Ruth Olay Duke Ellington




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Published on Feb 22, 2007

Jazz singer Olay with the Ellington band from '59. sings 'I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart." Before becoming a full-time singer, Ruth was secretary to the great writer-director Preston Sturges. And she sang with Duke Ellington. One time I was seated across from Ruth at the dining room table. I suddenly realized that I was in the presence of a personage who had worked with— if you call that “work”— two unarguably legendary figures of the 20th Century. In a rather non sequitur fashion I said to her, “I can hardly believe I'm with someone was employed by both Duke Ellington as a vocalist, and Preston Sturges as an assistant.” “Honey,” she said, “I can hardly believe it myself.”

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