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Adelaide Hall
Adelaide Hall

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.

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