My third helping of BROWN SUGAR pays tribute to the glorious Elisabeth Welch, one of the most gracious interpreters of popular 20th Century song.
Born to a half-black, half-native American father and a half-Scots, half-Irish mother, the young Elizabeth appeared in Broadway black revues with contempories Josephine Blake, Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson and Adelaide Hall and it at this here, in 1923, that she introduced the song "The Charleston". By the end of the 1920s she had joined Blake and Hall in
I was lucky enough to see her in the 1980s when she appeared at the Donmar in her own show and in KERN GOES TO HOLLYWOOD. I met her while she was appearing in the show and she had a lot to say about how although the show celebrated the composer Jerome Kern that as a singer she felt the lyricists should be equally lauded.