Bailey circa 1960
Pearl Mae Bailey was an American singer and actress who began in vaudeville. In 1941, during World War II, Bailey toured the country with the USO, performing for American troops. After the tour, she settled in New York and soon made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946. Bailey continued to tour and record albums in between her stage and screen performances. In 1954, she played the role of Frankie in the film version of Carmen Jones, and her rendition of "Beat Out That Rhythm on the Drum" is one of the highlights of the film. In 1959, she played the role of Maria in the film version of Porgy and Bess. Also that year she played the role of "Aunt Hagar" in the movie St. Louis Blues, alongside Mahalia Jackson, Eartha Kitt, and Nat King Cole.
In 1967, Bailey and Cab Calloway headlined an all-black cast version of Hello, Dolly!. Bailey was given a special Tony Award for her role and RCA made a second original cast album. During the 1970s she had her own television show, and she also provided voices for animations such as Tubby the Tuba (1976) and Disney's The Fox and the Hound (1981). In 1986, after a career spanning five decades, she won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance as a fairy godmother in the ABC Afterschool Special, Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale.
Musical Legends Tributes to Pearl Bailey, Kaye Ballard, Marlene Dietrich to Play Urban Stages
Playbill Combined , 2011-01-26 16:44:00
Musical Legends, a series of four theatrical tributes to music and theatre legends Pearl Bailey, Kaye Ballard, Marlene Dietrich and Nat "King" Cole, will take place Feb. 24-March 13 at Urban Stages.
Meet the Lady: Pearl Bailey Set for Aug. 18 at 92YTribeca
Playbill Combined , 2010-08-11 14:44:00
Late stage and screen legend Pearl Bailey will be celebrated in Meet the Lady, an evening of song and footage of the great entertainer, Aug. 18 at the 92YTribeca.