*Sarah Vaughan: A Tribute To
The Greatest Jazz Singer of all times! Jazz critic Leonard Feather called her “the most important singer to emerge from the bop era.” Ella Fitzgerald called her the world’s “greatest singing talent.”

Stories about Sarah Vaughan below - Scroll Down
I met Sarah Vaughan in the late fifties.
We remained friends until her demise.
The last time I talked to
her was backstage at the
Wiltren Theatre in Hollywood in 1989 after her concert
with Joe Williams and the Count Basie Band.
She was a great friend. I miss her.

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Sarah Vaughan

Marshall, If you read this please contact me. Sam
If you would like to make a comment regarding Sarah Vaughan,  click here.
See my Youtube channel. Click here for access to Youtube.com.

Sarah was a big influence regarding my play,
and the book, adapted from the play.
She encouraged me not to give up.

Illustrated Cancel Christmas

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Hi Folks:
Above is an image of the cover of my new illustrated version of CANCEL CHRISTMAS. I have been working on this project for years, and finally it is completed. You can click on the cover to see more of the book.

If you have children, grandchildren, or both. this is a great book to read to them. You will also be supporting me and my project. After all of these years of service to you, I don't think this is too much to ask.
My Deepest Regards,
Sam Younghans

Order Now!
View illustrated book
Don't wait till Christmas!

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+ $4.00 shipping
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If you request it, I will sign the book to you.

Make check or money order to:
Parsec Santa
P.O. Box 1181
Ashland, OR 97520

I met Sarah Vaughan through Sir Lionel Beckels, a solo dancer who danced barefooted on his toes. I met Sarah in the late fifties; we became close friends. The last time I saw her was backstage at the Wiltren Theatre in Hollywood in 1989 after her concert with Joe Williams and the Count Basie Band . I was leaving town and promised to get in touch with her when I returned. She wanted me to talk to her daughter about acting. I am writing a book which includes my time with her. I will post some of it here soon. I loved her. She was without a doubt the greatest. More stories

  02/16/2008 - This is an email sent to the jazz radio station KJAZZ 88.1FM in Los Angeles.

Chuck Cecil played five songs and an interview with Sarah Vaughan this morning, that made my day, and gave me a very mystical experience. I have written Babba Jackson and John Pizzarelli, about the fact that they do not play Sarah Vaughan but give a lot of time to Ella Fitzgerald. Both Ella and Sarah were great singers in their time and were of equal talent, but because Sarah did not have good management or publicists, Ella got more light shined on her. That did not diminish Sarah’s popularity or her talent. I wrote a story about a concert Sarah did in Philadelphia that demonstrates her popularity. We were good friends for many years and I think of her often. Search "Sarah Vaughan" online and you will see my web site (parsec-santa.com) come up on the first page with her name. Please thank Chuck Cecil for that wonderful, mystical moment this morning.


I was in a nice hot bath this AM and was just beginning my meditation after re-reading some writings by Ruth Montgomery and listening to Chuck Cecil at the same time. Ruth wrote about past lives and the connection to certain people in this life because of our past lives. I was going to meditate on that subject after my morning prayer. I just thanked God for making me aware that I am connected to God, the Universe and all things when Chuck announced the interview with Sarah. To my amazement, Chuck played five or more songs of hers. Tears filled my eyes and I knew that we would meet again. After that wonderful session I returned to finish my prayer and thank God for the sign. I was not able to meditate, so I got out of the tub and am writing you to show my gratitude. Thank you. Please thank Chuck Cecil.
Sam Younghans


Her film credits


Sarah Vaughan


Sarah Vaughan was one of the top female singers of her time. She had many titles: The Devine One, Sass (to her friends), to name a few. I first met her in New York in the late fifties, and we shared many experiences throughout the years.

I had a wonderful night when Sarah played at the Troubadour Club in West Hollywood. After the show, Carmen Mcrea and Della Reese, came backstage to visit Sarah. It was quite an experience to see those three great artists together, sitting on a rickety couch. The Troubadour had the furniture from when they first opened the club Those things weren't of any importance to those three, magnificant, ladies.

