last updated
Tuesday, 30-Sep-2014 09:13:23 EDT


Susannah McCorkle, 55

NEW YORK (May 19, 2001) - Beloved Jazz and cabaret singer Susannah McCorkle, who performed in major clubs throughout the world, died Saturday at age 55. Police said that Ms. McCorkle jumped to her death from her 16th floor Manhattan apartment, leaving a suicide note contents of which they would not reveal.

Family members and friends were quoted as saying that Ms. McCorkle had suffered from depression "on and off for most of her life," and was recently despondent. McCorkle was known a style that evoked both warmth and humor, and a repertoire of over 3,000 songs.

From Associated Press:

"In 1970, while studying languages in Europe, McCorkle discovered jazz when she heard the legendary singer Billie Holiday. She started singing in jazz clubs in Italy and Great Britain, and her first recording was released in 1976.

"She was also an accomplished writer, with work published in The O. Henry Awards Prize Stories, New York magazine, Newsday, and Cosmopolitan. She was working on a novel at the time of her death.

"Critics called her one of the finest jazz-pop singers in America. A 1987 release called "Dream" and featuring Frank Wess, formerly of the Count Basie Orchestra, was a "pick of the week" in The New York Times and Billboard. The collection received a five-star rating from jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather in the Los Angeles Times, and also won rave reviews from People and Stereo Review."

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Son Lars and I have never forgotten you, my precious little flower girl on Shasta Road in Berkeley, May 7, 1955. You first toddled up to my door in 1949. You were depressed and solemn even as a small child. It breaks my heart that you chose this violent end for yourself. Lars is angry You reached out to me but I wasn't there. I could not endure going over the old Berkeley days so i took an easy pass. It was your shimmying sister Kate who got the time.

Ethel Roney Hansen
El Cerrito, Northern California

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