Born: September 23, 1930 | Died: January 4, 2006 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Irene Reid, singer who toured and recorded with Count Basie’s band and appeared on Broadway in “The Wiz.”
A jazz vocalist whose style was heavily laced with elements of gospel and the blues, Ms. Reid never achieved as much success as contemporaries like Dinah Washington and Esther Phillips who took a similar approach. But she worked steadily, and she finished her life on a high note with a surprising career resurgence. Born in Savannah, Ga., on Sept. 23, 1930, Ms. Reid began singing in a church choir there and moved to New York in 1947 to pursue a singing career. After winning the Apollo Theater’s amateur contest several times, she spent two years with the Dick Vance band at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem before going out on her own....