Mildred Rinker Bailey was known to fans as "Mrs. Swing," whose slight, throaty voice won her acclaim as one of the great white jazz singers of the 1930s and 1940s. But the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe is now hoping to set the record straight once and for all: Bailey, who died impoverished in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1951, was an American Indian who spent her childhood on the reservation near DeSmet, Idaho. This week, the tribe introduced a resolution honoring Bailey in the Idaho Legislature, in part to convince the Jazz at Lincoln Center Hall of Fame in New York City to add her to its inductees — on grounds she helped blaze a trail for better-known singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. "Mildred was a pioneer," said Coeur d'Alene Tribal Chairman Chief J. Allan. "She paved the way for many other female singers to follow"/AP. More here. (Photo: Mildred Bailey images Web site)
Question: I sometimes listen to my old vinyls of Billie Holiday while writing my Huckleberries print column. She's my favorite female jazz singer. Who's yours?