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Kerry Dexter

singer and actor, was born Charles Leon Arthello Bibb in Louisville, Kentucky. His father, also Leon Bibb, worked as a mail carrier and his mother, Elizabeth (McCloskey) Bibb, was a homemaker, although she sometimes assisted her mother, a domestic servant. Bibb's grandparents were born in slavery, and his forbears worked as slaves on vegetable plantations in western Kentucky. When he was a young child Bibb's aunt taught him spirituals, some of which he continued to sing throughout his career. His aunt recognized his vocal talent early, and she gave him a vision beyond the heavily segregated world of the South of the 1920s and 1930s by telling the young Bibb about Roland Hayes a black concert singer who moved to Europe when he could not find career opportunities in the United States because of his race and later returned to perform at Carnegie Hall Bibb continued to ...

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Charles Rosenberg

who introduced the “Sound Off” pattern of military marching chants in 1944, was born in Sandersville, Washington County, Georgia, the youngest son of George and Lula Thomas Duckworth. His older siblings, born between 1901 and 1921, appear from census records to include Rosa Lee, Lucile, Charlie, Eddie, Laurada, Ledger, George, Jr., Susie, Mary and Ella. George, Jr. died in 1930, and some other children may not have lived to adulthood. Some years, census enumerators recorded the family name as “Duck” or “Dock.”

Duckworth’s parents appear to have died sometime during the 1930s. A few sources refer to his being raised by grandparents, but in 1940 Duckworth was living with his married older sister Ella Pearl and her husband Robert Bloodsaw The family generally farmed on their own account either as sharecroppers or otherwise renting the land they worked Duckworth quit high school to try farming on ...

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Pamala S. Deane

radio, stage, and screen actor, was born in Muncie, Indiana, and raised in Hammond and, later, Anderson, Indiana. He was the eldest of nine children born to James Valley Edwards, a laborer, and Anna M. Johnson, a domestic (she would earn a degree in theology in 1949). He graduated from Anderson High School, and after a brief career as a prizefighter, earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Knoxville College in Tennessee in 1938. He was employed for a time in the department of industrial personnel at the Calumet Steel Mill and also worked for two years as a district representative for the War Production Board.

Edwards either enlisted or was drafted (his service records were later lost in a fire) in the U.S. Army sometime around 1944 starting as a private in the all black 92nd Infantry Division of the 370th ...