Our Top 10 Dinah Washington Songs list will take a look at a popular jazz singer and pianist. She also sang r&b, blues and pop music. She is a Grammy Award winner. She won a Grammy for her single “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes.” Her hits include “What a Difference a Day Makes,” “Unforgettable,” “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes),” “September in the Rain,” “I Wanna Be Loved,” “A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love),” “I’ll Never Be Free,” “This Bitter Earth,” “Am I Asking Too Much,” “Baby Get Lost,” “That’s All I Want From You” and “Trouble in Mind.”
Dinah Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963. She got her start in gospel music. She sang in clubs as a teenager. She made her debut when she recorded the single “Evil Gal Blues.” She also recorded a single called “Salty Papa Blues.” Both singles were a hit on the r&b charts. She released several hit singles. She had 45-charted r&b hit singles between 1948 and 1961.
She released Mellow Mama in 1945. It features the singles “Mellow Mama Blues,” “All or Nothing Blues,” “Wise Woman Blues” and “Walking Blues.” Blazing Saddles was released in 1952. It features the singles “My Heart Cries for You,” “I Apologize,” “Mixed Emotions” and “Cold, Cold Heart.” After Hours with Miss “D” was released in 1954. It features the singles “Blue Skies,” “Bye Bye Blues,” “Our Love Is Here to Stay,”
Dinah Jams was released in 1955. It features the singles “Lover, Come Back to Me,” “Alone Together,” “Summertime,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “I’ll Remember April.” For Those in Love was released in 1955. It features the singles “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Easy Living,” “This Can’t Be Love” and “My Old Flame.” Dinah! was released in 1956. It features the singles “Make Me a Present of You,” “All of Me,” “More Than You Know” and “Look to the Rainbow.” In the Land of Hi-Fi was released in 1956. It features the singles “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “Say It Isn’t So” “Sometimes I’m Happy.”
Swinin’ Miss “D” was released in 1957. It features the singles “They Didn’t Believe Me,” “Is You or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” “Somebody Loves Me” and “I’ll Drown in My Tears.” What a Diff’rence a Day Makes! was released in 1959. It features the singles “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes,” “I Remember You,” “I Thought About You” and “That’s All There Is to That.” Unforgettable was released in 1961. It features the singles “This Bitter Earth,” “Unforgettable,” “This Love of Mine” and “Alone.” September in the Rain was released in 1961. It features the singles “This Heart of Mine,” “With a Song in My Heart” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” Dinah Washington would go on to record several albums until she passed away.
Dinah Washington was a successful singer during the height of her career. She had several hit singles. Her career was cut short when she passed away at a young age. She has so many singles that narrowing this list down to 10 songs was a challenge. Fortunately, we were up for the challenge. This Top 10 Dinah Washington Songs list will feature her best singles.
# 10 – September in the Rain
The first song on our Top 10 Dinah Washington Songs list is “September in the Rain” from the album of the same name. The song has a pop and r&b beat. The popular song is about going down memory lane. It is about the end of a relationship. Anyone who is thinking about a love or things that have happened in the past will feel the words to this song. This is the type of song that will make you think about different things. It may bring back good memories. This song was released years ago, but people of all ages can appreciate this track. It is relatable to people of all ages.
The music is smooth and calming. It has orchestral swells. The pianist is a maestro on the piano. The double bass line is flawless. The classy song will make you want to get on the dance floor with someone you love. You can fall into a trance while listening to the musicians play this track. The musical arrangement was perfect for Dinah Washington’s voice. She sounds a lot like Billie Holliday in this track. Dinah Washington’s voice sounds majestic with the music. She has impeccable phrasing. She sings from the heart. She sings this as if it hits close to home. She was married six times so this song may be to one of her husbands. Her voice is as sweet as honey on this track. She hits all the right notes in all the right places. This song may not be something you hear on the radio today, but it is worth checking out if you have a love of music from the past.
# 9 – Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes) ft. Brook Benton
The next song on our Top 10 Dinah Washington Songs list is “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)” from the album The Two of Us. The song has an r&b beat. The upbeat song is about the way love makes you feel. If you are in love with someone, you can relate to the lyrics. The lyrics will remind you of why you fell in love in the first place. If you aren’t in love, it will make you want to fall in love with someone. The song tells a beautiful story about a couple who talk about how they have what it takes to make their relationship last. The lyrics are heartfelt and masterful. Many artists sing about love, but Dinah Washington and Brook Benton manage to make this one stand out.
