George Dewey Washington

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George Dewey Washington (1898-1954) was an American singer active in vaudeville and motion pictures from the 1920s through the 1940s. He was a powerful baritone or bass-baritone who often appeared on stage in the guise of "The Gentleman Tramp". He was sometimes compared to Al Jolson.

Washington appeared in a number of short films for M-G-M and Paramount Pictures from 1928-1932, the early years of "talkies", including some of M-G-M's first musical shorts. At one point, he played three weeks in a row at the Paramount Theatre on Broadway. He was described at the time as a "hot favorite" with a "sympathetic voice [that] goes straight to the heart" and that is "well adapted for the talkies".[1][2]

Washington performed for the famed fifth Cavalcade of Jazz concert held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles which was produced by Leon Hefflin, Sr. on July 10, 1949. He was featured along with Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra, Jimmy Witherspoon, Buddy Banks and his Orchestra and Big Jay McNeely.[3]


Washington recorded a number of 10-inch discs for Columbia Records between 1928 and 1930, all as a soloist with an orchestra or ensemble, including:[4]

  • The Spell of the Blues
  • The Sun is at My Window (Throwing Kisses at Me)
  • I'll Never Ask for More
  • Lonely Vagabond
  • Poor Punchinello
  • (Step by Step — Mile by Mile) I'm Marching Home to You
  • High Water
  • Dreary Night
  • Signs of the Highway
  • The Fool's Parade


  1. ^ African American Films Through 1959: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Filmography, Larry Richards. Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland & Company (1998), pp. 66-67, 127-128, 144. ISBN 0-7864-2274-2
  2. ^ The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926-1931, Edwin M. Bradley. Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland & Company (2005), pp. 55-56, 212, 216-217. ISBN 978-0-7864-4319-2
  3. ^ Reed, Tom. ([©1992]). The Black music history of Los Angeles, its roots : 50 years in Black music : a classical pictorial history of Los Angeles Black music of the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's : photographic essays that define the people, the artistry and their contributions to the wonderful world of entertainment (1st, limited ed.). Los Angeles: Black Accent on L.A. Press. ISBN 096329086X. OCLC 28801394. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ George Dewey Washington (vocalist: baritone vocal), Discography of American Historical Recordings, University of California at Santa Barbara Library, accessed March 14, 2017