3 jazz singers
When she worked at the Chez Paree in Chicago


Date of Birth: March 27, 1924
Date of Death: April 3,1990

  Stories and information about Sarah Vaughan

Received an email asking if I had any photos taken with Sarah Vaughan. Following  is my reply:  
Greg: To my regret I have no photos with Sass. In those days I was just living it. Never thought of a photo. I regret it now, more than I can tell. I knew her for many years, you would think we would have posed together somewhere. I  now wish that I had photos of many of the people I've known throughout the years.

The night before I received the email, I was at a KLON concert with Chris, my son-in-law. We caught a singer, Nnenna Freelon and her fantastic group, also on the bill was a duo; Kenny Barron and Regina Carter. The Duo played keyboard and violin; it was fantastic. Nnenna Freelon had a lot of Sass's style although she had her own sound. She was good

Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia

It got me thinking about Sass. I told my son-in-law about the time SirLionel Beckels (he introduced me to Sarah) and I drove from Brooklyn to New Jersey to pick up Sarah at her mother's house. We drove to a gig at the Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia. It was a big jazz Concert. Dizzy Gillespi, Herbie Mann, Astrid Gilberto, to name a few of the performers. It was a long concert, made longer by Herbie Man, who stayed on and on. Sass was last on the bill, and it was getting late. The longer Herbie played, the madder Sass got. He really was eating up a lot of time.

I walked out front to see how close he might be to finishing. It looked like he was going to eat up all of the time he could.

We figured everybody would be gone by the time Sass came on. Finally, she told Lionel to pack up her stuff, we were going home. As we were doing that, there was a knock on the door and some one announced, "Five minutes." So, she went on. As she left the dressing room she told us she wouldn't be long.

It was very late, but the stadium was packed full. They were all waiting to hear Sarah Vaughan. She sang for over an hour.

On the trip home she talked about it. She said that as she left the dressing room, she intended to do a few numbers and then leave, so everyone remaining would be able to go home. But, when she got on stage, she saw the full stadium, then everyone stood and welcomed her. She was overwhelmed. The response was so great, that she couldn't walk out on them. It was a magical night. I was very grateful to be part of it.

But alas, no pictures.

Greg, Thanks for asking. I am going to put this story on my site. I have so many stories to tell, that I sometimes don't know where to begin. 

Another email:

I just did some research on Sarah, and I like the facts on her. You did a great job on it. well let me tell you a little about my self.  I'm 17, and I go to Howard High, and, well write me back see u later. Alize Johnson

Sam's Answer:
 I loved Sarah. I love to talk about her. It brings me back to those days. I didn't realize how fortunate I was to have known her. When things are close, you take them for granted. It always pays to step back and see the whole picture. But, if I had to do it all over again, and the only way I could have those very same experiences with her was to do exactly as I did the last time, I would do it.
 She visited me and my wife and two small children in Manhattan when We lived there. It was a small apartment on the east side, but she came and spent time with us. She loved the children. She did the same thing in San Francisco when I was living there and she came to visit with her husband ( C. B. Atkins). I proudly cooked suki-yaki and put to much soy sauce in it. She ate it, and so did C. B., her husband, and they said it was wonderful. What a wonderful person. I will never forget those times.

4/3/04  - P., N.- nxpspot@aol.com- usa
 To Joe Szymczak: Sarah Vaughn's "Brazilian Romance" is my most favorite.

To more viewer comments on Sarah Vaughan

About Sarah Vaughan
San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel and dinner at Sam's

With Michel Legrand
At Birdland

More stories with Sass coming, when I find the time to enter them.
Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia.
New York's Rainbow Grill Room

Trips to the Village
New York visits with Sam and his family, His wife, Paula, Daughter, Samantha and his Son, Torre.
Her Husband C. B. Atkins
Lionel Beckles In Miami and New York
In Harlem
Her home in Hidden Hills on Kit Carson
Visit with Jackie Hilliard
Her home in Beverly Hills with her husband, Marshall Fisher
Visit with O.C. Smith
At the Troubadour Club in west Hollywood. Backstage with Carmen Mcrea and Della Reese.
While house-sitting for Sass (she was touring Australia), O.C. Smith stopped by to see Sass. I invited him in and we chatted for a while. 
The Hollywood Bowl
A Concert In Marin county - Paula
Went with Harry "Sweets" Edison to a party at her home.
We went to Louis Armstrong's birthday concert.( Have photos - None of Sass) 
1974 _ Circle Star Theatre, Husband, Marshall Fisher, House on San Ysidro, Australia (O. C. Smith, Michael Le Grande. 19?? _ Hollywood Bowl    

