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Rainer E. Lotz

the first solo black female recording artist, was born in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. Little is known of her early life, including her maiden name, prior to her marriage around 1877 to fellow entertainer Sam B. Hyers (1830–1896). The marriage was Sam B. Hyers' second. His first, to Annie B. Hyers (maiden name unknown), had produced two daughters, Anna Madah and Louis Emma, who as the Hyers Sisters would earn fame in the 1870s as pioneers of black musical comedy theatre. May C. Hyers and Sam Hyers had two children, Mary Catherine Bohee and Chonita Hyers Dorsey.

From 1895 to 1896 Hyers, who used the stage name “Quagga,” toured with her husband's “Colored Musical Comedy Co[mpany].” Following Sam B. Hyers' death in 1896, his company was taken over by L. Milt Boyer who continued under the original banner of S B Hyers with ...