1-20 of 274 results  for:

  • Sex: Female x
Clear all

Article

Abbott, Emma (09 December 1850–05 January 1891), soprano and opera impresario, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Seth Abbott, an itinerant musician and music teacher, and Almira Palmer. Abbott’s father encouraged her and her brother George to develop the musical ability that they demonstrated at an early age. Emma, who sang constantly as a child, chose the guitar as her instrument; her brother studied the violin. In 1854 the family moved from Chicago to Peoria, Illinois, and their fortunes declined. To supplement the family income Seth Abbott and the two musical children began to give concerts in Peoria and elsewhere starting in 1859; according to contemporary biographical lexicographer F. O. Jones, the trio performed hundreds of concerts during this period....

Article

Anderson, Ivie (10 July 1905–27 or 28 Dec. 1949), jazz singer, was born in Gilroy, California, the daughter of Jobe Smith. Her mother’s name is unknown. Anderson’s given name is sometimes spelled “Ivy.” She studied voice at St. Mary’s Convent from age nine to age thirteen, and she sang in the glee club and choral society at Gilroy grammar and high school. While spending two years at the Nunnie H. Burroughs Institution in Washington, D.C., she studied voice under Sara Ritt....

Image

Marian Anderson Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1940. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 49 P&P).

Article

Anderson, Marian (17 February 1897–08 April 1993), contralto, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Berkeley Anderson, a refrigerator room employee at the Reading Terminal Market, an ice and coal dealer, and a barber, and Anne (also seen as “Annie” and “Anna,” maiden name unknown), a former schoolteacher. John Anderson’s various jobs provided only a meager income, and after his death, before Marian was a teenager, her mother’s income as a laundress and laborer at Wannamaker Department Store was even less. Yet, as Anderson later recalled, neither she nor her two younger sisters thought of themselves as poor. When Marian was about eight her father purchased a piano from his brother; she proceeded to teach herself how to play it and became good enough to accompany herself. Also as a youngster, having seen a violin in a pawn shop window, she became determined to purchase it and earned the requisite $4 by scrubbing her neighbors’ steps. She attempted to teach herself the violin as well but discovered that she had little aptitude for the instrument....

Article

See Andrews Sisters

Article

See Andrews Sisters

Article

Armstrong, Lil (03 February 1898–27 August 1971), jazz pianist, composer, and singer, was born Lillian Hardin in Memphis, Tennessee. Nothing is known of her father, but her mother, Dempsey Hardin, was a strict, churchgoing woman who disapproved of blues music. At age six, Lil began playing organ at home, and at eight she started studying piano. In 1914 she enrolled in the music school of Fisk University in Nashville, taking academic courses and studying piano and music theory. After earning her diploma, around 1917 she joined her mother in Chicago, where she found work demonstrating songs in Jones’ Music Store. Prompted by her employer, in 1918 Hardin auditioned for clarinetist Lawrence Duhé’s band at Bill Bottoms’s Dreamland Ballroom, where she played with cornetist “Sugar Johnny” Smith, trombonist Roy Palmer, and other New Orleans musicians. When Smith became too ill to continue working, he was replaced by first ...

Article

Austin, Lovie (19 September 1887–10 July 1972), pioneer jazzwoman, was born Cora Calhoun, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Little is known about Austin’s personal life. She studied music theory and piano at Roger Williams University in Nashville and Knoxville College in Knoxville. Her musical contributions were nearly overlooked until the revived interest in women in jazz in the 1970s. The reacquaintance with Austin can be attributed to the publication of three books on women in the early days of jazz....

Article

Bachauer, Gina (21 May 1913–22 August 1976), pianist, was born in Athens, Greece, the daughter of Jean Bachauer, a foreign-car dealer of Austrian descent, and Ersilia Marostica, of Italian descent. Bachauer’s father’s business was profitable, and she enjoyed a comfortable childhood. Her career may have been determined as early as Christmas of 1917, when she received a toy piano as a present. Young Gina impressed family and friends with her ability to play the tiny instrument; consequently, her mother enrolled her at the Athens Royal Conservatory....

Image

Mildred Bailey © William P. Gottlieb; used by permission. William P. Gottlieb Collection, Library of Congress (LC-GLB13-0040 DLC).

