Blossom Dearie

For other contributors here, funny name blogging is like life itself, a bounteous gift. These large-minded souls delight in discovering funny names, and cast their newfound treasures hither and thither to beloved readers with joyful abandon, as if they were so many fragrant blossoms drawn from an infinite well of fragrant blossoms.

But for a contributor like me, funny name blogging is a brutal, Hobbesian struggle. Funny names are scarce and elusive. Once surrendered to readers, they are gone forever. Most distressing of all, others are on the look out for these prized commodities, and may find them first! (Who knows if they haven’t already and just aren’t letting on?) In this savage world, a funny name is indeed like a blossom, but one standing solitary in a bleak, arid landscape. Stumbling upon such a treasure in the course of furtive funny name foraging, one first utters a startled grunt, and glares at the blossom with fierce covetousness. Then, one looks about with panicked apprehension for the possible approach of other foragers. Before long, one has scraped one’s fingers raw moving rocks to build an encircling wall–for concealment, for a territorial marker, for a defensive perimeter. Then one guards the treasure day and night until the time that one can reveal it to the world–reluctantly, grudgingly–and capture another fleeting moment of BoFN glory.

Oh, that blossom is not just an analogy, my friends! Imagine one such as myself thumbing through the jazz racks at a CD store and coming across . . . Blossom Dearie.

That's probably not what she meant when she sang "Someone to Watch Over Me".

That’s probably not what she meant when she sang “Someone to Watch Over Me”.

You may easily imagine how I returned home to scour the BoFN index with pathetic anxiety, the snort of satisfaction when I confirmed that my preeeeeeeciousssss Margarethe Blossom Dearie was yet unclaimed. But what if some cunning BoFNite should discover her before my appointed post? I could hardly screech and warn interlopers off without revealing the very thing I guarded! And so, with such tortured thoughts the sleepless nights passed, until this day finally arrived. The day I can unveil my prize!

From My Gentleman Friend (1961).

As if the name weren’t enough, my Blossom startles all the more for being an unusually good singer–and I’m not usually an enthusiast of vocal jazz. How could I not have heard of her all these years? She has an airy, playful, elfen voice with a trace of a whisper, not to mention a graceful touch on piano. (Yes, that’s her on piano, too!) She seems to prefer intricate bebop standards with complex lyrics, especially ballads. She executes phrases with impeccable subtlety, and truly interprets the songs, with feeling and wit. The wit is well represented in this spry rendition of “Hip”, a satirical poke at hipsters of yore (1966):

(Though I’m compelled to point out that Tower of Power also treated this theme.)

Blossom left us in 2009 after a long illness. RIP, dearie.

As for me, I’m off for more grim foraging.

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19 Responses to Blossom Dearie

  1. Reblogged this on muscleheaded and commented:
    A wonderful lady and performer, Blossom passed several years ago, but she’s remembered fondly by me and her many fans.

  2. marksackler says:

    Wow. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this one first. Nicely written post. And we may have to rename this space The Blog of Funny Name Metaphors! 😉

  3. Arto says:

    Wow, amazing post. May I say the Blog of Funny Names is blossoming into some seriously good literary writing? No? Ok, fair enough. Just loved the flowery prose here.

    I do apologize for all these bloomin’ puns.

    • wdydfae says:

      Thanks! With all the dandy lions of great writing around here serving as a constant inspiration, I hope I rose to the occassion in some way. Even if I can’t reach the heights of you guys, at least I can aspire to be a budding contributor worthy to exist in the BoFN cosmos.

  4. You have out done yourself. I haven’t heard her in years. Great find.

    Loved the flowery banter, by the way!

  5. Liz says:

    Hurrah hurrah, Diddy!!!! Fantastic and funny. Your delightedly descriptive post had me on high alert so as to not miss a nuance, a word, a phrasing. You are totally in front of the pack of the BoFN Dandy Lions when it comes to captivating prose. And how perfect that you made it a music post. Perfect, I say.

    As for the rest of us foraging and hoarding–ha. That is all in your head, my friend. The rest of us are out there searching just like you. (except for maybe Dave–he seems to attract strange names)

    • wdydfae says:

      Thanks, Liz!

      I still maintain that the other BoFNites are willd and free and generous with the names. Sometimes I read posts where BoFN masters summon up names by the bucketful and I have to restrain myself: Don’t do that! You could have gotten five or six posts out of that! There’s no getting away from it: I am stingy, scrounging, scowling scavenger of names, whilst the other BoFN folks are superior beings!

      • Liz says:

        I’m with you if you stop at “wild and free and generous.” That’s how the BoFN folks (and readers, mind you) roll 😀

        lol, using so many names at once. Don’t you see, diddy? To those who use many names, many more names are given. Don’t be stingy, man.

        And not so fast with the “superior beings.” Hah.

  6. Pingback: Theodor Seuss Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Theophrastus Seuss, and a Merry Grinch Christmas Potpourri | The Blog of Funny Names

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