born on 3/6/1932 in Pittsburgh, PA, United States
died on 10/4/2007 in New York City, NY, United States
Dakota Staton (June 3, 1930 April 10, 2007), also known by the Muslim name Aliyah Rabia for a period due to her conversion to Islam as interpreted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, was an American jazz vocalist who found international acclaim with the 1957 No. 4 hit, "The Late, Late Show".
Born in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she attended George Westinghouse High School 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 Ahmad Dawud, a black Antigua-born Ahmadi Muslim trumpeter and noted critic of Elijah Muhammad. She subsequently converted to Islam and used the name Aliyah Rabia for some time. The marriage ultimately ended in divorce.
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, 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. Staton died in New York City aged 76 in 2007.
- The Late, Late Show (Capitol Records, 1957)
- In the Night, with George Shearing Quintet (Capitol Records, 1957)
- Dynamic! (Capitol Records, 1958)
- Crazy He Calls Me (Capitol Records, 1959)
- Time To Swing (Capitol Records, 1959)
- More Than The Most (Capitol Records, 1959)
- Softly (Capitol Records, 1960)
- Dakota (WRC, 1960)
- Round Midnight (Capitol Records, 1960)
- Sings Ballads And The Blues (Capitol Records, 1960)
- Dakota At Storyville (Capitol Records, 1961)
- Live And Swinging (United Artists Records, 1964)
- Dakota 67 (London, 1967)
- I've Been There (Verve Records, 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)
- 1.0 1.1 1.2 Guidry, Nate, Obituary: Dakota Staton / Acclaimed vocalist and Pittsburgh native, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 12, 2007. URL accessed on June 7, 2011.
- 2.0 2.1 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.
- Eugene Chadbourne, Talib Dawud biography, AllMusic.
- Clegg, Claude Andrew. An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad, St. Martin's Griffin, 1997, p. 132.
- Jason Ankeny, Dakota Staton biography at AllMusic.
- 6.0 6.1 Dakota Staton biography, Pittsburgh Music History.
- Dakota Staton at All Music Guide
- "Dakota Staton", Mainstream Jazz Vocalists at Swing Music Net.
- Rob Mariani article on Dakota Staton at All About Jazz.
- Dakota Staton biography, Pittsburgh Music History.