Sarah Vaughan, art
A Link to the artist

George Treadwell
Clyde (CB) Atkins
Marshall Fisher        
Wayman Reed

Sarah Vaughan on (IMDB) Internet Movie Data Base 


Sarah Vaughan

She was born march 27, 1924 in Newark, New Jersey. Her nickname was "Sass" and "The Devine One". She died April 3, 1990 in Los Angeles California of lung cancer. Her real name was Lois, the daughter of Asbury, a carpenter and Ada, a laundress. She began studying music when she was seven taking eight years of piano lessons and two years on the organ. As a child she sang in the choir at the MT Zion. Baptist church in Newark. She went on to play the piano and organ in high school productions, where she graduated arts high school. She entered an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater in New York's Harlem district singing "body & soul". She won the $10 prize and a week's engagement at the Apollo. From 1944 to 1945 she sang with Billy Eckstein and in 1947 she married her manager and trumpeter George Treadwell. Her later husbands included pro football player Clyde Atkins and trumpeter Waymon Reed. She has received many awards including an Emmy in 1981 for a tribute to George Gershwin and a Grammy Award in 1983.

More about Sass:

"Her voice, which has four octaves and out-classes that of most operatic sopranos, came in unequal parts, a rich middle section, a little-girl high register, and a sometimes vulgar, echoing bottom range. She uses it like a horn . . . " wrote Whitney Balliett, in New Yorker Magazine, July, 1977. (Balliett is a writer of America's unique art form, jazz. His criticism is esteemed by fans and colleagues wherever music is performed.)

Sarah's extraordinary virtuosity and range of appeal were shaped by a wide variety of musical influences. At age seven she began her formal musical education inspired by her mother. Ada, who sang in the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, the town where Sarah was born. At 'home, her father, Asbury, filled many hours with music. He loved playing the piano and records. Sarah joined her mother singing in the choir and started her musical education with piano and organ lessons.. She continued her formal lessons during her term at East Side Music and Arts High School.

At age 16, family and friends persuaded Sarah to enter the amateur show at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. She won. The prizes were $10.00 cash and a week's engagement. Ella Fitzgerald was the artist appearing at the theatre when Sarah performed during her winning week. Ella was one of Sarah's early inspirations and it was Sarah's wish to one day record with Ella and do a TV special together. Billy EckStine was in the audience and recommended Sarah to Earl "Fatha" Hines. He was band vocalist with Earl at the time. Sarah was hired as singer and second pianist for the band. After she and Billy worked wth Earl for over year, Eckstine formed his own, now legendary, band. The personnel included, among others, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Roy Eldridge, Charlie Parker and Gene Ammons with Sarah and Billy as vocalists. They developed a style of music called bebop and the band is now recognized as the finest of that era. Billy and Sarah maintained their lifelong friendship. They lived near one another and often visited, and enjoy talking about old and new times. They performed together on the "The Great American Singers" with Tony Bennett and loved every minute of working together. Sarah and Billy were the first singers to explore the revolutionary freedoms of the bop style. Her nightly performances with the master musicians she sang with, taught her timing, technique and showmanship. Her amazing, awesome, natural talent, combined with the love for her profession, has earned her world- wide accolades.

Sarah's outstanding qualities were apparent right from the start. In 1944, Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie made an acetate of Sarah singing "East of the Sun" and they brought it to Leonard Feather, who was determined to find a record company that might be interested. After many turn-downs, he finally found. an independent producer willing to give Sarah a trial. He was willing to pay her 520.00 per side. Dizzy, Georgie Auld and some others wanted to lend a hand to help launch Sarah's career. They agreed to play for union scale $30.00 in those days: on that New Year's Eve they cut Sarah's first record.

Soon after she left Billy's band, she joined the John Kirby Combo, and went on to star with her own group, a trio of fine musicians. Sarah has always surrounded herself with excellent musicians and their performances have contributed to her being recognized as a great American singer.

Through the years, Sarah had broadened and enriched her early influences. Her delivery and repertoire embraced every type of music: gospel, jazz, classical and pop. She enjoyed the great distinction of being an incomparable jazz performer with the range and ability of an opera singer. She was equally at home with a jazz trio or a symphony orchestra.

