Annie Ross: Let Me Sing
AR: Yes. That's one of the great, great songs. But I could never do it because I can only hear Elaine do it. It's like trying to sing a song of Lady's. I hear Lady. You know, like "Good Morning, Heartache or "Hush Now, Don't Explain. Ooh.
AAJ: It's like when I saw Lady Sings The Blues with Diana Ross. What I kept thinking is they should have used the camera as Billie and not have anybody try to do her.
AR: No. It's funny. I was living in London and an English critic rang me and said, "There's a screening of Lady Sings The Blues. And I said, "Oh yes. And he said, "Well, you don't sound excited. I said, "I'm not. I'd like to come and see it. Well, from the minute I sat down, I thought that the only person I thought was really real was Richard Pryor. He was wonderful.
AAJ: He was very talented.
AR: I did Superman 3 with him. And he was one of the sweetest, most professional people I've ever seen. He was a delight to work with. And it's a terrible thing that happened to him.
AAJ: It's really sad. All the talent that's wasted.
AR: Hey, everybody chooses their own path. There are great things that he's done on TV.
AAJ: What are you going to do next?
AR: What am I going to do next. Well, I've got my book. And I'm going over to Scotland in a couple of weeks. There's a book there. It's called A Feel of Belonging. And it's a photographer that's done it and he gets various celebs and they pick a place that they love in Scotland and then they write about it. So my brother was in that first book because he was a very famous guy in Scotland. And I'm in the next book which has the launch on the 18th of October. So I want to go there.
AAJ: Are you going to do any singing while you're there?
AR: Maybe in a bar. No, I'm not. I'm just going to go and see a lot of good friends.
AAJ: Well, they're very happy about you at Danny's from what I understand. So you can make a home there for a while.
AR: I would love it. I just love it because there's nobody to say, "Do this, do that, wants you to put in more. And it's a very receptive audience. I love it. And I talked to Blossom, you know. And she and I are friends for hundreds of years and she said, "Annie, when you think of the east side and all the fancy clubs and all the fancy prices, she said, "Danny's on 46th Street is great because you can do whatever you want to do. And I love that.
AAJ: Well, at this point in your life you should be able to do what you want to do. You've certainly paid enough dues.
AR: I've certainly rebelled enough so that I would never do something I didn't want to do. You know, Jon and I worked for a while together. But I have to do my own thing. That was then. Now is now. And I'm just having a great time. And that is what it's all about. If you're not happy doing it, don't do it.
AAJ: Okay. That's a good thought to end on. Thank you.
Annie Ross, Let Me Sing (CAP, 2005)
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, The Hottest New Group in Jazz (Columbia, 1959-62)
Annie Ross, A Gasser! (Pacific Jazz-Capitol, 1959)
Annie Ross, Sings a Song with Mulligan (Pacific Jazz-Capitol, 1958)
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Sing a Song of Basie (Impulse!-Verve, 1957)
King Pleasure/Annie Ross, King Pleasure Sings/Annie Ross Sings (Prestige-OJC, 1952-54)