How Marilyn Monroe’s Kindness Changed Ella Fitzgerald’s Life

Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at Mocambo because of her race. Then, one of Ella’s biggest fans made a telephone call that quite possibly changed the path of her career for good. Here, Ella tells the story of how Marilyn Monroe changed her life:

Ella Fitzgerald & Marilyn Monroe

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt… 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.”

(via littlesugarplumfairy)


      1. Most welcome, as always! =D

        Thursday is great, thank you! Back cycling today, so I’m thrilled.

        Enjoy your week! =)


  1. What an incredible share here today (well, as always!). Having always been a huge fan of both women I am delighted to learn this amazing connection I’d never read before. How wonderful are the ripples of kindness. Blessings, Gina


  2. Great story. From what I have read and seen about Marilyn, she was very knowledgeable of the impact of her brand. I recall one young photographer asking her if she minded if he took her picture. She said sure, but it would be better if you took it from other there. When he asked why, she said the lighting and angle are better.


  3. It had nothing to do with race, but the fact that Ella was overweight and not the typical beauty queen diva that nightclubs presented. The Macombo was in LA and had booked black acts like Dorothy Dandridge and Eartha Kitt years before Ella ever showed up. Marilyn did go to bat for Ella which would change her life. Marilyn knew that by showing up there would be a guranteed audience for Ella. This was the gig that launched Ella into major nightclubs at this point.


  4. How kind.

    In my experience, very beautiful ladies have very few friends
    They are usually treated like a commodity that will be finished very soon’
    and not human, I am glad that she met someone like Ella


  5. Reblogged this on A Grateful Man and commented:

    I love to experience and share stories of kindness. They inspire and help me to feel more connected to the hearts and spirits of others and my own. Such experiences and stories sometimes even help to wash away that which was beginning to obscure my vision so I can better see the the beauty, kindness, and so many other blessings all around me.
    With Love,

    Liked by 1 person

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