Article

Bailey, Mildred (27 February 1907–12 December 1951), jazz singer, was born Eleanor Mildred Rinker in Tekoa, Washington, the daughter of Charles Rinker, a farmer of Irish descent, and Josephine (maiden name unknown), who was one-eighth Native American. She attended local schools in Spokane. The Rinkers were a musical family—Mildred’s mother, father, and a brother played piano, her father also sang, and another brother played the saxophone. When Mildred was in her teens, her mother died of tuberculosis; She subsequently moved to Seattle to live with an aunt. In Seattle she met and married Ed Bailey; they had no children. Around that time Mildred obtained her first singing job, plugging hit tunes in the back of a Seattle music store. She later divorced her husband and in 1925 moved to Los Angeles, where she found work playing piano and singing in a Hollywood speakeasy. The same year she married Benny Stafford, but the childless marriage did not last....

Image

Pearl Bailey In her costume from St. Louis Woman. Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1946. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103735).

Article

Bailey, Pearl (29 March 1918–17 August 1990), actress, singer, and entertainer, was born Pearl Mae Bailey in Newport News, Virginia, the daughter of the Reverend Joseph James Bailey and Ella Mae (maiden name unknown). Her brother Bill Bailey was at one time a well-known tap dancer....

Article

Baker, Belle (25 December 1895–28 April 1957), singer, was born Bella Becker in New York City’s Lower East Side, the daughter of Chaim Becker, a pushcart peddler, and Sarah (maiden name unknown), both immigrants from Russia. Baker left school at an early age—most sources say nine—and went to work in sweatshops, primarily shirtwaist factories and laundries. At age eleven she landed a job as a singer at the Cannon Street Music Hall, located near her home. There she was spotted by ...

Image

Josephine Baker Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1949. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93000).

Article

Baker, Josephine (03 June 1906–12 April 1975), dancer, singer, and civil rights activist, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Eddie Carson, a musician, and Carrie Macdonald. Her parents parted when Josephine was still an infant, and her mother married Arthur Martin, which has led to some confusion about her maiden name. Very little is known about her childhood, except that she was a witness to the East St. Louis riot in 1917. This event was often a feature of her talks in the 1950s and 1960s about racism and the fight for equality, which fostered the oft-repeated assertion that the family was resident in East St. Louis. Before the age of eighteen Josephine had been married twice, first to Willie Wells and then to William Baker, to whom she was married in Camden, New Jersey, in September 1921....

Article

Batchelder, Alice Coleman (1874–17 June 1948), arts administrator and pianist, was born in Beatrice, Nebraska, the daughter of Theodore Coleman, a newspaperman, and Jennie (maiden name unknown). (She was to acquire the name Batchelder through marriage when she was thirty-nine.) During her childhood her family moved from Beatrice to Washington, D.C., then to Santa Clara, California, and finally to Pasadena, California, where her father served as city editor of the ...

Article

Bauer, Marion Eugenie (15 August 1887–09 August 1955), composer, teacher, and advocate of modern music, was the daughter of Jacques Bauer and Julie Heyman. Her father was an amateur musician who earned his living as a grocer, and her mother was a language teacher. Born in Walla Walla, Washington, Bauer began her musical study in Portland, Oregon, where the family moved after the death of her father in 1890. Soon after her high school graduation in 1903, Bauer moved to New York City to live with her eldest sister, Emilie Frances, a pianist and music critic, who provided her with financial support and encouragement. During this period, Bauer studied piano and composition with Henry Holden Huss....

Image

Nora Bayes With her children aboard the S.S. Leviathan, 1924. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111460 ).

Article

Bayes, Nora (29 November 1880–19 March 1928), singer and comedienne, was born Theodora Goldberg in Joliet, Illinois, the daughter of Elias Goldberg, a merchant, and Rachel Miller. The product of local public schools, which she left to enter vaudeville, the young Dora Goldberg was largely self-taught musically. She had already made her debut at the Hopkins Theatre in Chicago and had become “Nora Bayes” when, at eighteen, she received her first acclaim at the Hyde and Behman vaudeville theater in Chicago, singing comic songs in dialect while impersonating Yiddish and Irish stereotypical characters then fashionable in vaudeville....