Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

Available on iTunes
ELLA FITZGERALD: JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS traces the iconic singer's life, from her gutsy appearance as a teen at Harlem's Apollo Theatre amateur night in 1934 to her death in 1996 at the age of 79, having traveled the world to appreciative international audiences. Her debut performance at the Apollo was so good, "You could hear a rat piss on cotton," says Norma Miller, a sprightly 100-year-old dancer who was blown away in the theater that night. Fitzgerald's family fled the racism and poverty of the South for Yonkers, NY, but she continued to face plenty of racism through the rest of her life. She was homeless and imprisoned in a reform school, yet her indomitable determination helped her rise to dizzying success as her undeniable talent, ever-girlishly pure voice, musicality, breath control, phrasing, diction, and joy in performing brought her large audiences of all races. She soon toured with bandleader Chick Webb, who became her mentor until his early death. An array of biographers, musicians, and admirers, including Smokey Robinson, Cleo Laine, and Tony Bennett, offer laudatory commentary. The film showcases her sound, her sterling pitch, her inimitable scat singing, and her commanding stage presence as she moves through jazz, bebop, swing, and the Great American Songbook, the contents of which she repopularized and brought to the world through tours and recordings. She worked with many of the greats, including Count Basis, Duke Ellington, and Frank Sinatra, all the while maintaining a modest attitude about what many call her "genius."
Starring Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Jamie Cullum
Director Leslie Woodhead