Susannah McCorkle: Age 55 | Cause Of Death: SUICIDE

(b: 1 January 1946 Berkeley, CA ;d: 19 May 2001, New York)

Susannah McCorkle, the sultry voiced pop-jazz singer who brought a rare literary refinement to popular standards, was found dead outside her apartment at 41 West 86th Street early yesterday morning. She was 55.  She had apparently jumped to her death, the police said. She had left a suicide note, but the police would not reveal its contents. In her apartment, the singer had left a will, along with detailed instructions about disposition of her estate.  With a smoky, often kittenish pop- jazz voice and phrasing that lingered stealthily behind the beat, Ms. McCorkle was a direct stylistic descendant of Billie Holiday, who was her primary influence. A student of lyrics and a prolific writer herself, she liked to find new ways of interpreting familiar standards. Her pensive, slowed-up rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” for instance, found an underlying sadness in Irving Berlin’s razzle-dazzle anthem. She also had special and continuing love for Brazilian pop, to which she devoted an album, “Sabia” (Concord Jazz), whose lyrics included her own translations from Portuguese. Many of her later albums included at least one standard composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. ~By STEPHEN HOLDEN..More..