March 19


March 19, 1894 Loretta Mary Aiken (Jackie “Moms” Mabley), stand-up comedienne, was born in Brevard, North Carolina. At the age of 15, Mabley ran away to Cleveland, Ohio with a travelling minstrel show where she began singing and entertaining. By the 1950s, she was one of the top women doing stand-up and earning $10,000 per week at the Apollo Theater. In 1962, she played Carnegie Hall and appeared on a number of television shows. Mabley was billed as “The Funniest Woman in the World” and she recorded more than 20 albums of comedy routines, including “Moms Mabley at the UN” (1961) and “Moms Mabley Breaks It UP” (1962). In 1969, she recorded a satirical song, “Abraham, Martin and John” which hit number 35 on the Billboard charts, making her the oldest person ever to have a Top 40 hit. Mabley died May 23, 1975, leaving an estate of more than $500,000.


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