Idaho tribe touts 'Mrs. Swing's' Indian roots

Idaho tribe touts 'Mrs. Swing's' Indian roots

Credit: jazzmusicarchives.com

Mildred Rinker Bailey

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 11:34 AM

BOISE -- In jazz history, Mildred Rinker Bailey goes down as one of the great white singers of the 1930s and 1940s.

But Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe officials are hoping to set the record straight: She was actually one of them.

Bailey's mother was a Coeur d'Alene member, her father of Swiss-Irish stock.

Now, the tribe has introduced a resolution in the Idaho Legislature honoring Bailey, who died in 1951.

It's hoping to win the attention of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Hall of Fame in New York City.

Tribal Chairman Chairman Chief J. Allan says Bailey should be acknowledged there for helping blaze a trail for better-known singers like Ella Fitzgerald.

Bailey's niece, Julia Rinker-Miller of Los Angeles, sees the tribe's effort as helping her aunt return to her Indian roots.

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