Pearl Mae Bailey was born in Virginia,
and after several "socko" talent shows (one at the Apollo),
she sang in nightclubs acts,
in which she was paired with Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington.
Pearl made her Broadway debut in 1946,
in St. Louis Woman.
In 1950, Pearl starred with Nanette Fabray (above)
and Georges Guetary in Arms and the Girl...a flop of
(It featured the infamously bad song,
"A Plough, A Cow, And A Frau..")
But the show was kind to Pearl, giving her two major show stoppers,
"Nothin' is Nothin'" and "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than Love."
The plot? A "revolutionary" love story of a
Hessian soldier and an American colonist...
Pearl played a supporting role as a former slave.
In 1952, Pearl married jazz drummer
and remained married to him until her death in 1990.
Just being classy!
In 1967, Pearl and Cab headlined an all-black version
of Hello Dolly...perfect casting!
Pearl's success as Dolly prompted David Merrick to produce a
second original cast album.
Looks like one hell of a session!