I developed a mania for Fitzgerald - by the time I'd graduated from high school I'd read everything he'd written. I started with 'The Great Gatsby' and moved on to 'Tender Is the Night,' which just swept me away. Then I read 'This Side of Paradise,' his novel about Princeton - I literally slept with that book under my pillow for two years.
I don't know how much more what I've done is any more important than what Ella Fitzgerald did. Ella crossed those lines, as did George Benson before me. There've been lots of people who brought a pop audience to jazz because they were able to link the two and give people easy access to the world of jazz.
My style of singing has always been referred to 'soul' singing when it fact it's more influenced by English R&B Blues Shouting. I'm closer to Led Zeppelin as a vocalist than to Ella Fitzgerald. It was torture dealing with major labels.
When I heard Billie Holiday's voice, Nina Simone's and Ella Fitzgerald's - there was something about their voices to me that was such a different texture than what I was used to listening to at the time. Hearing those jazz voices were so different, and I think I just gravitated toward it.
My parents were into The Mills Brothers, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughn, and all those people sung the most wonderful songs - and even when I got into rock 'n' roll, that stayed with me.
Fitzgerald was a modernist.
Fitzgerald coined the phrase the 'Jazz Age,' and now we're living in the Hip-Hop Age.
Penelope Fitzgerald's nine novels are thin enough that if you were so inclined, you could take her entire literary output down from the shelf with a single stretched hand. You'd be holding an eclectic bunch.
Unlike F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Wolfe, I don't like proper dress while working. I like writing in pajama-like clothing, which eases and relaxes me and allows me to connect with the decidedly improper.
I'm the go-to guy for Mexican priests. I'm the new Barry Fitzgerald, except with a Mexican accent.