It was a long time ago, when I was on an American Youth Hostel bicycle trip to Europe and just a kidling. We were in Copenhagen at one point, and one day I was wandering through the wonderful Tivoli Gardens, a sort of amusement park, entertainment center, and nature area -- and I saw signs that Ella Fitzgerald would be performing there that very night! I couldn't believe the good luck and wanted to find out who else from our group of about a dozen people wanted to go with me. The total of others was...zero. Idiots. But that didn't stop me from going alone. And it was joyous. In fact, all the better, it was an intimate room of only maybe 200-300 at most. She was tremendous, low-key, almost shy it seemed (perhaps it being in a foreign country). I recall her occasionally says, "Mange tak" (manya-tahk) -- many thanks, in Danish, after the numbers. And then afterwards, as I said, I went backstage and briefly chatted. And as before, she was low-key and gracious. And I had her sign my little "travel diary" that I was keeping for the trip. And I still have it! (As you can see, I was a cleanly kid, getting up at 7:30 in the morning and taking a shower. My diary was pretty boring. I kept it sort of as if I was learning to be a train conductor, filled with details of times I did things.)
So, here's my Ella Proof.
So, there, you skeptics!
Anyway, with all that as the backdrop, here is the footage from 1979 when Ella Fitzgerald received the Kennedy Center Honor.