Ella was one of the greatest Americans of all time, and one of the most talented musicians ever.
Ella's singing immediately uplifts and transports anyone who hears it. That’s as true of the people like my grandmother who were fortunate enough to have heard her perform live as it is young people who have discovered her performances through records, tapes, CDs, and now digital recordings. Ella and Louis has brightened so many lives.
Not only that, but she represents jazz -- the quintessential American art form and America’s greatest artistic contribution to the world.
I’ve heard so many people independently mention Ella as one of their very favorite musicians.
I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard anyone, anywhere volunteer Eleanor Roosevelt as their favorite anything. I’m not sure she’s ever come up in conversation ever in my life except in relation to her husband, despite her accomplishments.
Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, two of the other names that have come up in other polls regarding the $10 bill -- OK, fine. And there are other great American women in political history. And of course there’s always Molly Pitcher, a personal favorite.
But politics is overrated.
The United Kingdom was able to get past this problem. Next year, they will publish new £10 notes featuring Jane Austen.
Ella is our version of Jane Austen. My vote may count for nothing at the Treasury, but at least I can say it just to have it on the record: Ella belongs on the $10 bill.