87 Facts About Adelaide Hall


Adelaide Louise Hall was an American-born UK-based jazz singer and entertainer.


Adelaide Hall's long career spanned more than 70 years from 1921 until her death and she was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.


Adelaide Hall performed with major artists such as Art Tatum, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Fela Sowande, Rudy Vallee, and Jools Holland, and recorded as a jazz singer with Duke Ellington and with Fats Waller.


Adelaide Hall was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States, to Elizabeth and Arthur William Hall in 1901.


In 1924, Adelaide Hall married the British sailor Bertram Errol Hicks, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago.


Adelaide Hall began her stage career in 1921 on Broadway in the chorus line of Noble Sissle's and Eubie Blake's musical Shuffle Along.


Adelaide Hall went on to appear in a number of similar black musical shows, including Runnin' Wild on Broadway in 1923, in which she sang James P Johnson's hit song "Old-Fashioned Love".

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In 1925, Adelaide Hall toured Europe with the Chocolate Kiddies revue.


Adelaide Hall was hired to join the cast of the Chocolate Kiddies revue in New York, where they rehearsed before setting sail for Europe.


In 1926, Hall appeared in the short-lived Broadway musical My Magnolia, which had a score written by Luckey Roberts and Alex C Rogers, after which she appeared in Tan Town Topics with songs written by Fats Waller.


From October 1926, Hall toured America playing the TOBA circuit until September 1927 in the highly praised show Desires of 1927, conceived by J Homer Tutt and produced by impresario Irvin C Miller.


In Dance Mania, Adelaide Hall closed the first half of the bill and Duke and his orchestra performed in the second half.


In 1928, Adelaide Hall starred on Broadway with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Tim Moore and Aida Ward in Blackbirds of 1928.


The ban only remained for one performance, and Adelaide Hall returned triumphantly to her role the following day.


In Europe, Adelaide Hall rivalled Josephine Baker for popularity on the European stage.


In 1931, Adelaide Hall embarked on a world concert tour that visited two continents.


Adelaide Hall was accompanied on stage by two pianists who played white grand pianos.


Miss Adelaide Hall has the sort of "blues" voice that gets you and she has a fine dramatic sense.


For one week commencing Saturday 14 January 1933, Adelaide Hall returned to New York to appear in a music revue produced by Leonard Harper at the Harlem Opera House.


Adelaide Hall mentioned that Hall was accompanied on stage by a guitar "troubadour" and a blind pianist who, he declared, "can really play".


Adelaide Hall's itinerary included all the principal cities and lasted 30 weeks.


Miss Adelaide Hall Captures The World Fair City and They Like It.


Miss Adelaide Hall, the darling girl with the guitar and the mellifluent voice, again stole into the callous hearts of an analytical public at the Regal theater last week.


Adelaide Hall has a style of singing 'Stormy Weather' all her own.


In October 1933, for the first time in history, the entire floor revue from Harlem's Cotton Club went on tour, playing theatres in principal cities across the US Irving Mills organised the tour and Adelaide Hall headlined the cast.

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On 23 March 1934, Adelaide Hall opened at Harlem's Cotton Club in The Cotton Club Parade 24th Edition.


Adelaide Hall arrived in Paris, France in the fall of 1935 and remained living there until 1938.


At the beginning of 1936, Adelaide Hall starred in the Black and White Revue.


Adelaide Hall's performance is notable for her contravening Adolf Hitler's ban on jazz music being played.


In 1937, Adelaide Hall choreographed her own take on the famous French dance the Can-can; she called it the Canned Apple and would perform it at her Montmartre nightclub La Grosse Pomme.


Adelaide Hall is credited with introducing the Truckin' dance craze to the Parisians.


Adelaide Hall was so successful and became so popular with British audiences that she stayed and made her home there, becoming one of the most popular singers and entertainers of the time.


