Blossom Dearie, a beloved singer and pianist with a funny name and a curiously captivating voice, has died in New York at the age of 84. Dearie made her recording debut on the Verve label in 1956 with a self-titled album. Blossom Dearie set the pattern for future recordings, using a small backing band to put the emphasis on Dearie's playing and imaginative, just-inches-from-the-microphone readings. Dearie eventually took to recording for her own label, beginning in the 1970s, and continued performing, mostly in New York and London, until 2006. Stephen Holden has an appreciative, detailed obituary at The New York Times.
Here's Dearie addressing hipsters of an earlier era:
Im Hip - Blossom Dearie
Readers of a certain age also know her voice well from a pair of entries in ABC's '70s and '80s Schoolhouse Rock segments.