Blossom M. Dearie (1924 - 2009)

ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM

Summary

Blossom M. Dearie’s biography is built and maintained by people like you. Create an online profile of Blossom so that her life is remembered forever. If any factual information is incorrect, please edit Blossom’s biography.

Blossom Dearie
American jazz pianist
Blossom Dearie was an American jazz singer and pianist. She had a recognizably light and girlish voice. One of the last supper club/cabaret performers, she performed regular engagements in London and New York City over many years.
Died: February 7, 2009, Greenwich Village, New York City, NY
Spouse: Bobby Jaspar (m. 1956–1963)
Movies and TV shows: Schoolhouse Rock!, Marie and Bruce, Billy Daniels: That Old Black Magic
Songs
I'm Hip
Rhode Island Is Famous for You
Surrey With the Fringe on Top
Albums
My Gentleman Friend
1961

Blossom Dearie Sings Co...
1960

Give Him the Ooh‑La‑La
1958

Blossom M. Dearie Biography & Family History

This genealogy profile is dedicated to the life and ancestry of Blossom M. Dearie and her immediate Dearie family. Add to Blossom M. Dearie's genealogy page to share your memories & historical research with her family and other genealogy hobbyists.

Birth

in New York United States

Death

on in New York, New York County, New York United States

Cause of death

There is no cause of death listed for Blossom.

Burial / Funeral

Do you know the final resting place - gravesite in a cemetery or location of cremation - of Blossom M. Dearie? Add burial and funeral information.

Obituary

Last Known Residence

Did Blossom move a lot? Did she emigrate from another country? Add Blossom's last known location.

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Family

Add family members

Education

Did Blossom finish grade school, get a GED, go to high school, get a college degree or masters? What schools or universities did Blossom attend? Add education.

Professions

Share what Blossom did for a living or if she had a career or profession. Add Profession.

Organizations

Add organizations, groups and memberships.

Military Service

It is unknown if Blossom M. Dearie is a military veteran.

Middle name

M.

Maiden name

Unknown. Add maiden name

Surnames

Ethnicity

Unknown. Add Blossom's ethnicity.

Nationality

Unknown. Add Blossom's nationality.

Religion

Unknown. Was Blossom a religious woman? Add Blossom’s religion

Gender

Female

Timeline

1924 - In the year that Blossom M. Dearie was born, Macy's department store in New York held its first "Thanksgiving parade" on November 27th at 9a - during church services but leaving plenty of time to attend the big football game between Syracuse and Columbia universities. The parade was held as a way to promote the opening of the “World’s Largest Store” and its 1 million square feet of retail space in Manhattan’s Herald Square. The parade was 6 miles long and included floats, Macy's employees dressed as clowns, cowboys, and sword-wielding knights, and animals from Central Park Zoo. Santa Claus, of course, brought up the rear - opening the Christmas shopping season for Macy's.

1957 - At the age of 33 years old, Blossom was alive when on September 24th, the "Little Rock Nine" (nine African-American students) entered Little Rock High School. Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus had previously prevented the students from entering the school at the beginning of the term with the Arkansas National Guard - they blocked the door. President Eisenhower ordered federal troops - the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army - to guard the students and allow them entry.

1967 - Blossom was 43 years old when on October 2nd, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first black US Supreme Court justice. Marshall was the great-grandson of a slave and graduated first in his class at Howard University Law School. His nomination to the Supreme Court was approved by the Senate, 69 to 11.

1981 - When she was 57 years old, on August 1st, MTV debuted. It was the first music video TV channel. The first music video played was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - the second was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

1983 - She was 59 years old when "crack" cocaine was developed in the Bahamas and spread to the United States. Previously, cocaine had been cut with other substances, diluting it. Crack was 80% pure and therefore was more addictive. It was also cheaper, making it more easily available to low income neighborhoods.

Blossom M. Dearie Family Tree

Who was Blossom’s parents? Did she get married and did they have children? Share Blossom’s family tree to share her legacy and genealogy pedigree.

Blossom's Family
Add a parent
Add a parent
Blossom M. Dearie
Add a partner
Add a child
Add a sibling

You can add or remove people from Blossom's family tree by clicking here.

