Susannah McCorkle

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Susannah McCorkle
Born(1946-01-01)January 1, 1946
Berkeley, California, U.S.
DiedMay 19, 2001(2001-05-19) (aged 55)
New York City
Genres Jazz, vocal jazz
Years active1970s–2001
Labels Inner City, Pausa Concord Jazz

Susannah McCorkle (January 1, 1946 – May 19, 2001) was an American jazz singer.



A native of Berkeley, California, McCorkle studied Italian literature at University of California at Berkeley before dropping out to move to Europe. [1] She was inspired to become a singer when she heard Billie Holiday sing "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues". She began her career in the early 1970s by singing at pubs in London with bandleader John Chilton. [2] She also worked in London with Keith Ingham and Dick Sudhalter and recorded her first two albums, one a tribute to Harry Warren, the other to Johnny Mercer. [3]

Berkeley, California City in California, United States

Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California. It is named after the 18th-century Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley. It borders the cities of Oakland and Emeryville to the south and the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington to the north. Its eastern border with Contra Costa County generally follows the ridge of the Berkeley Hills. The 2010 census recorded a population of 112,580.

Billie Holiday American jazz singer and songwriter

Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, was an African American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills.

John James Chilton was a British jazz trumpeter and writer. During the 1960s, he also worked with pop bands, including The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Escorts.

After moving back to the U.S. in the 1970s, she sang at the Cookery in Greenwich Village [2] and the Riverboat in Manhattan. [3] Later in her career she sang often at the Algonquin Hotel. [4]

Algonquin Hotel hotel in New York City

The Algonquin Hotel is an American historic hotel located at 59 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The hotel has been designated as a New York City Historic Landmark.

No More Blues (1988), her first album for Concord Jazz, was recorded with guitarists Emily Remler and Bucky Pizzarelli and pianist Dave Frishberg. [5] Her writing was published in Cosmopolitan, Newsday, New York, and the O. Henry Award Prize Stories. [4]

Concord Jazz US record label; imprint of Concord Bicycle Music

Concord Jazz is a record company and label created in 1973 by Carl Jefferson, the founder of Concord Records and former owner of Jefferson Motors Lincoln Mercury dealership in Concord, CA. It was named after Concord, California, a suburb of San Francisco, and the jazz festival which Jefferson also started. Early on the label produced some of the biggest names in jazz, including Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Stan Getz, Ray Brown, and Rosemary Clooney, and in recent times Chick Corea, Eliane Elias, and Kurt Elling. It is owned by Concord Bicycle Music.

Emily Remler American musician

Emily Remler was an American jazz guitarist, active from the late 1970s until her death in 1990.

Bucky Pizzarelli American Jazz guitarist and banjoist

John Paul "Bucky" Pizzarelli is an American jazz guitarist. He is the father of jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli and double bassist Martin Pizzarelli. He worked for NBC as a staffman for Dick Cavett (1971) and ABC with Bobby Rosengarden in (1952). The list of musicians he has collaborated with includes Benny Goodman, Les Paul, Stéphane Grappelli, and Antônio Carlos Jobim. Pizzarelli cites as influences Django Reinhardt, Freddie Green, and George Van Eps.

Stereo Review magazine named How Do You Keep the Music Playing (1986) album of the year, while critic Leonard Feather named it vocal album of the year. [4]


A breast cancer survivor, McCorkle suffered for many years from depression. She died by suicide at age 55 by leaping off the balcony of her apartment at 41 West 86th Street in Manhattan. She was alone in her home at the time. The police immediately entered her home after identifying her body and found no foul play. Suicide was ruled the cause of death. [6]

Breast cancer cancer that originates in the mammary gland

Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, a newly-inverted nipple, or a red or scaly patch of skin. In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.

Major depressive disorder Depression; a mental disorder of low mood, self-esteem or energy

Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known simply as depression, is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of low mood that is present across most situations. It is often accompanied by low self-esteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, low energy, and pain without a clear cause. People may also occasionally have false beliefs or see or hear things that others cannot. Some people have periods of depression separated by years in which they are normal, while others nearly always have symptoms present. Major depressive disorder can negatively affect a person's personal life, work life, or education, as well as sleeping, eating habits, and general health. Between 2–8% of adults with major depression die by suicide, and about 50% of people who die by suicide had depression or another mood disorder.

Haunted Heart, a biography of Susannah McCorkle written by Linda Dahl, was published in September 2006 by University of Michigan Press.


<i>From Bessie to Brazil</i> 1993 studio album by Susannah McCorkle

From Bessie To Brazil is a 1993 album by jazz vocalist Susannah McCorkle. It peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart.

<i>From Broken Hearts to Blue Skies</i> 1999 studio album by Susannah McCorkle

From Broken Hearts to Blue Skies is an album by Susannah McCorkle released in 1999.

<i>Hearts and Minds</i> (album) 2000 studio album by Susannah McCorkle

Hearts and Minds is the sixteenth album by jazz singer Susannah McCorkle. It peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart.

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  1. Pogrebin, Robin (May 24, 2001). "A Brave Singer Who Finally Ran Out of Silver Linings". The New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  2. 1 2 Holden, Stephen (May 21, 2001). "Susannah McCorkle, 55, Pop-Jazz Singer". The New York Times. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  3. 1 2 Yanow, Scott. "Susannah McCorkle". AllMusic. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 Prial, Dustan (January 6, 2006). "Singer Susannah McCorkle Dead at 55". ABC News. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  5. Yanow, Scott. "No More Blues". AllMusic. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  6. Blair, Gwenda (May 27, 2002). "Jazz Bird". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 3, 2009.