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Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Featuring Piano Blues: Classic Female Blues

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United States - California - SF United States - California

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Barbara Dane

In the 1950s and ’60s Detroit-born Barbara Dane performed and recorded with many of the greats of jazz & blues including Earl Hines, Jack Teagarden, Benny Carter, Lightnin’ Hopkins, the Chambers Brothers, Memphis Slim, and Willie Dixon. Her first album, Trouble in Mind, appeared in 1957 on the San Francisco Records label. She recorded Livin’ with the Blues for Dot in 1959 with a combo that included Hines, Shelly Manne, and Benny Carter on trumpet instead of his usual alto saxophone. Dane appeared on national TV’s Timex Jazz Show with Louis Armstrong and was featured on Playboy After Dark, receiving a special award from Hugh Hefner as one of the outstanding jazz artists of the year. She scored a Top 40 hit in 1960 with a single on the Trey label titled “I’m on My Way” that was produced by Lee Hazlewood and Lester Sill and has become a cult classic in recent years on England’s Northern Soul scene. Her album On My Way (Capitol records, 1961) featured a different version of the song, which can be heard throughout the 2010 PBS special Freedom Riders.

Never confining herself to one genre, Dane also performed and recorded folk and world music, taking a cue from early mentor Pete Seeger. As a frequent headliner at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles, many young singers such as Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, and Ry Cooder were exposed to her music. In the 1960s and ’70s, she sang at demonstrations in Washington and in small towns all over America, from the Freedom Schools of rural Mississippi to the gates of military bases in Japan and Europe. In l966, Barbara became the first American musician to tour post-revolutionary Cuba. Outspoken and indomitable, she never allowed mainstream blacklisting to slow her down and her voice continues to sing out for social justice, civil rights and against war.