On 28 August 1938, Adelaide Hall recorded "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "That Old Feeling" at London's Abbey Road Studios, with Fats Waller accompanying her on the organ.


On 20 May 1939, BBC TV broadcast the cabaret show Dark Sophistication, starring Adelaide Hall performing at the Old Florida Club.


On 26 August 1939, Adelaide Hall took part in the BBC TV production Kentucky Minstrels, which was transmitted live from the 2500-seat RadiOlympia Theatre in London.


On Friday, 1 September 1939, Adelaide Hall was scheduled to appear at 9:00 pm in a live BBC TV broadcast titled Variety recorded direct from the RadiOlympia Theatre.


Adelaide Hall toured the UK extensively during these years, headlining the Piccadixie British Tour, supported by comedian Oliver Wakefield and pianist George Elrick.


On 17 October 1939 Adelaide Hall starred in one of the most sensational live radio broadcasts ever attempted by the BBC to hit the airwaves.


Adelaide Hall claimed to be one of the first entertainers to enter Germany before the war had officially ended.


Adelaide Hall travelled with the troops as they advanced towards Berlin, dismissing the dangers such bravery entailed.


Adelaide Hall made more than 70 records for Decca, had her own BBC Radio series, Wrapped in Velvet, and appeared on the stage, in films, and in nightclubs.


Adelaide Hall has a cameo appearance as a singer in the 1940 Oscar-winning movie The Thief of Bagdad in which she sings Lullaby of the Princess, written by Miklos Rozsa.


In 1943, Adelaide Hall featured in an ENSA radio show broadcast by the BBC entitled Spotlight on the Stars during which she was accompanied by the BBC Variety Orchestra.


On 20 May 1940, Adelaide Hall's recording of 'Careless' debuted in the British charts at number 30, where it remained for two consecutive weeks.


Adelaide Hall appears in the earliest post-war BBC telerecording: a live recording of her performance at RadiOlympia Theatre on 7 October 1947.

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The six-minute footage of Adelaide Hall is all that survives of the show.


In 1948, Adelaide Hall appeared in a British movie called A World is Turning.


In 1949, Adelaide Hall appeared on the BBC TV shows Rooftop Rendezvous and Caribbean Carnival.


That year, Adelaide Hall recorded five spirituals accompanied by the pianist Kenneth Cantril.


In 1951, Adelaide Hall appeared as a guest in the music spot on the first ever British comedy series How Do You View, starring Terry-Thomas and written by Sid Colin and Talbot Rothwell.


On 29 October 1951, Adelaide Hall appeared on the bill of the Royal Variety Performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre in the presence of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.


Alongside Trinidad-born US dancer Pearl Primus and the female members of her company, who performed that year, Adelaide Hall was the first black female artiste to ever take part in the Royal Variety Performance.


Adelaide Hall entertained at private parties for the Duchess of Kent, the Churchills, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.


Adelaide Hall was one of the many performers at an all-star midnight Anglo-American gala at the London Coliseum on the night of Monday, 11 December 1951, before the then Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.


In 1957, at the request of Lena Horne, Adelaide Hall returned to America to appear with Horne in the musical Jamaica.


In 1958, Adelaide Hall was cast as one of the lead characters in Rodgers and Hammerstein's new musical Flower Drum Song.


On 1 April 1960, Adelaide Hall appeared on the BBC TV music show The Music Goes Round hosted by John Watt.


On 3 March 1965, Adelaide Hall appeared on BBC2 television in Muses with Milligan with Spike Milligan and John Betjeman in a show devoted to poetry and jazz.


In 1968, Hall appeared in Janie Jones, a new American play written by Robert P Hillier and directed by Peter Cotes.


Between 1969 and 1970, Adelaide Hall made two jazz recordings with Humphrey Lyttelton.


In July 1982, Adelaide Hall appeared at a Gala concert held at St Paul's Cathedral in London to celebrate the sacred music of Duke Ellington.


