Up close and personal

The two greatest things about Blossom Dearie were:

  • That voice, which sounded like it ought to belong to someone named “Blossom Dearie”;
  • That name, which was her real name.

Okay, they gave her “Marguerite” as a first name. She got over it. And in a career that stretched over six decades, she made dozens of records and thousands of friends.

If your taste in jazz runs to the small ensemble and the whatever-it-is of bebop, you’ve almost certainly already discovered Dearie. (If you haven’t, here’s about nine minutes of her in the middle 1980s.) One thing I did not know: she provided vocals for some songs for Schoolhouse Rock.

And now she’s gone, at eighty-two.

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3 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    11 February 2009 · 10:29 am

    “Marguerite” is French for a type of Daisy, so technically it’s still “Blossom.”

    I knew her better for Schoolhouse Rock than for anything, but didn’t realize that until years later when I bought a CD of Jerome Kern songs, one of which she performed (“I Won’t Dance,” and an excellent version it is) and realized how familiar that voice was…and then read the liner notes.

  2. McGehee »

    11 February 2009 · 1:29 pm

    I saw her once on (I think) Mike Douglas. I don’t remember very well what I thought of her music, but the name and her appearance definitely made an impression on my young sensibilities.

    As I recall, on that occasion her hair was long, straight, and snowy white, and later when I discovered who played Grandmama on “The Addams Family” I wondered if they were related.

  3. McGehee »

    11 February 2009 · 1:32 pm

    Now that I think of it, we had a black-and-white TV back then — I may have only thought her hair was white…

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