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Singer Dinah Washington Is Dead

Dec. 14, 1963 - Dinah Washington, the Negro blues singer, died today at her home in Detroit. Miss Washington, who was 39 years old, was the wife of Dick (Night Train) Lane, a star halfback for the Detroit Lions. The police said Miss Washington might have accidentally taken an overdose of a sedative. There was a box of pills beside her bed. An autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of death. Mr. Lane, 35, stayed at home as the Lions departed for their game with the Bears in Chicago tomorrow. The game will help decide whether Chicago wins the championship of the league’s Western Division. Mr. Lane accompanied the police to the Wayne County Morgue. A police sergeant described him as “shaken but composed.” Miss Washington’s career spanned nearly 20 years. She recorded many hits, starred in television, and was a favorite in nightclubs. Mr. Lane was her sixth husband. They married last July. Mr. Lane said the buzzing of their bedroom television set awakened him about 3:45 a.m., and he found his wife unconscious. A doctor who was summoned pronounced her dead. A box of orange and blue pills was found next to the bed. The police said it was apparently a prescription from a West Coast druggist. Miss Washington had recently returned from singing engagements there. She had taken pills for a nervous condition, friends said. “Dinah had found a real man in Night Train and was very happy,” said Lawrence W. Massey, her attorney for nearly 10 years. “She and Night Train were looking around for a house here,” he said. “Happiness didn’t come easy to Dinah, but she had finally found it.”


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