Fwd: Obituaries in the News- Diamond Mary

RBLUESW@aol.com RBLUESW@aol.com
Wed Apr 5 22:32:47 EDT 2000


In a message dated 4/5/00 22:27:44, AOL News writes:

>Mary Smith McClain
>
>ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Blues singer Mary Smith McClain, better known
>to fans as ``Diamond Teeth Mary,'' died Tuesday. She was believed to have
>been 97 or 98.
>
>McClain was a teen-ager posing as a boy when she hopped a train in her
>native West Virginia to begin a new life as a traveling blues musician
>more than 80 years ago.
>
>She went from singing at carnivals with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels to the
>Chicago Blues Festival, New York City's Carnegie Hall and Europe. She sang
>with such music greats as B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and
>Louis Armstrong.
>
>McClain, who once had diamonds set in her teeth, was considered the world's
>oldest-performing true blues musician, appearing at local clubs until two
>weeks ago.
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