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BWW Feature: Stephen Mosher's Pandemic Playlist: The History Lesson

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BWW Feature: Stephen Mosher's Pandemic Playlist: The History Lesson

When New York City went into quarantine I started doing regular Pandemic Playlists to raise spirits, to keep people distracted, and to shine a light on the artists working in cabaret. The longer the lockdown continued, the harder it was to find new material; also, people began to learn their way around the pandemic and there was news to tell, stories to write, and the Pandemic Playlist fell by the wayside.

Today marks my one-year anniversary working for Broadway World and, to mark the occasion, I have prepared a special edition of the Pandemic Playlist, one in which we look at the artists who made cabaret what it is. These are the late (with a couple of exceptions), great performers who spent the last century performing in the clubs of Manhattan, the people who used their individual talents and their unique visions to create the wide-ranging spectrum that is the world of small venue performing, whether in jazz clubs, supper clubs, comedy clubs, or cabaret clubs, they were the stars people loved to see.

Rather than fill this article with my thoughts on these artists, I invite the readers of Broadway World Cabaret to get to know them through these online videos, though I will provide Wikipedia links so that interested parties can learn more about them. If Wikipedia proves to be less intel than anyone prefers, I can recommend the book INTIMATE NIGHTS: THE GOLDEN AGE OF NEW YORK CABARET by James Gavin.

Dear readers, the history lesson begins here. Enjoy.

And thank you for a great first year, which I have enjoyed in the extreme.

1. Julie Wilson on Wikipedia

2. Bobby Short on Wikipedia

3. Nancy LaMott on Wikipedia

4. Margaret Whiting on Wikipedia

5. Mort Sahl on Wikipedia (Note: Mort Sahl is alive and 93 and this list would be incomplete without his inclusion).

6. Lesley Gore on Wikipedia

7. Eartha Kitt on Wikipedia

8. Rosemary Clooney on Wikipedia

9. Mel Torme on Wikipedia

10. Phyllis Diller on Wikipedia

11. Pearl Bailey on Wikipedia

12. Baby Jane Dexter

13. The Incomparable Hildegarde on Wikipedia

14. Mary Cleere Haran on Wikipedia

15. Elaine Stritch on Wikipedia

16. Mae Barnes on Wikipedia

17. Shirley Horn on Wikipedia

18. Nichols and May on Wikipedia (Note: though Mr. Nichols has passed, Ms. May is still living.)

19. Annie Ross on Wikipedia

20. Laurie Beechman on Wikipedia

21. Mabel Mercer on Wikipedia (Note: As a bonus, Margaret Whiting appears in this video).

22. Charles Pierce on Wikipedia

23. Johnny Hartman on Wikipedia

24. Dorothy Loudon on Wikipedia

25. Blossom Dearie on Wikipedia

26. Carmen McRae on Wikipedia


27. Sylvia Syms on Wikipedia and Buddy Barnes

28. Julie London on Wikipedia

29. Alberta Hunter on Wikipedia

30. Marcia Lewis on Wikipedia

31. Jim Bailey on Wikipedia

32. Lenny Bruce on Wikipedia

33. Nancy Wilson on Wikipedia

34. Joan Rivers on Wikipedia

35. Barbara Cook on Wikipedia

36. Sarah Vaughan on Wikipedia

37. Anita O'Day on Wikipedia

38. Dinah Washington on Wikipedia

39. Kay Starr on Wikipedia

40. Polly Bergen on Wikipedia

41. Pat Suzuki on Wikipedia (Ms. Suzuki is still living but as one of the few Asian nightclub stars of the 1960's she is essential to this list).

42. Kaye Ballard on Wikipedia

43. Dolores Gray on Wikipedia

44. Portia Nelson on Wikipedia (There is no video footage of Portia Nelson available.)

45. Dorothy Dandridge on Wikipedia

46. Barbara Carroll on Wikipedia

47. Imogene Coca on Wikipedia and Sid Ceasar on Wikipedia

48. Diahann Carroll on Wikipedia

49. Billie Holiday on Wikipedia

50. Peggy Lee on Wikipedia


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From This Author Stephen Mosher