She gained national attention when a company released, "Dedicated to Your" with the Billy Eckstine orchestra, recorded in 1949. In the 50's, Sarah recorded "Shulie A Bop" with her own trio of John Malachi, Joe Benjamin and Roy Haynes. Her instrumental scat choruses had a precision that put subsequent instrumental solos to shame. This caused John Malachi, her one-time accompanist, to nickname her "Sassy" for her special rendition of the individual notes and phrasing. "The Divine One" another name often used for Sarah was first used by Dave Garroway, who recognized her unique talent long before her popular acclaim. When he first heard her singing in Chicago's Blue Note, he rushed to spread the word to his radio and TV audience.

Sarah continued to have that kind of impact throughout the years, and there were few who could equal her imagination and humor in performance. She was that rare combination of beautifully controlled tone and vibrato - she had an ear for the chord structure of songs, enabling her to change or inflect the melody as an instrumentalist might. An exceptional artist with the highest creative standards, and a consistent popularity poll winner. She will always remain one of the greats. We miss her.

Sam's Stories with Sass

Regrets: Around 1976, I wrote a children's play titled Cancel Christmas. Sass read it, and was one of the ones who suggested I write it in a book form. In 1994, four years after her passing, I started converting it to a book. In 1996 it was published with out illustrations. I regret now that I didn't dedicate it to her. When I get the illustrated copy published, I wont forget. The illustrated version is now ready for publishing with beautiful illustrations by an artist who uses cutouts as her media.

This morning (Sunday, August 28, 2011) I was listening to KJAZZ 88,1 fm on the radio as I was driving to a Spiritual Center in Burbank. It was my first time there, and I was hoping this would be a center that would be to my liking.

As I pulled into the parking structure KJAZZ started play "Take the 'A' Train" - one of my favorites. I parked and sat in the car listening to her sing. All of her memories flooded into my head and I got very teary eyed.

When I walked into the center, my eyes were still watering as I was greeted by a lady who reminded me of Sass. I flooded; she asked me what was wrong and I told her. She was warm and welcoming; we immediately became friends.

The pastor came over and introduced herself to me. On stage she gave a talk that reaffirmed my feelings and reminded me of a few I had forgotten. The meeting was held in a modern theater. As I sat there listening I was noticing the theatre. During a period of meditation, it came to me; this is where I want to produce "Cancel Christmas". I have been getting so many signs about it lately, that I considered this another message from the universe.
Click the banner to read about the book.
Debbie, if you read this, please contact me. I would like to send you a copy of the book.  

With Michel Legrand

One Day Sass told me Michel Legrand was coming over that night. She asked me to stay to meet him. Marshall, her husband and I had just returned from a ball game. (Marshall, If you read this please contact me. Sam)  Sass fixed some of her fantastic Chicken. She made the best Chicken.  Once when I house sat for her while she was in Australia, I bought a bunch of chicken on the day of her return. I picked them up at the airport and suggested that she might like some chicken. It was waiting for her and she got busy and cooked the most delicious chicken I have ever eaten.

Back to Michel Legrand. He arrived with his manager, Nate. We sat in the den by the fireplace while they discussed an upcoming concert. Nate explained all of the details while we all listened. When he was finished talking, Sass said that everything sounded fine except that she didn't hear any mention of strings. She said, "I like strings". Nate explained that they wanted to show Michel's talent without the use of strings.

Sass said that she recognized Michel's talent; she felt he could do no wrong, with or with out strings, but she liked string accompaniment - it gave her inspiration, and since this was a full orchestra concert, she would like to have strings. Nate was not going to give in to her wishes. Michel added a few words about it, but wasn't pushing it. After some exchanges, I butted in and asked them (Sass And Michel) if they had ever sat down and listened to the album they had recorded together. They both said, "no." 

I knew Sass had a copy of it, because I had played it several days before. ("Sarah Vaughan With Michel Legrand") - If anyone reading this has an extra copy, please send me one. I suggested they listen to some of it. I also knew there were strings on that session. I got the record and put it on. After the first number, Michel looked at Nate and said, "She gets Strings."

I didn't make the concert. Marshal told me it was fantastic.

Sass and I used to go to the famous Birdland in Manhatten. One night Jerry Mulligan and his trio were appearing along with Babatunde Olatunji, and his African drum group. I have always been into drums so it was a treat to hear Olatunji and his group. They came over to our table when they weren’t on the stand. Sass introduced me to them.

