Bailey, Pearl

Bailey, Pearl

▪ American entertainer
in full  Pearl Mae Bailey 
born March 29, 1918, Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
died August 17, 1990, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
 American entertainer notable for her sultry singing and mischievous humour.

      Bailey was the daughter of the Reverend Joseph James Bailey, and she attributed much of her vocal ability to her childhood singing in church. At the age of 15 she quit her high school in Philadelphia for a career as a singer and dancer. She appeared in cafés, nightclubs, and theatres in northeastern American cities, and at times she sang with big bands, including those led by Cootie Williams and Count Basie. She recorded several albums with each. An eight-month stint at the Blue Angel in New York City (1944–45) led to her joining Cab Calloway (Calloway, Cab) for theatre and nightclub engagements. She appeared in her first Broadway musical, St. Louis Woman, in 1946 and her first film, Variety Girl, in 1947.

      Bailey, who continued to sing in a number of nightclubs, also took secondary roles in many films, among them Carmen Jones (1954), Porgy and Bess (1959), and All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960). In the 1960s she returned almost exclusively to nightclub work. Her most memorable stage role was as matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi in an all-black production of the musical Hello, Dolly!, first on Broadway (1967–69), then on tour in the United States and Canada (1969–71, 1975–76). She made frequent television appearances and hosted her own show, The Pearl Bailey Show (1971).

      In her later years Bailey wrote several books: The Raw Pearl (1968), Talking to Myself (1971), Pearl's Kitchen (1973), and Hurry Up America and Spit (1976). In 1975 she was appointed special ambassador to the United Nations by President Gerald Ford. She enrolled in Georgetown University and, at age 67, graduated with a bachelor's degree in theology. Her last book, Between You and Me (1989), details her experiences with higher education. In 1988 Bailey received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bailey, Pearl (Mae) — (b. March 29, 1918, Newport News, Va., U.S. d. Aug. 17, 1990, Philadelphia, Pa.) U.S. singer and entertainer. She began her career at age 15, appearing in nightclubs and theatres and with jazz bands, including the Count Basie band. Her first… …   Universalium

  • Bailey, Pearl (Mae) — (29 mar. 1918, Newport News, Va., EE.UU.–17 ago. 1990, Filadelfia, Pa.). Cantante y actriz de variedades estadounidense. Inició su carrera a los 15 años, apareciendo en clubes nocturnos, teatros y con conjuntos de jazz, entre ellos, con la banda… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pearl Bailey — Infobox actor name = Pearl Bailey imagesize = 150px caption = Pearl Bailey in “St. Louis Woman”, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1946 birthname = Pearl Mae Bailey birthdate = birth date|1918|3|29 birthplace = Southampton County, Virginia… …   Wikipedia

  • Pearl Bailey — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bailey. Pearl Bailey …   Wikipédia en Français

  • pearl — pearl1 pearler, n. pearlish, adj. pearllike, adj. /perrl/, n. 1. a smooth, rounded bead formed within the shells of certain mollusks and composed of the mineral aragonite or calcite in a matrix, deposited in concentric layers as a protective… …   Universalium

  • Pearl — /perrl/, n. 1. a town in central Mississippi. 20,778. 2. a female given name. * * * I Concretion formed by a mollusk and consisting of the same material (called nacre, or mother of pearl) as the mollusk s shell. Long treasured as gemstones,… …   Universalium

  • Pearl Bailey — noun United States singer (1918 1990) • Syn: ↑Bailey, ↑Pearl Mae Bailey • Instance Hypernyms: ↑singer, ↑vocalist, ↑vocalizer, ↑vocaliser …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pearl Mae Bailey — noun United States singer (1918 1990) • Syn: ↑Bailey, ↑Pearl Bailey • Instance Hypernyms: ↑singer, ↑vocalist, ↑vocalizer, ↑vocaliser …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pearl — (as used in expressions) Bailey, Pearl (Mae) Buck, Pearl Pearl Sydenstricker Pearl Grey Pearl Harbor Pearl, río Primus, Pearl …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • bailey — /bay lee/, n., pl. baileys. 1. the defensive wall surrounding an outer court of a castle. 2. the courtyard itself. Also, ballium. [1250 1300; ME, var. of BAIL4] * * * (as used in expressions) Aldrich Thomas Bailey Bailey Pearl Mae Frederick… …   Universalium

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