The music is energetic and perfect for the theme of the song. This song was recorded years ago, but the music never gets old. The music is happy the way a love should be. The musical arrangement is incredible. Dinah Washington and Brook Benton sound great together. There is a blooper left in the song at the two-minute mark. He sings her part, but she keeps going. It is something to listen out for during the track.
We aren’t sure how true it is, but it has been reported that Dinah Washington and Brook Benton didn’t get along with each other when they recorded this song. If it is true, you would never know that because they sound as if they were made to sing with each other. They could easily have been another Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Brook Benton’s deep vocals are the perfect blend with Dinah Washington’s high vocals. This collaboration was pure dynamite. They both get their chance to shine in this track.
# 8 – That’s All I Want from You
The pleading song is from the album The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury, Volume 4 (1954-1956). The song has a blues beat. The longing song is about her wanting her man to love her. She wants him to love her and be there for her. She doesn’t want a short-term love. She wants the real thing. Everybody wants someone to love him or her for life. She isn’t asking for much. She just wants the man to love her for life. We have all been in that position where we would want someone to love us. This is a love song that doesn’t come off cheesy. The lyrics are beautiful and make you wish to have a love that would last forever.
The track has a fantastic blues beat. The horn section will blow your mind. It is definitely the star of the music. There is a saxophone solo that will take your breath away. The musicians don’t try to overpower Dinah Washington. They know when to get louder and when to take it down in order for her to be heard.
Dinah Washington sings the song with a lot of emotion. She has excellent intonation and phrasing. You can understand every word that she says which makes it easier to feel the song. She has incredible timing with the music. Her voice is incredible. She has the type of voice you can listen to for hours. If you weren’t a fan of hers before, this song will make you a believer.
# 7 – Trouble in Mind
The enigmatic song is from Dinah Washington’s greatest hits album. The song has a blues beat. This melancholy song is about her not wanting to be blue anymore. She believes she is going to get better. The cryptic song will leave you with questions. Is she happy because she is moving on with her life? Is she happy because she is ending her troubles by ending her life? What made her feel this way? If you look up the lyrics, you may wonder what the meaning is behind the words. In the beginning, she makes it seem as if she is going to be happy, but towards the end of the song, she makes it seem as if she is going to end her life. We could be reading too much into the lyrics. It is up to you to interpret what the song means to you.
The somber and bluesy beat goes hand and hand with the lyrics. This is the type of song that you can hear in a blues nightclub. If you close your eyes, you can practically hear her on stage singing this track. The musical arrangement is powerful. The musicians were doing their thing with this music. As soon as you hear the first note, you know you are in for a treat. Dinah Washington pours her heart out in the lyrics. Her gospel roots are showing in this song. She sings this as if her life depended on it. She belts throughout the song. She wakes up the song when she turns it into a power ballad. The only minor complaint is the song is too short. There is a musical pause that takes away from her singing. Since the song is already short, the musical pause wasn’t needed. It doesn’t take away from how good the song is, but it wasn’t needed.
# 6 – I’ll Never Be Free
The reminiscent song is from Dinah Washington’s greatest hits album. The song has a jazz beat. The somber song is about her not loving anyone the way she loves the one she lost. It is not clear whether or not she lost the person because of a break up or death. It is up to the listener to decide how they want to interpret the lyrics. If you have lost a love, you will understand what she is trying to say. Being with someone else can never replace the person you truly love. If you have experienced true love, this song will affect you. If you haven’t, it will make you wish you could.
The songwriter probably went through a bad loss to be able to write such tender lyrics. The lyrics are poetic. They may move some of you to tears. The music sounds like big band music. It has an old school sound. You can practically see people doing waltzes to the music. Dinah Washington shows magnificent vocal control. When the music is low, she sings softly. When the music gets louder, so does she. She takes you to church with her vocal range. You can catch the Holy Ghost listening to her sing each lyric. She makes you believe that her heart is longing for her old love. There aren’t too many singers who could have pulled this song off the way she did. She did an excellent job.
# 5 – This Bitter Earth
The next song on our Top 10 Dinah Washington Songs list is “This Bitter Earth” from the Unforgettable album. The song has an r&b beat. The haunting song is about how cruel the world can be. She takes a sullen approach to heartache and pain. All is not lost in this track. She does let the listener know that love can make things better. It doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic love. It can be love of your family or friend. As long as someone loves you, the world will be a better place. You will see that the world isn’t bitter after all. There aren’t too many songs about this subject so it makes this track stand out among others.
