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Interesting Facts about Adelaide Hall, an American-born UK-based Jazz Singer and Entertainer ‏



Adelaide Louise Hall

Today’s Google Doodle honors the 122nd birthday of jazz singer Adelaide Hall, who is best known for popularizing scat singing during the Harlem Renaissance on October 20, 2023, in observance of UK Black History Month. The American-born, UK-based entertainer, had a career spanning over 70 years that broke numerous records. Hannah Ekuwa Buckman, a guest artist from London, created the illustrations for the Google Doodle. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Adelaide Louise Hall.

Adelaide Hall 122nd Birthday Google Doodle
Google Doodle on Adelaide Hall’s 122nd Birthday

Who was Adelaide Louise Hall?

Adelaide Hall is a jazz improviser of American descent whose wordless rhythm vocalizing helped to popularize scat singing. During the mid-20th century, Hall was among the few African-American performers to achieve success in both the US and Europe.

Quick Look

Birth name: Adelaide Louise Hall
Birth date: 20 October 1901
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died on: 7 November 1993 (aged 92)
Death place: London, England
Famous as: Singer, musician, actress, dancer, nightclub chanteuse
Spouse: Bertram Hicks

45 Interesting Facts About Adelaide Hall‏

  1. American-born Adelaide Louise Hall was a jazz singer and performer who lived and worked in the UK.
  2. She was a key player in the Harlem Renaissance and had a lengthy career that lasted more than 70 years, from 1921 until her death.
  3. With albums released over eight decades, Hall became the most enduring recording artist in the world when he was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2003.
  4. Adelaide Hall collaborated on recordings as a jazz vocalist with Duke Ellington (with whom she made her most popular recording, “Creole Love Call” in 1927), with Fats Waller, and with notable performers including Art Tatum, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Fela Sowande, Rudy Vallee, and Jools Holland.
  5. Adelaide Louise Hall was born in Brooklyn, New York. Adelaide’s family relocated to Harlem across the East River, and it was in this fertile renaissance of black culture in the 1920s that Adelaide cultivated her aspirations to become a star.
  6. Adelaide Hall was a music teacher’s daughter who started her own successful singing and acting career in the early 1920s following the death of her father.
  7. Hall studied at New York City’s Pratt Institute. She debuted professionally in 1921 at the 63rd Street Theatre in the landmark revue Shuffle Along as a chorus member.
  8. She got a taste of the spotlight in her first stage role in the chorus line of the all-black Broadway musical “Shuffle Along” in 1921. After 504 performances, the production went on tour.
  9. Adelaide Hall’s next performance was in the Broadway musical “Runnin’ Wild,” which was starring entirely black cast members in 1923. After 213 performances, the production went on tour.
  10. Hall went on to star in Runnin’ Wild and then went on a European tour with Chocolate Kiddies in 1926.
  11. She performed as lead in “The Chocolate Kiddies Revue” and toured Europe in 1925. The fact is that she became famous in Europe before the more well-known Josephine Baker, who is usually given credit for introducing Charleston to the continent, did. She introduced the continent to the Charleston dance and performed it to Duke Ellington’s “Jig Walk.”
  12. Following his return to the US, Adelaide Hall performed on Broadway in Desires of 1927, Town Topics, Blackbirds of 1928, and Brown Buddies in addition to touring vaudeville.
  13. Adelaide made her Broadway debut opposite Bill Robinson in “Blackbirds of 1928” (also known as “Bojangles”) in 1928. The show went on to become the longest-running all-black revue on Broadway history, a record that hasn’t been surpassed.
  14. Adelaide received three hit songs from the show: “I Must Have That Man,” “Diga Diga Do,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.” As the first black international superstar (Josephine Baker at the time was only a star in Europe, not the US), she and Bojangles became the black equivalent of Fred and Adele Astaire.
  15. Adelaide Hall spent three months in 1929 as a performer in the “Blackbirds of 1928” revue at the renowned Moulin Rouge in Paris, France.
  16. She made a triumphant comeback to Broadway in 1930, costarring in “Brown Buddies” alongside Bojangles.
  17. She started a nearly two-year world tour in 1931, which brought her to two continents, over a million fans, and made her the richest black woman in America.
  18. She performed in one of the most popular revues at the Cotton Club in Harlem for eight months in 1934. It was during this time that she debuted Harold Arlen’s timeless classic “Ill Wind” and the raucous “Primitive Prima Donna,” which were composed especially for her.
  19. In 1957–1959, Adelaide Hall made her final Broadway appearance in Jamaica. Additionally, in 1927, she provided her innovative vocals for Duke Ellington’s legendary recording “Creole Love Call.”
