New stamp honors Ella Fitzgerald, first lady of song

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 3:10 p.m.
The lady is a stamp!
The U.S. Postal Service honors the First Lady of Song - Ella Fitzgerald - with her own postage stamp.
The 39-cent stamp was released at ceremonies at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and will be on sale across the country.
People who don't know about her will see the stamp and think: ''What makes this person special? And perhaps find out about the person and about the music,'' said her son, Ray Brown Jr.
Fitzgerald wasn't self-important, perhaps reflecting the values she sang about in the Rodgers and Hart song ''The Lady is a Tramp'': ''I don't like crap games, with barons and earls. Won't go to Harlem, in ermine and pearls. Won't dish the dirt, with the rest of the girls. That's why the lady is a tramp.''
After Fitzgerald confided in 1961 that she had never had a birthday party, Jacobs gathered a star-studded collection of people for the special event. The party was a secret, so Fitzgerald was told to dress up because there was a television interview.
''When the lights came on she took her pocket book and hit me on the shoulder,'' Jacobs recalled. ''She was like a little kid, she was so happy.''
Fitzgerald was a baseball fan and the guests included her favorite player, Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle. They embraced and traded autographs.f-z Fitzgerald's appearance on a stamp comes less than a year after Mantle was featured among baseball sluggers.
She later became famous as a scat singer, vocalizing nonsense syllables, and performed with most of the great musicians of the time. Over the years, Fitzgerald won 13 Grammy Awards and many other honors, including the National Medal of Arts, presented to her in 1987 by President Reagan.
The Associated Press The Ella Fitzgerald 39-cent stamp is now available in post offices nation- wide.

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