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Anita O'Day

Born Anita Belle Colton in Chicago, Illinois on October 18, 1919, O’Day got her start as a teen. She eventually changed her name to O’Day and in the late 1930’s began singing in a jazz club called the Off-Beat, a popular hangout for musicians like band leader and drummer Gene Krupa. In 1941 she joined Krupa’s band, and a few weeks later Krupa hired trumpeter Roy Eldridge. O’Day and Eldridge had great chemistry on stage and their duet Let Me Off Uptown became a million-dollar-seller, boosting the popularity of the Krupa band. Also that year, “Down Beat” magazine named O’Day “New Star of the Year” and, in 1942, she was selected as one of the top five big band singers.

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