Obituary

This obit of Blossom M. Dearie is updated by the community. Edit this biography to contribute to her obituary. Include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Blossom Dearie, Cult Chanteuse, Dies at 84
By STEPHEN HOLDEN FEB. 8, 2009
Blossom Dearie, the jazz pixie with a little-girl voice and pageboy haircut who was a fixture in New York and London nightclubs for decades, died on Saturday at her apartment in Greenwich Village. She was 84.
She died in her sleep of natural causes, said her manager and representative, Donald Schaffer. Her last public appearances, in 2006, were at her regular Midtown Manhattan stomping ground, the now defunct Danny’s Skylight Room.
A singer, pianist and songwriter with an independent spirit who zealously guarded her privacy, Ms. Dearie pursued a singular career that blurred the line between jazz and cabaret. An interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself. Rarely raising her sly, kittenish voice, Ms. Dearie confided song lyrics in a playful style below whose surface layers of insinuation lurked. Her cheery style influenced many younger jazz and cabaret singers, most notably Stacey Kent and the singer and pianist Daryl Sherman.
But just under her fey camouflage lay a needling wit. If you listened closely, you could hear the scathing contempt she brought to one of her signature songs, “I’m Hip,” the Dave Frishberg-Bob Dorough demolition of a namedropping bohemian poseur. Ms. Dearie was for years closely associated with Mr. Frishberg and Mr. Dorough. It was Mr. Frishberg who wrote another of her perennials, “Peel Me a Grape.”
Ms. Dearie didn’t suffer fools gladly and was unafraid to voice her disdain for music she didn’t like; the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber were a particular pet peeve.
The other side of her sensibility was a wistful romanticism most discernible in her interpretations of Brazilian bossa nova songs, material ideally suited to her delicate approach. Her final album, “Blossom’s Planet” (Daffodil), released in 2000, includes what may be the definitive interpretation of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave” Her dreamy attenuated rendition finds her voice floating away as though to sea, or to heaven, on lapping waves of tastefully synthesized strings.
Blossom Dearie, the eclectic jazz singer, performing in 2004 at Danny’s Skylight Room, her regular spot for years. Credit Rahav Segev for The New York Times
Born Blossom Margrete Dearie in East Durham, N.Y., on April 28, 1924, she was a classically trained pianist who switched to jazz after joining a high school band. Moving to New York City in the mid-1940s, she sang with the Blue Flames, a vocal group attached to the Woody Herman band, and with Alvino Rey’s band before embarking on a solo career.
Traveling to Paris in 1952, she joined the Blue Stars, a vocal octet that recorded a hit version of “Lullaby of Birdland.” While there she shared quarters with the jazz singer Annie Ross and met the Belgian flutist and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, to whom she was briefly married.
She also met Norman Granz, the owner of Verve Records, who signed her to a six-album contract. All six Verve albums — “Blossom Dearie” (1956), “Give Him the Ooh-La-La” (1957), “Once Upon a Summertime” (1958), “Sings Comden and Green” (1959), “My Gentleman Friend” (1959) and “Soubrette Sings Broadway Hit Songs”(1960) — are today regarded as cult classics.
In the early 1960s a radio commercial she made for Hires Root Beer became so popular it spawned an album, “Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin’ Songs” (DIW). Her 1964 album, “May I Come In?” (Capitol), a straightforward pop collection, was her first to employ a full orchestra, but on subsequent albums she veered back into jazz and supper-club fare, mixing standards, jazz songs and witty novelties.
Beginning in 1966 she traveled regularly to London to play Ronnie Scott’s, a popular nightclub, and while in England recorded four albums for the Fontana label. Back in the United States she established her own label, Daffodil Records, in 1974. Its first album, “Blossom Dearie Sings,” released at the height of the singer-songwriter movement, contained all original songs, including “Hey John,” a tribute to John Lennon (with lyrics by Jim Council), and “I’m Shadowing You,” a collaboration with Johnny Mercer.
Although Ms. Dearie never had a hit as a songwriter (she usually wrote the melodies, not the lyrics), a number of her songs have enjoyed fairly wide circulation in nightclubs, most notably “Bye-Bye Country Boy” (written with Jack Segal), a pop star’s rueful farewell to a farm boy she meets on the road.
The last record Ms. Dearie recorded was a single, “It’s All Right to Be Afraid,” a comforting ballad dedicated to the victims and survivors of 9/11. She is survived by an older brother, Barney, and a nephew and niece.
She was born on April 28, 1924, and was 84,

Share a Memory about Blossom Dearie

What do you remember about Blossom M. Dearie? Share your memories of special moments and stories you have heard about her. Or just leave a comment to show the world that Blossom is remembered.

