Born: January 22, 1895 | Died: October 31, 1977 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Eva Taylor - vocalist
Eva Taylor (born Irene Gibbons) was a talented entertainer and Blues singer and was one of the first African-American singers to be heard on radio. She started out as child actor in a traveling revue when she joined Josephine Gassman and her Pickaninnies that toured the world visiting Europe, Australia and New Zealand between 1900 and 1920.
In 1920 she moved to New York City, where she became a popular singer in the night clubs of Harlem. The following year she married pianist, publisher and producer Clarence Williams. The couple collaborated on many projects, including dozens of songs, a musical revue called Bottomland, and radio programs. They remained married until Williams' death in 1965.
In 1922 Taylor made her first record for the African-American owned Black Swan label, who billed her as The Dixie Nightingale. She would continue to record dozens of Blues, Jazz and popular sides for Okeh and Columbia thoughout the 1920s and 1930s.
She was the lead singer on several of Williams' classic Blue Five recording dates, including the famous sessions that brought Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet together in 1924 and 1925. During the late 1920s Eva had her own radio show on NBC in New York.
She retired from show business in the early 1940s, but continued to make occasional concert and night club appearances. Her career experienced a resurgence in the late 1960s and into the 1970s with performances throughout Europe. Eva Taylor died of cancer in 1977.
Source: red hot jazz