Adelaide Hall appeared at the Duke Ellington Tribute Concert at St Paul's Cathedral, London, in 1982, where she sang Ellington's 'Come Sunday'.


Back in the States, in February 1983, Adelaide Hall appeared on the bill of the 100th birthday celebration for composer Eubie Blake held at the Shubert Theater, New York.


On 5 April 1983, Adelaide Hall commenced a month-long engagement at The Cookery in New York.


In 1985, Adelaide Hall appeared on British TV in the cast of Omnibus: The Cotton Club comes to the Ritz, a 60-minute BBC documentary in which some of the performers from Harlem's Cotton Club were filmed performing at the Ritz Hotel in London, along with contemporary musicians.

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In 1985, Adelaide Hall appeared on British TV on The South Bank Show in a documentary entitled The Real Cotton Club.


In July 1986, Adelaide Hall performed in concert at the Barbican Centre, London.


In October 1988, Adelaide Hall presented a one-woman show at Carnegie Adelaide Hall in New York.


Adelaide Hall presented the same show in London at the King's Head Theatre during December 1988.


Adelaide Hall is one of the very few performers to have made two guest appearances on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs.


In 1990, Adelaide Hall starred in Sophisticated Lady, a Channel 4 television documentary about her life broadcast on 24 July, which included a performance of her in concert recorded live at the Riverside Studios in London.


Adelaide Hall died in the early hours of 7 November 1993, aged 92, at London's Charing Cross Hospital of natural causes.


In 2018, Adelaide Hall was named by the Evening Standard on a list of 14 "Inspirational black British women throughout history", alongside Mary Seacole, Claudia Jones, Margaret Busby, Olive Morris, Joan Armatrading, Tessa Sanderson, Doreen Lawrence, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Sharon White, Malorie Blackman, Diane Abbott, Zadie Smith and Connie Mark.


Adelaide Hall was one of the major entertainers of the Harlem Renaissance.


Adelaide Hall was the first female vocalist to sing and record with Duke Ellington.


Adelaide Hall holds the accolade of being the 20th century's most enduring female recording artist, her recording career having spanned eight decades.


In 1941, Adelaide Hall replaced Gracie Fields as Britain's highest paid female entertainer.


Adelaide Hall is mentioned in the novel Strange Brother written by Blair Niles and first published in 1931.


The mesmerising effect Adelaide Hall had on her audience at the Cotton Club is captured in the fictionalised 2017 novel A Time in Ybor City by Ron Kase.


Adelaide Hall was loosely portrayed as the nightclub chanteuse in Francis Ford Coppola's 1984 film The Cotton Club.


Well, the actual song "Sing to the Moon" came from a time when I was reading a book called Underneath a Harlem Moon, which is a biography of a jazz singer called Adelaide Hall, which is basically all about how she kind of was overlooked, or probably didn't get the recognition she perhaps deserved.


At least three of the songs that Adelaide Hall introduced are performed in the show, including headliner Fantasia Barrino's rendition of "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby" and Carmen Ruby Floyd's performance of Ellington and Adelaide Hall's "Creole Love Call".


Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh's song "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby", written for the Broadway revue Blackbirds of 1928, was chosen for 1928, and Adelaide Hall's recording of the song was chosen to represent the year.


Adelaide Hall was honoured in 2021 by the Black Plaque Project, an initiative of the Nubian Jak Community Trust, with a plaque commemorating her outstanding career and achievements in the world of entertainment.


The plaque is placed in the world-renowned Abbey Road Recording Studios in St John's Wood, London, where Adelaide Hall recorded with fellow American jazz artiste and composer Fats Waller.

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Adelaide Hall is No 15 in the Black Plaque Project that honours the achievements throughout history of members of the UK's black community.


In January 2021, the Women Inspire podcast devoted an episode to the life and career of Adelaide Hall, titled "Sing to the moon Addie and the stars will shine".