Google doodle celebrates the 122nd birthday of Adelaide Hall, a jazz singer

Google doodle celebrates the 122nd birthday of Adelaide Hall, a jazz singer

Today’s Google Doodle honours jazz vocalist Adelaide Hall, who is well-known for popularising scat singing during the Harlem Renaissance, on her 122nd birthday. The celebration is in honour of UK Black History Month. A record-breaking career spanning more than 70 years was enjoyed by the entertainer with American roots who now calls the UK home. Guest artist Hannah Ekuwa Buckman, who resides in London, created the Doodle artwork.

On this day in 1901, Hall was born in Brooklyn, New York. From an early age, Adelaide’s father trained her and her sister to play the piano. Adelaide was forced to support her mother and herself after the terrible deaths of her father and sister. She began her singing career in the chorus line of the Broadway hit all-Black musical Shuffle Along (1921), which contributed to the development of African American show business. For the release of Chocolate Kiddies, Hall set out on a tour of Europe in 1925, performing at a number of cities including Hamburg, Geneva, Paris, and Vienna. The programme was a spectacular success on an international level. She later went back to Manhattan and carried on playing on the largest stages of Broadway.

In 1927, she had her big break when she hummed along to a Duke Ellington concert number. Her tune had no words, but it was powerful nonetheless, and the jazz musician wanted to record it with his band. Scat singing was introduced when Creole Love Call, the same song, peaked at #19 on the American Billboard charts a year later. Adelaide Hall quickly rose to fame in both the United States and Europe.

Hall soon joined the cast of Lew Leslie’s 1928 film Blackbirds. Before relocating to the Moulin Rouge in Paris, the musical performed for more than 500 performances and drew over a million viewers. She was warmly received by the European audiences, and in 1938 she made the decision to settle permanently in the United Kingdom. Her fame on an international level only increased after that.

As the world’s most enduring recording artist, Hall now owns the Guinness World Record. Her entertainment career extended an incredible eight decades. Every note and word in her songs still has the power to affect listeners, and many people still carry her legacy in their hearts.

Happy birthday, Adelaide Hall!



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