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Commemorating the Passing of and Recent Street Naming in Honor of Ernestine Anderson

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Commemorating the Passing of and Recent Street Naming in Honor of Ernestine Anderson

Congressman Jim McDermott
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
Extensions of Remarks
21 September 2016

HON. JIM McDERMOTT of Washington in the House of Representatives
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Ms. Ernestine Anderson, who was recently commemorated in Seattle with a street renamed in her honor. Ms. Anderson passed away on March 10, 2016. She was an internationally renowned and a beloved Seattle jazz vocalist. Ms. Anderson's career spanned over six decades and earned her four Grammy nominations. In fitting commemoration, Ernestine Anderson Way now spans the heart of Seattle's Central District, where her career started.

Ernestine Anderson was born in Houston, Texas on November 11, 1928 and began singing when she was 3 years old. Her family moved to Seattle in 1944 and she began singing in clubs on Jackson Street in the Central District as a teenager. During her career, Ernestine Anderson performed at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and in 1958 she performed at the first Monterey Jazz Festival.

After many years touring and recording music in Los Angeles, New York and London, Ms. Anderson returned to Seattle and briefly retired from music, working as a hotel maid and at a telephone answering service. Ms. Anderson is known for her song ``Never Make Your Move Too Soon,'' which was recorded by B.B. King, and appeared on her Grammy nominated album in 1981.

In 2002, Ms. Anderson was awarded the Golden Umbrella by the popular Seattle music and arts festival known as Bumbershoot. In 2012, the Low Income Housing Institute named one of their projects Ernestine Anderson Place. These acknowledgements are a testament to the impact that Ms. Ernestine has had on Seattle.

Ernestine Anderson has left an indelible mark on our community and her legacy will live on through her music. A memorial service for Ernestine Anderson took place on April 9, 2016 in Seattle, Washington at the historical Paramount Theater. She will be greatly missed.

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