Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The oldest Ellingtonian?

Eve Duke, aka Eve Smith, aka Yvonne Lanauze, is still making music at the age of ninety-one, in a residential care facility in Vancouver. As Yvonne — just Yvonne — she sang on three 1950 Duke Ellington recordings, “Love You Madly,” “Mood Indigo,” and “Sophisticated Lady.” Here’s a 1945 photograph of Lanauze and Ellington. And some later photographs from Lanauze’s career with Three B’s and a Honey.

Yvonne is not the only mononymous singer to perform with the Ellington band. In the early 1970s, Ellington presented the singer Aura Rully, known as Aura:

Ellington closed the afternoon by bringing out a remarkable and beautiful Rumanian soprano named Aura, who hummed and scatted “Mood Indigo,” pushing her voice up almost beyond hearing and never missing a note or losing pitch.

Whitney Balliett, New York Notes: A Journal of Jazz in the Seventies (1977), from an entry for July 8, 1972.
Related reading
All OCA Ellington posts (Pinboard)

comments: 8

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Eve at a local Vancouver coffee shop. A grand, intelligent, and incredibly talented woman. And of course a healthy sense of humour! I lost touch when she moved to the care home. It was always a pleasure meeting with Eve.

Michael Leddy said...

You’re fortunate to have had those experiences. Thanks for sharing them here.

Unknown said...

Hello...I am an old friend of eve Smith's but also lost touch over the years...I'm trying to reach her now...any idea which care home she is in? Thanks.

Michael Leddy said...

The article I linked to has the name and a link. I hope Eve is doing well and that you can get back in touch.

Unknown said...

Hello...I cannot locate the name of Eve Smith's care home information as you suggested...
She would be 96 this year, hopefully she is still with us.
Thanks. Richard

Michael Leddy said...

It’s in the article as a link: St. Vincent’s: Langara.

I tried once to leave a message for someone whose work I wrote about in a blog post. In my experience, assisted-living and nursing facilities will not disclose information about whether someone lives there. But it might be possible to leave a message for someone. I wish you — and Eve Smith — well.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for the information...I will attempt to contact Eve Smith and will advise you of the results.
Many thanks again.Richard

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome, and best wishes for a happy reunion.