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Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald
(Via Vintage Black Glamour) In 1955, Ms. Monroe persuaded the owner of the Mocambo to hire Ella Fitzgerald (the Mocambo did not book Black artists). Ms. Fitzgerald on Ms. Monroe to Ms. magazine in 1972: “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him - and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status - that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”