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Gladys Bentley
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (August 12, 1907-January 18, 1960)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Died in Los Angeles, California
    Succumbed to pneumonia at 52
    She was stout.
    Her tunes were raunchy.
    She allegedly married a man and a woman at different times.
    She became a Holy roller later in life.
    While dressed in top hat and tails and backed by drag queen showgirls, she flirted outrageously with women in the audience.
    Openly lesbian in the 1920s and 1930s, she went into the closet during the McCarthy Era.
    She took on a more feminine appearance to escape persecution.
    Known for a growling voice, excellent piano skills and songwriting prowess, she earned the nicknames 'The Brown Bomber of Sophisticated Songs' and 'America's Greatest Sepia Piano Player.'

Credit: Black Chic

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