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She could "Do It All," Elisabeth Welch!

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  • tlbaker
    She could Do It All, Elisabeth Welch! February 27 Elisabeth Welch *Elisabeth Welch was born on this date in 1904. She was a African-American chanteuse singer
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2007

      She could "Do It All," Elisabeth Welch!




      February 27

      Elisabeth Welch

      *Elisabeth Welch was
      born on this date in 1904.

      She was an African-American color

      chanteuse singer and dancer.

      From New York City, her mother was
      from Scotland and her father was of both
      African descent and Native American decent.

      Welch�s career began as a child, singing
      in school productions and in the choir
      at St. Cypian�s Episcopal Church.

      It was in 1923 that her choir was invited to sing
      in the Broadway production of "Runnin Wild".

      Here she introduced the "Charleston", a new
      dance to the tune of the same name.

      In 1928 she joined Lew Leslie's historic "Blackbirds"

      of 1928, where her co-stars were Bill "Bojangles"
      Robinson, Aida Ward and Adelaide Hall.

      When the show transferred to Paris, it began
      a new career for her in nightclubs and cabaret.

      By 1933 she had moved and settled in London,
      where she remained for more than 50 years.

      Throughout the thirties she established herself
      as one of the biggest stars of London nightlife.

      Cole Porter wrote a part for her in "Nymph Errant"
      (1933), which also starred Gertrude Lawrence.

      Welch's number, "Solomon", literally stopped the
      show and went on to become her signature tune.

      Later revues and musicals included "Glamorous Night"
      (1935), "It's in the Bag" (1937), "Arc de Triomphe"
      (1943), "Tuppence Coloured" (1947), "Penny Plain"
      (1951) and "The Crooked Mile" (1959).

      Other songs with which she was associated,
      "As Time Goes By", "Love for Sale" and "La Vie
      En Rose", have since become standards.

      During the Second World War she entertained
      the troops in Gibraltar and the Middle East with
      such stars as Edith Evans and John Gielgud.

      She also appeared at the London Palladium
      in "Happy and Glorious" from 1944 to 1946.

      Later stage appearances included playing the fairy
      godmother in "Cindy-Ella" (1962, revived 1963 and
      1976) and in 1970 she starred in her own one-woman
      show, "A Marvellous Party" (Hampstead Theatre Club).

      By the seventies Welch had achieved
      something of a cult status with theatergoers.

      A new and younger generation discovered
      her when she made a guest appearance
      (lying on a sofa) in the musical "Pippin"
      (1973) and once again she stopped the show.

      Six years later she gave one of the most remarkable
      performances of her career when she sang "Stormy
      Weather" in the offbeat film of"The Tempest".

      In 1985 a new one-woman show in
      New York, "Elisabeth Welch A Time
      to Start Living" won her an "Obie Award".

      Welch was one of the great survivors of show
      business; she virtually never stopped working.

      She made countless film, radio and
      television appearances as well as recording
      numerous albums, many of them classics.

      Throughout the eighties and nineties she
      made triumphant appearances in Australia,
      Russia and at New York's Carnegie Hall.

      One of her last public appearances was in 1992 when
      stars gathered at London's Lyric Theatre to pay tribute
      to her and she was given five standing ovations.

      Her career spanned eight decades.

      She also starred in many British movies in the 1930s,
      appearing alongside Paul Robeson and Rex Harrison.

      The African-American color actress and singer was one of
      the most redoubtable entertainers of the 20th century.

      Celebrated for her sultry singing voice,
      she was a great interpreter of popular
      song and her long career took her from
      New York's jazz-age theatre to Paris cabaret
      and numerous West End musicals and revues.

      Elisabeth Welch died in Denville
      Hall, Middlesex, on July 15, aged 99.





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