Born on 20 October 1901 in Brooklyn, New York, Adelaide
Hall's career began on Broadway in the 1921 musical Shuffle
Along and continued for a remarkable 72 years. She scored
notable hits with 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby'
and 'I Must Have That Man', both from her successful Broadway
revue Blackbird's of 1928.
On stage she worked with the likes of Bill 'Bojangles'
Robinson, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong,
Lena Horne, Cab Calloway and Jools Holland, and recorded
with such jazz luminaries as Duke Ellington, Fats Waller
and Art Tatum. Miss Hall will always be remembered for her
wordless vocal on "Creole Love Call" which she
recorded with Duke Ellington in 1927.
Adelaide Hall arrived in Britain in 1938 to co-star along
with fellow actors Edna Best, Leslie Banks and Todd Duncan
at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in C.B. Cochran's lavish
west-end musical adaptation of Edgar Wallace's "The
Sun Never Sets." Such was the warm reception she received
from the British public that Adelaide adopted Britain and
in return, the British people adopted her. In no time at
all she became one of Britain's best-loved entertainers
and her stay lasted over 50 years.
Adelaide was the first black star to be given a long-term
contract with the B.B.C., which resulted in her own radio
series. She also became an exclusive Decca recording artist,
cutting over 70 discs for the label, many of which were
released during World War Two. It's fair to say her voice
was heard almost everywhere: across the radio airwaves,
in night clubs, in movies and on the stage.
During the 40's, Adelaide was one of Britain's highest earning
entertainers; indeed, during 1941 she was reported to be
the highest. Throughout the war years she worked endlessly
and tirelessly, performing at practically every theatre,
concert and music hall in the land, entertaining both civilians
and members of the armed forces.
Adelaide Hall's last concert appearances in America were
in March 1992, when she performed two nights at Carnegie
Hall as part of the Cabaret Comes To Carnegie series.
Although Miss Hall has held the world record as 'the world's
most enduring recording artist' since 1991, recognition
of her outstanding achievement and contribution to the recording
industry has only recently come to light. Hall, who was
British by marriage and had lived in London since 1939,
died on 7 November 1993 at Hammersmith's Charing Cross Hospital
unaware of her historic accomplishment.