Freda Payne Celebrates 100 years of Ella Fitzgerald – Saturday Show
Freda Payne is a Detroit native who never realized her talents until the early age of twelve. Her piano teacher discovered her singing ability and from that point on Freda was singing for local affairs around Detroit and even entered talent contest on local TV as well as the national TV show, Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. At age fourteen she joined The Don Large’s Make Way for Youth radio show broadcasted on station WJR in the penthouse of the Fisher Bldg. Freda’s first album deal was on the Impulse label with ABC Paramount in New York. After The Lights Go Down Low and much more. Recording her next album three years later on MGM records. Was an early protégé of Quincy Jones during his big band era, also performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2008 in honor of Quincy’s seventy fifth birthday celebration.
Freda may be recognized by her 1970’s hits, BAND OF GOLD and BRING THE BOYS HOME. The producing team of Holland ,Dozier, and Holland were the ones who brought her to worldwide attention with those two gold records. Freda received a nomination for best R&B female vocalist for Band of Gold, and another nomination from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science’s for her album on the Invictus label, CONTACT, also produced by HDH. Freda has film credits as well , The Book of Number’s, Rag Doll, Sprung, Nutty Professor the Klumps. Cordially Invited, Rhapsody, and the Divorce.
Freda has a list of musical theatre and acting in plays. DUKE ELLINGTONS SOPHISTICATED LADIES, AINT MISBEHAVIN, DADDY GOODNESS, JELLY’S LAST JAM, BLUES IN THE NIGHT, and recently starring in ELLA FITZGERALD FIRST LADY OF SONG. This year marks Ella’s 100 year anniversary, in which Freda is touring her “Tribute to Ella “, which encompasses personal stories and some of her most memorable songs. Her new CD on the Artistry label for Mack Ave, is a return to Freda’s true jazz roots with the wonderful material written by song writer’s Gretchen Valande and Tom Robinson. Here she shows a smooth connection between jazz and pop . Along with some gorgeous band and string arrangements by Bill Cunliffe,this might be Freda’s best showing yet.