Ella Fitzgerald Porgy And Bess

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The arranger on this album, Russell Garcia , had previously arranged the first jazz vocal recording of the album, 1956's The Complete Porgy and Bess .

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Fitzgerald made her first tour of Australia in July 1954 for the Australian-based American promoter Lee Gordon. This was the first of Gordon's famous "Big Show" promotions and the 'package' tour also included Buddy Rich, Artie Shaw and comedian Jerry Colonna. Although the tour was a big hit with audiences and set a new box office record for Australia, it was marred by an incident of racial discrimination that caused Fitzgerald to miss the first two concerts in Sydney, and Gordon had to arrange two later free concerts to compensate ticket holders. Although the four members of Fitzgerald's entourage – Fitzgerald, her pianist John Lewis, her assistant (and cousin) Georgiana Henry, and manager Norman Granz – all had first-class tickets on their scheduled Pan-American Airlines flight from Honolulu to Sydney, Fitzgerald, Henry and Lewis were ordered to leave the aircraft after they had already boarded and they were refused permission to re-board the aircraft to retrieve their luggage and clothing, and as a result they were stranded in Honolulu for three days before they could get another flight to Sydney. Although a contemporary Australian press report quoted an Australian Pan-Am spokesperson who denied that the incident was racially based, Fitzgerald, Henry, Lewis and Granz filed a civil suit for racial discrimination against Pan-Am in December 1954 and in a 1970 television interview Fitzgerald confirmed that they had won the suit and received what she described as a "nice settlement".

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