Dakota Staton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dakota Staton
Dakota Staton 1965.jpg
Dakota Staton in 1965
Background information
Birth nameDakota Staton
Also known asAliyah Rabia
Born(1930-06-03)June 3, 1930
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedApril 10, 2007(2007-04-10) (aged 76)
New York, New York U.S.
Associated actsGeorge Shearing

Dakota Staton (June 3, 1930 – April 10, 2007)[1] was an American jazz vocalist who found international acclaim with the 1957 No. 4 hit, "The Late, Late Show". She was also known by the Muslim name Aliyah Rabia for a period due to her conversion to Islam as interpreted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.[2]


Born in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she attended George Westinghouse High School[1] and studied music at the Filion School of Music in Pittsburgh. Later she performed regularly in the Hill District, a jazz hotspot, as a vocalist with the Joe Westray Orchestra, a popular Pittsburgh orchestra. She next spent several years in the nightclub circuit in such cities as Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis. While in New York, she was noticed singing at a Harlem nightclub called the Baby Grand by Dave Cavanaugh, a producer for Capitol Records. She was signed and released several singles, her success leading her to win Down Beat magazine's "Most Promising Newcomer" award in 1955. In 1958, Staton wed Talib Dawud,[3] a black Antigua-born Ahmadi Muslim, a jazz trumpeter and noted critic of Elijah Muhammad.[4] She subsequently converted to Islam and used the name Aliyah Rabia for some time.[5] The marriage ultimately ended in divorce.[2]

She released several critically acclaimed albums in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including: The Late, Late Show (1957), whose title track was her biggest hit, In the Night (1957), a collaboration with pianist George Shearing, Dynamic! (1958) and Dakota at Storyville (1961), a live album recorded at the Storyville jazz club in Boston. In the mid-1960s Staton moved to England, where she recorded the album Dakota ′67. Returning to the US in the early 1970s,[6] she continued to record semi-regularly, her recordings taking an increasingly strong gospel and blues influence. She suffered a stroke in 1999, after which her health deteriorated.[6] Staton died in New York City aged 76 in 2007.[1]

Selected discography[edit]

  • The Late, Late Show (Capitol, 1957)
  • In the Night, with the George Shearing Quintet (Capitol, 1957)
  • Dynamic! (Capitol, 1958)
  • Crazy He Calls Me (Capitol, 1959)
  • Time to Swing (Capitol, 1959)
  • More Than the Most (Capitol, 1959)
  • Softly (Capitol, 1960)
  • Dakota (WRC, 1960)
  • 2 Round Midnight (Capitol, 1960)
  • Sings Ballads and the Blues (Capitol, 1960)
  • Dakota at Storyville (Capitol, 1961)
  • Live and Swinging (United Artists, 1964)
  • Dakota '67 (London, 1967)
  • I've Been There (Verve, 1970)
  • Madame Foo-Foo (Groove Merchant, 1972)
  • I Want a Country Man (Groove Merchant, 1973)
  • Ms. Soul (Groove Merchant, 1974)
  • Uniquely Dakota (Half Moon, 1983)
  • Let Me Off Uptown – The Best of Dakota Staton (Renaissance, 1989)
  • Dakota Staton (Muse, 1990)
  • Darling, Please Save Your Love for Me (Muse, 1991)
  • Isn't This a Lovely Day (Muse, 1992)
  • Congratulations to Someone (LC, 1990)
  • A Packet of Love Letters (HighNote, 1999)


  1. ^ a b c Guidry, Nate (April 12, 2007). "Obituary: Dakota Staton / Acclaimed vocalist and Pittsburgh native". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (April 13, 2007). "Dakota Staton, 76, Jazz Singer With a Sharp, Bluesy Sound, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved on April 16, 2007.
  3. ^ Eugene Chadbourne, Talib Dawud biography, AllMusic.
  4. ^ Clegg, Claude Andrew. An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad, St. Martin's Griffin, 1997, p. 132.
  5. ^ Jason Ankeny, Dakota Staton biography at AllMusic.
  6. ^ a b Dakota Staton biography, Pittsburgh Music History.

External links[edit]