  20. Hall and her husband, Wilbur Hicks, opened nightclubs in Paris and London after moving permanently to Europe in 1934.
  21. The following year, she made her screen debut in the Vitaphone musical short An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), starring The Nicholas Brothers.
  22. After relocating to Paris in 1936, Adelaide Hall undertook a lengthy European tour during the following three years.
  23. After moving to England in 1938, she and her husband-manager Bert Hicks operated several popular nightclubs there until he died in 1962.
  24. In 1938, she co-starred with Todd Duncan in a Cole Porter-composed production of “The Sun Never Sets” at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
  25. She settled in Great Britain in 1939 and lived there for the rest of her life. She made her screen debut in the 1940 fantasy classic The Thief of Bagdad. She also joined ENSA during the war and entertained the troops by touring military facilities in Britain and other countries. In fact, she was among the first performers to perform in Germany after the war.
  26. Adelaide Hall starred in Cole Porter’s musical “Kiss Me Kate” in 1951, which debuted at London’s Coliseum Theatre and ran for a year before going on tour.
  27. She played the lead in “Love from Judy” at the Saville Theatre in London in 1952. The show ran for a year before going on tour.
  28. She had a leading role in “Someone to Talk To” at the Duchess Theatre in London in 1956. She went back to the US the following year and co-starred with Lena Horne in the Broadway production of “Jamaica” musical.
  29. Adelaide remained Britain’s most successful and well-known black female vocalist for the next 20 years.
  30. Adelaide Hall was a well-known star overseas, but she didn’t become so in the US until she participated in the 1979 Newport Jazz Festival concert Black Broadway, 1900–1945, which Bobby Short coproduced and was held at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
  31. Hall stopped performing by the 1950s, but she carried on performing as a singer until the 1960s.
  32. As a renowned performer, she frequently made appearances at prestigious nightclubs in Europe and the United States, including the Savoy, Cotton Club, Les Ambassadeurs, and Alhambra.
  33. She performed in 1979 at the Newport Jazz Festival alongside stars from the 1920s and 1930s, such as John W. Bubbles and Edith Wilson. They repeated the performance in May 1980 at Town Hall in New York City, singing songs that were reminiscent of “Black Broadway” shows from the first half of the 20th century.
  34. In 1986, Adelaide made an appearance on the British TV show “Chasing A Rainbow.” Two years later, she returned to New York and was the star of a concert at the storied Carnegie Hall.
  35. In 1988, Adelaide Hall staged a one-woman show at Carnegie Hall.
  36. Hall, who performed well into her 90s, was the focus of the 1989 television movie Sophisticated Lady. Her life story was then told on the radio in a show called Sweet Adelaide.
  37. Her biographical documentary Sophisticated Lady (1989) debuted at the London Film Festival in 1989 and was broadcast on television the following year.
  38. Three albums, “I Touched a Star,” “Hall of Memories,” and “Live at the Riverside,” were recorded and released by Adelaide in 1990.
  39. At the age of 90, she gave a concert in 1991 called “A Tribute to Adelaide Hall” at Queen Elizabeth Hall. She traveled back to New York on March 4 of the following year, this time for a two-day engagement at Carnegie Hall. Sadly, this was the last time she performed.
  40. On November 7, 1993, Adelaide Hall died at home in London, England, from pneumonia.
  41. She worked with celebrities like Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Fats Waller, and Joe Loss during her illustrious singing career. Perhaps the two songs for which Hall is most well-known are her performance of “Digga Digga Do” from Blackbirds and her duet with Duke Ellington on “Creole Love Call,” in which she performed a wordless instrumental solo.
  42. Shuffle Along (1922), Runnin’ Wild (1923), Chocolate Kiddies (1925), Desires of 1927 (1927), Blackbirds of 1928 (1928), Brown Buddies (1930), The Sun Never Sets (1938), Keep Shufflin’ (1938), Kiss Me Kate (1951), Love from Judy (1952), Someone to Talk To (1956), Jamaica (1957), and Janie Jackson (1958) are just a few of Adelaide Hall’s theater credits from both sides of the Atlantic.
  43. In addition, she starred in the films Dancers in the Dark (1932), The Thief of Bagdad (1940), All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), Dixieland Jamboree (1935), and Night and the City (1950).
  44. Adelaide Hall’s entertainment career lasted an astounding eight decades; in fact, she is the world’s most enduring recording artist, according to the Guinness World Record. Every note and lyric in her songs still has the power to move listeners, and many people will always remember her.
  45. On October 20, 2023, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage to celebrate Adelaide Hall’s 122nd Birthday.
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