Biography of Anita O'Day, Jazz, 1970 - 2006, Jazz, Genius, and Jail


This continues the story about surviving life in the music business. Anita used to say, “I’m still here.”  After John Poole kicked heroin on Maui, he had come to Honolulu with a pair of drumsticks and got a job with the International Jazz Trio. 

When that job folded, he was soon featured with Ohta San and his ukulele whose group played at the best hotels. I played piano at a church in Waikiki when John Poole joined our group as the drummer.  We were married in 1970.  Anita came to Hawaii after a tour in Europe with George Wein when her boyfriend stole her piano and music and changed the lock on the door.

In the spring, Anita left for New York City where she and Judy Garland stayed with a friend.  John and Anita went to Ronnie Scott’s, London.  John and I joined Anita in New York and Washington D.C.  In September, John and I moved to Hesperia, California.  Anita and her dog soon showed up on our doorstep.

This covers Anita’s hilarious remarks and philosophy of life including remarks about “upholstered sewers,” while singing in Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Springs, Newport Jazz Festival, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Monterey, Pittsburgh, Japan, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Central City, Colorado, the Tonight Show, Dick Cavette, Joe Franklin, 60 Minutes, Mel Torme at Carnegie Hall, and 50th Anniversary at Carnegie, and opposite the Buddy Rich Band in San Francisco.