One of my all time favorite singers died a few days ago.
Della Reese, probably more well known today as the actress who played an angel on the television series "Touched By An Angel." But I will always remember Della from my youth in the Fifties as one of a handful of female singers that I so thoroughly enjoyed. Of course my favorite female singer of all time was Dinah Washington. But Della, along with Dakota Staton and Sara Vaughn were also there in my select group of female singers who gave me comfort whenever they sang.
I especially liked Della because of her strong voice and clear enunciation, something that is all too often sorely lacking with many of today's singers. I don't know but is it me who just doesn't understand what Mariah Carey is singing other than screeching at the top of her lungs? I know Beyonce and Mary J. Blige are all the rage today but I can't understand them either.
I guess you can put me in the Old Fogey bin because I like the "old time" singers like Della.
Below is the one song, "Don't You Know?", of Della's that is my very favorite. Every time I hear it I tear up.
Songwriter Bobby Worth borrowed Puccini's "Musetta's Waltz" melody from his opera "La Boheme" and created a smash hit for Della Reese. This song was Della's biggest single hit ever. The extraordinarily talented Ms. Reese started in show business as a singer (discovered by Mahalia Jackson), and later branched out into acting ("Touched By An Angel", "Chico And The Man", "The Royal Family", etc.). This wonderful performance by Della was featured in the film "A Bronx Tale". Produced by Hugo and Luigi. Orchestra under the direction of Glenn Osser.
Rest in peace dear Della. You have brought so much happiness to so many in this world. You have your angel wings now.