Blossom Dearie, Cult Chanteuse, Dies at 84
By STEPHEN HOLDEN FEB. 8, 2009

Blossom Dearie, the jazz pixie with a little-girl voice and pageboy haircut who was a fixture in New York and London nightclubs for decades, died on Saturday at her apartment in Greenwich Village. She was born on April 28, 1924, and was 84,

She died in her sleep of natural causes, said her manager and representative, Donald Schaffer. Her last public appearances, in 2006, were at her regular Midtown Manhattan stomping ground, the now defunct Danny’s Skylight Room.

A singer, pianist and songwriter with an independent spirit who zealously guarded her privacy, Ms. Dearie pursued a singular career that blurred the line between jazz and cabaret. An interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself. Rarely raising her sly, kittenish voice, Ms. Dearie confided song lyrics in a playful style below whose surface layers of insinuation lurked. Her cheery style influenced many younger jazz and cabaret singers, most notably Stacey Kent and the singer and pianist Daryl Sherman.

But just under her fey camouflage lay a needling wit. If you listened closely, you could hear the scathing contempt she brought to one of her signature songs, “I’m Hip,” the Dave Frishberg-Bob Dorough demolition of a namedropping bohemian poseur. Ms. Dearie was for years closely associated with Mr. Frishberg and Mr. Dorough. It was Mr. Frishberg who wrote another of her perennials, “Peel Me a Grape.”

Ms. Dearie didn’t suffer fools gladly and was unafraid to voice her disdain for music she didn’t like; the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber were a particular pet peeve.

The other side of her sensibility was a wistful romanticism most discernible in her interpretations of Brazilian bossa nova songs, material ideally suited to her delicate approach. Her final album, “Blossom’s Planet” (Daffodil), released in 2000, includes what may be the definitive interpretation of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave” Her dreamy attenuated rendition finds her voice floating away as though to sea, or to heaven, on lapping waves of tastefully synthesized strings.

Blossom Dearie, the eclectic jazz singer, performing in 2004 at Danny’s Skylight Room, her regular spot for years.

Born Blossom Margrete Dearie in East Durham, N.Y., on April 28, 1924, she was a classically trained pianist who switched to jazz after joining a high school band. Moving to New York City in the mid-1940s, she sang with the Blue Flames, a vocal group attached to the Woody Herman band, and with Alvino Rey’s band before embarking on a solo career.

Traveling to Paris in 1952, she joined the Blue Stars, a vocal octet that recorded a hit version of “Lullaby of Birdland.” While there she shared quarters with the jazz singer Annie Ross and met the Belgian flutist and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, to whom she was briefly married.

She also met Norman Granz, the owner of Verve Records, who signed her to a six-album contract. All six Verve albums — “Blossom Dearie” (1956), “Give Him the Ooh-La-La” (1957), “Once Upon a Summertime” (1958), “Sings Comden and Green” (1959), “My Gentleman Friend” (1959) and “Soubrette Sings Broadway Hit Songs”(1960) — are today regarded as cult classics.

In the early 1960s a radio commercial she made for Hires Root Beer became so popular it spawned an album, “Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin’ Songs” (DIW). Her 1964 album, “May I Come In?” (Capitol), a straightforward pop collection, was her first to employ a full orchestra, but on subsequent albums she veered back into jazz and supper-club fare, mixing standards, jazz songs and witty novelties.

Beginning in 1966 she traveled regularly to London to play Ronnie Scott’s, a popular nightclub, and while in England recorded four albums for the Fontana label. Back in the United States she established her own label, Daffodil Records, in 1974. Its first album, “Blossom Dearie Sings,” released at the height of the singer-songwriter movement, contained all original songs, including “Hey John,” a tribute to John Lennon (with lyrics by Jim Council), and “I’m Shadowing You,” a collaboration with Johnny Mercer.

Although Ms. Dearie never had a hit as a songwriter (she usually wrote the melodies, not the lyrics), a number of her songs have enjoyed fairly wide circulation in nightclubs, most notably “Bye-Bye Country Boy” (written with Jack Segal), a pop star’s rueful farewell to a farm boy she meets on the road.

The last record Ms. Dearie recorded was a single, “It’s All Right to Be Afraid,” a comforting ballad dedicated to the victims and survivors of 9/11. She is survived by an older brother, Barney, and a nephew and niece.

