Damita Jo Bio
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DAMITA JO

Damita Jo DeBlanc, daughter of Herbert DeBlanc and Latrelle Plummer was born in Austin, TX on August 5, 1930.  Damita Jo was active in both music and comedy since the '50s. An International Supper Club, Television and Recording Star, she performed on five continents and her recordings and videotapes are played everywhere.  Her recordings have topped the charts in America, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Puerto Rico and Japan.  She is best known recordings wise for her million seller "I'm Saving The Last Dance For You" (# 22 pop, # 16 R&B) a clever answer record to the Drifters' "Save the Last Dance For Me".    Her other big hit, "I'll Be There" from 1961 (# 12 pop, # 15 R&B), was also an answer record, this time to Ben E. King's "Stand By Me".  Damita Jo recorded the first English version of "Yellow Days" and "If You Go Away" an adaptation of Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas", with English lyrics by Rod McKuen

In 1950 she joined the group of her future husband Steve Gibson, The 5 Red Caps and provided the vocals on their 1952 hit, "I Went To Your Wedding" (# 20 pop), on RCA Victor. After four years of marriage, Damita and Steve were divorced in 1958, but she remained the featured vocalist of the group until 1960.

In the seventies she was a regular on Red Foxx Review television show. She also toured with the comedian. Retiring in Baltimore, she later turned to gospel music, releasing an album of religious material in 1985. Damito Jo passed away on Christmas morning, December 25, 1998 at the age of 68 in her hometown of Baltimore, MD.

CD: The Very Best of Damita Jo (Collectables, 1997).

 

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Damita Jo DeBlanc

The Women in Jazz concert featured below to  be held on June 13 & 14th at the George Washington Carver  Museum and Cultural Center will pay tribute to the music and talent of my dear late cousin Damita Jo DeBlanc.  Ada DeBlanc Simond, a founder of the Carver Library who was my and Damita's Aunt would be so very proud of this tribute to her niece. 

Damita was a lovely talented soul born in Austin, TX.  It was always so very pleasant to be in her company.  Pamela Hart and the other artist have worked particularly hard to learn about Damita Jo, her music and style. I must say that I have been impressed with the enthusiasm that Pamela has shown in doing her research.  I am also attaching a link to a 1950's music video of Damita Jo that may jog your memory of this fantastic singer.

Hopefully, you will support Women in Jazz in this tribute to Damita Jo.

Dawnna Dukes

 

   

Women in Jazz Concert Series
Friday, June 13th & Saturday, June 14th

A Tribute to Damita Jo DeBlanc
For more information & tickets, please visit:
http://www.womeninjazz.org