Dinah Washington

Queen of the Blues
Birth Name:
Ruth Lee Jones
Birth Date:
August 29, 1924
Birth Place:
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Death Date:
December 14, 1963
Place of Death:
4002 Buena Vista Street, Detroit, Michigan
Cause of Death:
Accidental overdose - prescription diet and sleep medication mixed with alcohol
Cemetery Name:
Burr Oak Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Dinah Washington was an American singer and pianist who has been cited as "the most popular black female recording artist of the 1950s". Primarily a jazz vocalist, she performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, and traditional pop music and gave herself the title of "Queen of the Blues". It all started when she won a talent show at the age of 15. Shortly after she teamed up with Lionel Hampton and stayed with his orchestra until 1946. Going solo she released a diverse catalog of hits for the mainstream black population including Hank William's "Cold, Cold Heart," the Orioles "It's Too Soon To Know" and her biggest hit of the 1940s "Baby, Get Lost". Washington continued her chart success maintaining a spot on the Top 10 R&B charts from 1949 through 1955 with "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "What A Difference A Day Makes". In July 1963, football great Dick "Night Train" Lane married jazz singer Dinah Washington at a ceremony in Las Vegas. It was the sixth marriage for Washington and the second for Lane. Just five months later early in the morning of December 14, 1963, Lane went to sleep with Washington who awoke later to find her slumped over and not responsive. She was pronounced her dead at the scene at age 39. An autopsy later showed a lethal combination of secobarbital and amobarbital, prescriptions for her insomnia and diet, which contributed to her death. She was a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Fun Facts:

One of her ex-husbands includes the actor Rafael Campos. Campos is best remembered for his role as ‘Ramon Diaz Jr.’ on the “Rhoda” television series from 1977 to 1978 and was featured in numerous films including “The Return Of Josey Wales” (1986), “Fever Pitch” (1985), “Heartbreaker” (1983), “The Return Of Frank Cannon” (1980) and “Where The Buffalo Roam” (1980).

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Burr Oak Cemetery

4400 West 127th Street

Alsip, Illinois, 60803


North America

Grave Location:

Elm Grove, Lot 155, Grave 4

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery off 127th Street, park at the office. Walk straight ahead out of the front of the office down the road that divides the two sections. Count 8 rows on the right section (Elm Grove) and then turn right into the section and count another 20 graves into Elm Grove for the final resting place of the Queen of the Blues Dinah Washington. Oh, and if you keep walking another 100 feet down the road you will find blues legend Willie Dixon.

Grave Location GPS

41.66313766585505, -87.72999570194418



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