Anita O'Day Was Jailed For Marijuana Possession
(Friends (O)/Anita O\'Day )
"When you haven't got that much voice, you have to use all the cracks and crevices," she once said.
Miss O'Day was born Anita Belle Colton in Chicago . She left home at 12 and often bragged about being "self-made" and never having a singing lesson.
She was a relatively unknown singer in jazz joints in Chicago when Gene Krupa hired her as his $40-a-week vocalist in 1941.
Her first million-selling record — and best-known early recording — "Let Me Off Uptown" paired O'Day's sultry vocalizing with Eldridge's raspy voice and roaring trumpet.
Besides Krupa's group, she also spent shorter stints with Woody Herman and Kenton, whose intellectual, "modern" sound did not mesh with her accent on easy swing.
The relentless performing on tour triggered a nervous breakdown, and over the next decade, she was jailed for marijuana and heroin possession.