Skip to main content
Pledge specials banner

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

Ella Fitzgerald was 15-years-old when she won a talent contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem in 1934. Within months she was a star. Just One Of Those Things follows her extraordinary journey over six decades as her sublime voice transforms the tragedies and troubles of her own life and times into joy. With rarely heard interviews and never-before-seen images, the film brings the singer to life and tells the story of her music. It uncovers her commitment to the battle for civil rights and the conflicts that haunted this intensely private woman as she struggled to reconcile her hunger for adoring audiences with her longing for a domestic life with her husband and son. Even when she was the biggest singing star in the world, her pianist and friend Oscar Peterson said Fitzgerald was “the loneliest woman in the world.” But as singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum says in the film: “Her music is one of the reasons it’s worth being on this planet.”

Interviews in the film include Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Cleo Laine, Andre Previn, dancer Norma Miller, Patti Austin, Itzhak Perlman, Margo Jefferson, author and music critic Will Friedwald, and a rare interview with Fitzgerald’s son, Ray Brown, Jr.