I’ve had this happen before, and it is always disturbing. I’ll discover an impressive musician or author, be blown away by the virtuosity of the artist’s work, then discover that suicide or illness has truncated yet another career.
Somehow, most likely via some ‘net link, I became aware of jazz singer Susannah McCorkle the other day. What a singer! You can hear echoes of Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Canadian singer Diana Krall in her work. I was curious; how had I not heard of this woman before? I looked her up on Wikipedia and discovered that Susannah had committed suicide when she was just fifty-five years old. Evidently she had fought depression for many years.
A tragic loss, both for her family and friends and for connoisseurs of romantic jazz singing.
Here’s a good example of Susannah’s singing:
Another example; she’s singing one of my favorite Gershwin songs, giving it her all:
Luckily Susannah McCorkle left behind a large body of recorded work, a small recompense for a life cut short.