Classics: Dinah Washington – What A Diff’rence A Days Makes (Mercury)
“What a diff’rence a day makes, twenty-four little hours brought the sun and the flowers where there used to be rain. My yesterday was blue, dear. Today I’m a part of you, dear. My lonely nights are through, dear, since you said you were mine…” Unless havin’ spent the last 60 years or so in a desert island, chances are great you would have heard at least once these lyrics…
Strangely enough, not only the spelling but also the conjugation of the title may change. With the initial ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’ turning itself into ‘What A Difference…’ Or ‘… A Day Made’ from a source to another. Besides, even the title itself has hardly anything to do with its original version. Initially a song written in Spanish by Maria Grever back in 1934. Then titled ‘Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado’ (‘When I Return To Your Side’).
A native of Tuscaloosa, AL, Dinah Washington made her debut at the age of 2O, dropping her first single – ‘I Know How To Do It’ on Keynote Recordings.
From her 1959 album of the likes, the soothing ‘What A Diff’rence A Day’ makes stands among Dinah Washington‘s biggest classics. Thus heavily contributing to her status as the most poular Black female recording artist of the 50’s. Meanwhile counting 57 albums to her credit, that saw her embracing various styles from Blues, R&B and Jazz.
Sixteen years later, Esther Phillips gave ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’ a memorable Disco cover version. And, as a result, turned it into one of her biggest classics as well…
Dinah Washington sadly died on Dec. 14, 1963 at the early age of 39. An autopsy later showed a lethal combination of secobarbital and amobarbital, which contributed to her death.