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How did Marilyn help Ella Fitzgerald?

The story goes that jazz musician Ella Fitzgerald was refused to play at the popular Mocambo nightclub because she was black. Outraged by this Marilyn Monroe called the owner stating that if he booked Ella, she would be in the audience every night. However, contrary to popular belief Ella Fitzgerald was not refused to perform because she was black as many other African Americans musicians had performed there before Ella (Dorothy Dandrige, Eartha Kitt, and Joyce Bryant to name a few). It was simply because the owner didn’t think Ella was glamorous enough.

Despite Mocambo booking Ella because of Marilyn’s call, she did not attend any of the performances. Other stars such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland were photographed at the club for these shows and if Marilyn had been present, it is very likely it would’ve been reported.

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