Arts & Entertainment | National

Coeur d'Alene Tribe seeks recognition for famed jazz singer

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho wants famed singer Mildred Rinker Bailey inducted into the Jazz at Lincoln Center Hall of Fame in New York City.

Bailey, whose mother was a tribal member, grew up on the reservation. When she was 13, her family moved to Spokane, Washington, where she started singing with Bing Crosby, a neighbor.

Her career soon took off and she became known as "Mrs. Swing." But her tribal heritage was often buried, with one reference book calling her "the first white singer to absorb and master the jazz-flavored phrasing...of her black contemporaries."

"Mildred was a pioneer," Chairman Chief J. Allan told the Associated Press. "She paved the way for many other female singers to follow."

The tribe passed a resolution supporting Bailey's induction into the Hall of Fame.

Get the Story:
Idaho tribe touts 'Mrs. Swing's' Indian roots (AP 3/15)

Join the Conversation