February 12, 2009
An obituary on Monday about the singer Blossom Dearie, using information from a relative and reference works, misstated the date she was born — and thus her age — and her full name. She was born on April 28, 1924, and was 84, Her full name was Blossom Margrete Dearie, not Marguerite Blossom Dearie.
Oct 23, 2017 · Reply
Write a comment

Other Records of Blossom M. Dearie

ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM

Sources

Success Stories from Biographies like Blossom M. Dearie

I have to tell you a VERY special story about how AncientFaces helped to reunite our family. For 13 years, I have been searching for my grandmother's missing sister. She just disappeared from the family in the 1930s without a trace. No one ever knew where or when she died or where she was buried. My years of searching have just run into dead ends, so I had given up. Today, out-of-the-blue, a young lady called me and said that she had seen a photograph on AncientFaces and one of the women in the photo was her grandmother! Little did I know that she had left a small child behind when she died so young of TB. You can imagine our shock and excitement at finding each other and a whole new family that we never knew existed. We only live one state away from each other and very soon plan to have all family members meet to share our sides of "the story" and of course, many, many more picturesl AncientFaces...... without you, this family may never have been complete and Aunt Grace would have been lost to us forever. I hope you realize what a valuable service you provide and how grateful we are to have found you. Thank you!!!! -Lynda B.
I never knew my biological family. My family is my mother and father who raised me. But, as I got older I got curious about my heritage. It took me years of investigation to finally discover my parents’ names. Well, I get goosebumps just writing this, I have found my biological family because of AncientFaces. Yes!! I did a search for my [parents' names] and was shocked to find a photo of them on AncientFaces! I cannot tell you the feeling that came over me when I saw this photo - to see the faces of my biological parents…JUST LIKE THAT. I left a comment on the photo and you won’t believe this - the owner of the photo is MY SISTER!!! Yes, I have a LITTLE sister! It turns out my parents were too young when they had me and had to give me up. My little sister knew I existed and wanted to find me but had no way of doing it. Thanks to you I am meeting my little sister for the first time next month. GOD BLESS YOU ANCIENTFACES. -Anonymous
We have found our missing relative entirely thanks to AncientFaces. We have received a much clearer photo of Captain Grant from his Son. The picture we on AncientFaces is an old yellowed newspaper photo. I am attaching the new photo and ask that you take the old one out and put the new clear picture in its place. With our Canadian Remembrance Day here in 2 days - the timing could not be better. Thank You, AncientFaces. My long lost Aunt is now 86 years old and her Son and I are talking by phone and e-mails. Captain Grant was his Father and died in France in 1944 and is buried there. By posting pictures of the visit to his gravesite - we connected through one of his brothers. Amazing that our prayers have been answered. Thank you -Beth B.
I came home for lunch yesterday and decided to look at my email before going back to work. The weekly newsletter that I subscribe to from the Logan Family History Center had this message in it about AncientFaces. I clicked on the link and the first search I did was for Woodruff, and Mamie was the first picture that came up. I could hardly stand it. I was late getting back to work. I had to add comments and write to you. Thank you for noticing her in the store and for the website. I can't help but wonder how many other family pictures may have ended up in that store and why. I also can't help but feel that it was meant to be and that there is a purpose that this picture is coming home as you say. What are the chances of this all just happening? It's amazing that you even picked it up at the store and then went to all the extra effort to post it. It makes me feel as though you have been my friend forever. It certainly has given me a connection to you, and I have a love for what you do. I just can't tell you how excited I am. I can't even hold it in. -Cathy K., Utah
I have previously submitted several pictures of my grandfather August Zemidat. I have tried for many years to find anyone with that name, and I have searched many genealogy web sites to no avail. Recently I was contacted by someone who saw my pictures on AncientFaces who may well be a cousin. She also provided me with information that seems to indicate her grandparents were my grandfather’s siblings. Considering the many years I have been searching for the name Zemidat, I find this is absolutely amazing that I have finally found a family member. Thank you AncientFaces -Ron D.
I love AncientFaces, a while back I saw that you had labeled Garcia surname pictures. At the time I didn’t have all my family facts for my research. Anyway, I wandered into your site just to check it out AND NOW 1 YEAR LATER I received a picture from an 87 year old aunt and guess what you had this very same picture on your site!! (They were my great aunts and my great-grandmother!). Thank you… -Angela M.
I have loved AncientFaces since I first found it, it's the first thing I check when I turn on the computer. There was a time when even in the most modest households there were three cherished possessions, a family Bible. a family album and a fancy lamp. It was usual for the family to gather in the parlour, generally on Sunday and talk, tell stories of family and friends with the photos in the albums as illustration. Sadly in our modern electronic age we have fallen away from the oral tradition and interest in history has waned. I was quite shocked on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to see so many comments from younger people who were surprised to learn that the Titanic wasn't just a movie. This is why AncientFaces is so important, to me it's the electronic age version of the oral tradition on a global scale and the sheer volume of people who follow, comment and contribute seems to prove the point. We are all grateful to you all for providing us with this wonderful site. - Arba M.