Lionel Leo Hampton (April 20, 1908 -- August 31, 2002) was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Like Red Norvo, he was one of the first jazz vibraphone players. Hampton ranks among the great names in jazz history, having worked with a who's who of jazz musicians, from Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker and Quincy Jones. In 1992, he was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
Faye Adams (born Faye Tuell, circa 1923/1925, Newark, New Jersey) is an American vocalist.
Bill Bailey (December 8, 1912 -- December 12, 1978) was an African American tap dancer. He was the brother of Pearl Bailey. Bill was the first person to be recorded doing the Moonwalk, although he referred to it as the "Backslide", in the film Cabin In the Sky (1943), starring Ethel Waters, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Lena Horne. He was married to Pernell Bailey, and had nine children and many grandchildren.
Herbert "Herb" Jeffries (born September 24, 1913, Detroit, Michigan) is an American jazz singer and actor.
Amos Milburn (April 1, 1927 -- January 3, 1980) was an African American rhythm and blues singer, and pianist, popular during the 1940s and 1950s. He was born and died in Houston, Texas.
The Larks were an African American vocal group, active in the early 1950s.
Sarah Lois Vaughan (March 27, 1924 -- April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer, described by Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century." She had a contralto vocal range.
Nicknamed "Sailor" (for her salty speech), "Sassy" and "The Divine One", Sarah Vaughan was a Grammy Award winner. The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989.
William "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 -- April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly 50 years. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie's theme songs were "One O'Clock Jump" and "April In Paris".
Big Joe Turner (born Joseph Vernon Turner Jr., May 18, 1911 -- November 24, 1985) was an American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri. According to the songwriter Doc Pomus, "Rock and roll would have never happened without him." Although he came to his greatest fame in the 1950s with his pioneering rock and roll recordings, particularly "Shake, Rattle and Roll", Turner's career as a performer stretched from the 1920s into the 1980s.
Martha Davis (December 14, 1917 -- April 6, 1960) was an African American singer and pianist whose musical comedy act, "Martha Davis & Spouse", was popular in the late 1940s and 1950s.
Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 -- February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. Although an accomplished pianist, he owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres. He was one of the first black Americans to host a television variety show, and has maintained worldwide popularity since his death.
Mantan Moreland (September 3, 1902 - September 28, 1973) was an American actor and comedian most popular in the 1930s and 1940s.
Julius "Nipsey" Russell (September 15, 1918 -- October 2, 2005) was an American comedian, best known today for his appearances as a guest panelist on game shows from the 1960s through the 1990s, especially Match Game, Password, Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth and Pyramid. His appearances were distinguished in part by the short, humorous poems he would recite during the broadcast. These lyrics became so closely associated with Russell that Dick Clark, Bill Cullen, Betty White, and others regularly referred to him as "the poet laureate of television."
Cabell "Cab" Calloway III (December 25, 1907 -- November 18, 1994) was an American jazz singer and bandleader.
Ruth Brown (January 30, 1928 -- November 17, 2006) was an American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, composer and actress noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean". For these contributions, Atlantic became known as "The house that Ruth built" (alluding to the popular nickname for Old Yankee Stadium)