“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Della Reese…

Posted on November 20, 2017 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… 

“`Della Reese was a nightclub,  jazz, gospel, and pop singer; film and television actress; and one-time talk-show host. Her career spanned six decades. She also appeared as a guest on several talk shows,  and as a panelist on numerous game shows. She’s best known for her starring role in Touched By an Angel, which lasted a decade.

“`As a youngster, Della was influenced by the films of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Lena Horne. Her first brush with entertainment was when she established a gospel group in 1947.

“`Reese was discovered by the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, and her big break came when she won a contest, which gave her a week to sing at Detroit’s well-known Flame Show Bar. Reese remained there for eight weeks. Although her roots were in gospel music, she became influenced by such famous crooners as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan.  In 1953, she signed a contract with Jubilee Records and recorded I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, Time After Time and the chart-topping And That Reminds Me. Martha Reeves named her group The Vandellas, in honor of her favorite singer, Della Reese.

“`Though a promising singer, her biggest splash was in television.  After hosting her own talk show, Della was the first Black woman to guest-host The Tonight Show, filling in for Johnny Carson. She guest-starred on many programs, including  Medical CenterThe Mod Squad, Police Woman, Sanford and Son, Night Court, Vega$MacGyverChico and the Man, Welcome Back Kotter,  The Love Boat, L. A. Law,  Designing Women, Picket Fences, and  McCloud. Della starred in television movies, and had a role on the daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Reese also had a small cinematic career.

“`She became an ordained minister in 1980. In 2005, Reese was honored by Oprah Winfrey at her Legends Ball ceremony along with 25 other black women. Della never won a major award. However, she did accomplish something in her career that was the envy of many performers — longevity.

“`Della Reese was 86.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, November 20th, 2017 at 11:12 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Comments are closed.