Marion Harris

Marion Harris ( * 1896 in Indiana as Mary Ellen Harrison, † April 23, 1944 in New York City ) was an American blues, pop and jazz singer.

Life and work

Marion Harris began her career in 1914 as a singer in vaudeville troops and film theaters in Chicago. The dancer Vernon Castle in 1915 led her into the theater from New York, where she Irving Berlin revue Stop! Look! Listen! debuted.

1916 came her first recording for Victor, as they songs such as " Everybody's Crazy ' bout the Doggone Blues, But I'm Happy", " After You've Gone ," " A Good Man Is Hard to Find " and "When I Hear that Jazz band Play " grossed. Their greatest success was in 1916 ," I Is not Got Nobody ".

After her 1920, the Victor label would not allow, WC Phones " St. Louis Blues "recording, she moved to Columbia, where they had great success with the song. Since they often sang jazz and blues -influenced numbers, it was sometimes referred to as The Queen of the Blues. Handy wrote about the singer: " She sang the blues so well that people thought the singer would be a Colored ". Harris commented as follows: ". Usually You do best what comes naturally, so I just naturally started singing Southern dialect songs and the modern blues songs"

From 1922 she took records for the Brunswick label on. You still occurred in the 1920s in Broadway theaters and a regular guest at the Palace Theatre, appeared in Florenz Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic revue and toured with vaudeville shows around the country. Marion Harris paused after her marriage several years and took care of her two children; after the divorce in 1927 she performed again in New York theaters, recorded for Victor and made ​​an appearance in an eight- minute promotional film, Marion Harris, Songbird of Jazz. After her participation in an early Hollywood Musical ( Devil -May- Care with Ramon Navarro ) it did not occur for a while due to illness.

Between 1931 and 1933 she was heard in NBC radio shows like The Ipana Troubadors and Rudy Vallees The Fleischmann 's Yeast Hourzu; while it was announced by NBC as " The Little Girl with the Big Voice".

The beginning of 1931 they toured in London and had a long engagement at the Café de Paris. In London she also appeared in the musical evergreens and radio broadcasts on the BBC. In the early 1930s originated in England more records; Shortly afterwards she married an English theatrical agent. Their home was destroyed by the attack of the Germans at the Battle of Britain in 1941; In 1944, she returned from a nervous illness ill back to New York. She died two months later in a room fire, as she was smoking in bed asleep.


  • Will Friedwald: Swinging Voices of America - A compendium of great voices. Hannibal, St. Andrew - Woerdern, 1992. ISBN 3-85445-075-3