I have collected most of DD's work, but had never heard - or was aware of - these earlier recordings. JUST WONDERFUL! I plan to give copies to friends, for they would be the PERFECT background music to any really sophisticated party.........or, at a lower level of volume, THE perfect music when one has had a hard day and needs THE right music while sipping a glass of wine or, better yet, a glass of champagne! I am SO thankful that people are starting to pull out some of her earlier recordings and are having them re produced. BTW, I used to go to the various venues in San Francisco and the Bay Area whenever she graced us with her presence. I also saw her in Paris with French friends who just adored her. As I have to wear a hat, she always recognized me and, in a patois voice, would say "What you want to hear?".
But she was VERY well respected in the classical world as well - she NEVER practiced jazz - just the classics. (She had, after all, trained in Chicago at their School of Music in classical piano). Besides that, she was a very good friend of many great classical artists like Vladimir Horowitz and Alicia de la Rocha. In fact, one night, in SF, I had been invited by some friends to attend a concert at the SF Symphony where Alicia was guest artist. (The mother of my friend was an old friend of Alicia's, so I was invited to join them after the concert). I said to Alicia "I understand that you know Dorthey Donegan". "OH! WHAT an artist! Have you ever heard her start to play a Chopin etude and then suddenly start doing jazz variations on it (I had actually)?
Alicia told us that nobody but nobody was like DD. Alicia said that she knew of no one else who could do that.
BUT DD did have a dirty mouth on occasion (NOT bad words, but just little asides which were somewhat raunchy! Those did, however, make her VERY successful in the jazz joints on the upper east side in NY). I suppose that is why she never made it big time, which is just as well in many ways. SHE was totally unique. Listening to the radio, were one of her pieces being played, you KNEW it was DD. Whatever, to all who read this posting, ENJOY the music she made...it is wonderful!