she's gonna sing ....

It's November 21, 1934 and a skinny, 16 year old high school drop out, orphan and dancer named Ella Fitzgerald is called up on stage at the famous Apollo Theater during amateur night after her name is randomly drawn from a hat.

The announcer probably says something like, "And now ladies and gentlemen our next contestant is Miss Ella Fitzgerald and she is going to dance for us tonight".

Maybe the audience shifts in their seats. Certainly ice cubes tinkle against the sides of glasses and cigarette smoke fills the room.

Maybe Ella tugged on his sleeve or maybe she whispered in his ear.

"Hold on now everyone", the announcer suddenly continues, "Miss Fitzgerald has changed her mind. She's not gonna dance. She's gonna sing."

(she then goes on to do three encores, win first prize ... and change music forever)

NOTE - many years later during an interview with NPR, Ella admitted she switched from dancing to singing that night after deciding she didn't measure up to the talented dancers in the act that preceded hers - she even admitted she flubbed the first couple lines and the announcer had to step in to calm her nerves and protect her from what he thought would be a jeering crowd ... then she started AGAIN and brought down the house ....

Here's to following our hearts right now.

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