Blossom Dearie the Independent Spirit   (1924-2009)

by : Michelle Inherst

dearie
Courtesy of https://www.discogs.com/artist/104670-Blossom-Dearie

  Margrethe Blossom Dearie, the woman with the ‘girlish, pixie like voice and pageboy haircut’ was born April 28, 1924 in Durham, New York. Not much is known about her childhood, other than her father was Irish- Scottish and her mother was Scandinavian. Stories as to how Blossom was given her name differ from her brother announcing her birth by decorating the house with pear blossoms to a neighbor bringing pear blossoms to her parents after her birth. This child prodigy learned was able to pick out songs on the piano at two years old. By the age of 5, she learned to play classical piano and at ten, she was able to play songs from Chopin and Bach. Blossom was also able to play songs by ear and from her memory at a very young age.

     Although her musical education began with classical music, Blossom showed an interest and began playing jazz music in high school. She spent time working with Miles Davis during her career and credits Davis for being a part of her musical education as well. Blossom did live in Paris for a time after she graduated high school where she formed her own band, The Blue Flames of Paris. During her musical career that spanned 54 years, Blossom recorded nearly twenty albums. She was the first female to own a successful recording company in the United States; Daffodil Records. She wrote tribute songs for fellow musicians including John Lennon. Blossom wrote a tribute song for the survivors and victims of the September 11, 2001 tragedy as well.

     She became a regular performer at nightclubs in New York where it is believed she ‘controlled the environment.’ Blossom would insist that no drinks be sold during her performances and requested that those in attendance refrained from smoking because the secondhand cigarette smoke had a negative effect on her voice, making it difficult for her to sing.

     Blossom Dearie had a successful career as a female jazz pianist, singer and songwriter as she packed out concert venues at each and every performance. Perhaps not much is known about Blossom Dearie’s childhood and private life because she, unlike many other musicians, did not like to talk about herself. She stated in one interview that she found talking about herself boring. Blossom Dearie retired from giving live performances in 2006 due to health issues, and on February 7, 2009, she died peacefully in her home at Greenwich Village, New York City, New York.

https://www.discogs.com/artist/104670-Blossom-Dearie