There are a lot of people who are depressed in the world and need to know that there is someone out there who cares about them. The more depressed you feel the closer to home this song will hit you. This song is timely with all of the things going on in the world that can make you depressed. It is always reassuring to know that there could be someone out there who loves you. The lyrics are so touching that they may make you cry. The music is melancholy, which goes along with the theme of the song. Dinah Washington’s voice sounds haunting in this track. Her voice is like an angel. The song is timeless. It will make you feel emotional from beginning to end. You should have tissues nearby when you are listening to it because it may make you cry.
# 4 – Unforgettable
The beautiful song is from the album of the same name. The song has a jazz beat. The fantastic song is self-explanatory. It is about a love that you will never forget. This is a cover of Nat King Cole’s hit song. This song has been covered many times over the years. Dinah Washington had big shoes to fill covering this song because it was a hit for Nat King Cole. She proved she was up for the challenge because her version of the song was a hit too. Her version reached number 10 on the r&b charts. It was well deserved because it was a beautiful rendition of the song.
Dinah Washington does a great job with her version of the song. She sounds a little different on this track. Her voice is stunning. She will make you believe in love while you are listening to her. She doesn’t utilize her big church vocals on this track. She keeps her voice low and constrained. It is a good idea not to oversing because it is a soft type of song. If you were hoping to hear her powerful belting, you will be disappointed. She proved that she could sing a song softly without doing the big notes. Her vocals on this track are truly “unforgettable.” She truly nails this song. This is a great song to hear with your lover. You may find yourself debating on whose version is the better one. You may not forget about Nat King Cole’s version, but this one is good too.
# 3 – Am I Asking Too Much
The questionable song is from the Queen of the Blues album. The song has an r&b beat. The heartfelt song is about her wanting to be loved. She doesn’t think it is too much to ask for the person to love her. This song will resonate with anyone who wants someone to love them. Haven’t we all been in a position where we want someone to love us? This song was written many years ago, but people still question whether they can be loved today. The lyrics are timeless and are proof that wanting to be love never gets old. It is amazing how the songwriter was able to capture a feeling that everyone has when it concerns love.
The music has a big band feel to it. Fans of classical music will be impressed by the music. It sounds like something that can be played in a movie. The music sounds like an older song, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the music. You don’t have to worry about computer programming on this track. You can sit back and listen to the geniuses who are playing the instruments. They knew what they were doing when they created this sound. Lets get to Dinah Washington’s voice. Are there enough words in the English language to describe just how sweet and pure Dinah Washington’s vocals are? Her vocals are flawless. Your jaw will drop listening to her vocals. You will want to listen to this song over again just to get a chance to hear her sweet voice.
# 2 – Baby Get Lost
The anthemic song is from the album The Mercury Blues Story (1945 – 1955). The song has an r&b and jazz beat. The heartbreaking song is about a man who has done her wrong. She talks about him traveling too much and is never around. She also talks about how he treats her like a fool and betrays her. She has the confidence to let him go. People have a hard time letting go of people who treat them badly. She isn’t afraid to tell him to get out of her life if he doesn’t treat her the way she deserves to be treated. This song will inspire you to get out of a bad relationship. If you have someone in your life who treats you like you don’t matter, you will relate to the lyrics.
The music has a big band accompaniment. The music has a distinct jazz sound. The horn section is stellar. It demands your attention in the song. The music isn’t designed to make you get up and dance. It is designed to make you think. It will make you feel emotional. The music caters to Dinah Washington’s voice amazingly. She needed a strong voice to sing against the big band. She was up for the challenge. She uses her powerful vocals to emote her feelings. She sounds like she is singing this to someone in particular. She is definitely feeling the lyrics. You can hear the hurt and pain in her voice as she sings each line.
# 1 – What a Diff’rence a Day Makes
The number one song on our Top 10 Dinah Washington Songs list is “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” from the album of the same name. The song has a pop and jazz beat. The positive song is about how quickly things can change. If you are in a bad relationship one minute, you can be in a good one the next. She is saying that the love of a person can change your day. The song has a deep meaning about love. She is telling the listeners that love can change your day from bad to good. It is good to know that a person can change your day.
The music has a lush string orchestra. The strings and the solo flute give the music a romantic sound. The music is soft and mellow which goes with the theme of the song. Dinah Washington sounds amazing. Her enunciation is flawless. She pauses in the right places to make the song more dramatic. She sings as if she is dissecting every syllable, but she doesn’t lose the essence of the song. Her voice is wonderful. She sounds similar to Billie Holiday in this track. Dinah Washington sings the song with soul. This is the song that earned her a Grammy Award and it is in the Grammy Hall of Fame. It is easy to see why the song won her an award because it is truly amazing.
Feature Photo: Associated Booking Corporation/photo by James Kriegsmann, New York, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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