An ode to Ella Fitzgerald's storied reefer songs from era of "jazz cigarettes"

Editor’s note: Singer Ella Fitzgerald died 11 years ago today. This story originally published on The Conversation on April 19, 2017.

“The First Lady of Song” Ella Fitzgerald would have turned 100 on Tuesday, April 25: institutions from the Library of Congress to the Grammy Museum honored her amazing contributions to the jazz canon.

It will be interesting to see if any tributes mention Fitzgerald’s “Wacky Dust,” her song about cocaine.

In the 1930s – just as Fitzgerald was getting her start – jazz was under fire for its purported ties to drug culture. The 1936 anti-drug…

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