D is for Davis, Ernestine “Tiny” Davis. She was born in 1907 in Memphis, Tenn and she learned play the trumpet at Booker T Washington High School. She joined the International Sweethearts Of Rhythm in 1941 and she quickly became its most popular soloist. In 1946 she left the Sweethearts and started her own band called Tiny Davis and the Hell Divers. In the 50s, she and her partner, pianist Ruby Lucas ran a nightclub in Chicago called Tiny and Ruby’s Gay Spot. The video is Tiny and the Hell Divers doing “Racehorse” (Basie, Brown)
Ernestine passed away in 1994 but if you watch the film clip on You Tube, you can see she was still playing her trumpet (or “blowin’ music” as she called it) well into her 80s.
As I added Ernestine Davis’ name to my growing list of octogenarian lady crushes, I began to I wonder if pretty much every feisty oldster would qualify. Then I remembered Anita Bryant must be nearly 80 too and she is most certainly not on the list. So no, you definitely have to be someone special to earn my unhealthy admiration.