1920 – Born on April 8th in New York, New York. American jazz vocalist and pianist who outgrew an early emulation of vocalist Billie Holiday to become a distinctive stylist, known for her smoky voice and her lyrical, melodic variations—mostly on jazz standards.
1944 – McRae studied classical piano as a child, worked with bandleaders Benny Carter and Count Basie.
1946-1947 – Made her recording debut as Carmen Clarke (being then married to jazz drummer Kenny Clarke) with Mercer Ellington’s orchestra.
1953-1954 – She spent several years as an intermission pianist in small nightclubs and in non-musical jobs until successfully recording.
1955 – She toured extensively (being particularly popular in Japan), recorded frequently, and appeared in many musical contexts.
1994 – Died on November 10th in Beverly Hills, California.