella because of segregation. Marilyn told the manager that she would reserve a front row table every night Ella performed there. Ella performed a week later. 1955.” (imgur.com)
“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt,” Ella later said. “It was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”
“If asked ‘Who played an important role in the musical career of Ella Fitzgerald?’ you might respond with names like Chick Webb, Louis Armstrong, Norman Granz, and Dizzy Gillespie.”
The name Marilyn Monroe (who passed away 50 years ago this August), however, might not come to mind.
hot on elephant
A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 1,360 share Learn to Rock your Social Media & Write Mindfully with Waylon Lewis & Elephant’s Editors. 5 shares 2017’s First Full Moon in Cancer: Everything we Want is on the Other Side of Fear. 22,499 shares Why I Snort Raw Cacao. 9,015 shares The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Woman. 1,945 share If you Love her, Don’t Destroy Her. 6,386 shares The True Meaning of Friday the 13th (isn’t what we think). 5,213 shares The Power of Saying “He’s just Not into Me.” 1,761 share How to Disentangle ourselves from Karmic Relationships that Drive us Crazy. 135 shares You’ve Ruined Me for Anyone Else. 1,698 share