I looked for his records but never found any. Then around 1990 my son, Torre found a CD for me. I play my conga to it and have always enjoyed it. The other day I was reading the CD’s label and discovered that Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead had produced it. There was a time when Mickey and I were friends, I still admire his talent and his musical ideas. I used to go down (I was living in Sonoma at the time.) to his ranch in Navato, CA, where he had a studio set up in his barn. That’s another story; click here to read it.

P. J. Clarke's 915 3rd Ave
P. J. Clarke's on Third Ave. in New York City was one of my favorite places. The fall of 1960, I was sitting at a table with my dog, Duchess, who was eating a hamburger under the table.  PJ Clarke's had a dog named Skip. Skip and Duchess were great friends, therefore Duchess was permitted in the restaurant. It was about 2 AM when Sass came in with a group of people. When she saw me, she came over to say "hello" and to pet Duchess; she and Duchess were good friends. She invited us to join her group. Johnny Mathis, Syd Shaw and a couple of other people, were in the group. I was introduced all around and sat with Sass. Later, we left PJ's and went up to Johnny's apartment to listen to his latest record.
    A few days later I had a message at my Hotel from Johnny inviting me to go hear Adam Wade at the Roundtable. People said Adam sounded like Johnny, so Johnny wanted to hear him. 
       That night I met Adam and Helen Noga, Johnny's Manger. Syd Shaw was there and we had a good conversation about the music business. Some years later, Syd wrote an act for my wife Paula, and we recorded her using Sass' band. Also, years later, Adam and I became close friends through a mutual friend, Maria de Aragon. We performed in a play he wrote, The Dancer; his wife directed it.

Carnegie Hall - Ray Charles
In the fifties, when I visited New York, I stayed at The Great Northern Hotel owned by Jack Dempsey, which was just down the block from Carnegie Hall. Of course I walked by it many times, and I looked in, but never attended any concerts, until one night Sass called and asked me to meet her and her husband, CB Atkins, in front of Carnegie Hall. I did; we went in and listened to Ray Charles. It was grand. After the show, we went back stage to visit Ray. It was a wonderful experience.

San Francisco
In 1961 I was living in San Francisco with my wife, Paula. I read Sass was appearing at the Fairmont Hotel so I went to visit her. That is when she introduced me to her baby Daughter, Debbie. The Fairmont is situated at the top of the hill overlooking San Francisco, Sass liked to sit by the window and enjoy the view.

When I first met Paula she was planning to move to New York. I connected her with Sass and CB hired her to work in their office. I was panning on joining her in New York, but I took too long and Paula moved back.

While Sass was at the Fairmont I invited Sass and her Husband CB. Atkins to dinner - Paula and I had an apartment on Broadway between Hyde and Larkin.  I cooked suki yaki. I used too much soy sauce, but they loved it and ate a lot. We had a fine time.

In 1967 when we moved to New York, Sass used to stop by our apartment on York Ave. near 72nd st., before going to one of her gigs. Duchess was still with us and she liked Sass.

At the Circle Star Theatre Near San Francisco.
I worked for Marquee Enterprise's, Circle Star Theatre in San Francisco from 1971 thru 1973. I asked the owner, Donjo Medlevine, to book Sarah. He did, and it was a surprise for Sarah when I picked her and her new husband, Marshall, up at the airport. We had a great time while she was there. Each night after the show we went to her room and sat up to the wee hours. 

At the Troubadour in Hollywood
Went with her to her performance at the Troubadour.  The green room and dressing rooms were upstairs. After the the show she had some visitors that made the room glow. Della Reese and Carmen McCrea, sat together on an old couch (the Troubadour was not a plush club.) It was heart warming to see those three fabulous singers sitting there chatting. Memories!

Sarah Vaughan With Michel Legrand

Sarah Vughan
Album Released in 1972
Song list 

1.   The Summer Knows
2.   What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
3.   Once You've Been In Love
4.   Hands Of Time
5.   I Was Born In Love With You
6.   I Will Say Goodbye
7.   Summer Me, Winter Me
8.   His Eyes, Her Eyes
9.   Pieces Of Dreams
10. Blue, Green, Gray And Gone
11. Wave
12. Deep In The Night

Sarah Vaughan

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Cancel christmas

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