May Alix

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May Alix
Birth nameLiza Mae Alix
Born(1902-08-31)August 31, 1902
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedNovember 1, 1983(1983-11-01) (aged 81)
GenresJazz, cabaret
Occupation(s)Singer
InstrumentsVocals
LabelsVocalion
Associated actsJimmie Noone, Ollie Powers

Liza Mae "May" Alix (August 31, 1902 in Chicago, Illinois - November 1, 1983) was an American cabaret and jazz vocalist.

Biography[edit]

She began her career as a teenager after winning a talent contest. She performed with the Jimmie Noone band in the clubs of Chicago. Alix later worked with bandleaders Carroll Dickerson, Duke Ellington, and Luis Russell.[1] She earned the nickname "Queen of the Splits" for the dance choreography included in her show. Soon she joined Ollie Powers as a duo performing in cabarets. In 1926, she recorded with Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five. One of the recordings, "Big Butter and Egg Man," became Armstrong's first chart hit. She collaborated with Jimmie Noone on half a dozen recordings for Vocalion Records (1929–1930) including "Ain't Misbehavin", "My Daddy Rocks Me", and "Birmingham Bertha/Am I Blue?". During the 1930s and early 1940s, she performed mainly in New York City.[2]

She married and eventually divorced her pianist and songwriter husband, Warley Asher. She left show business in 1941.[1]

Jazz singer Alberta Hunter sometimes recorded under the name "May Alix", with the permission of the real May Alix.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bracks, Lean'tin L.; Smith, Jessie Carney (2014). Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance Era. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8108-8543-1.
  2. ^ a b Chadbourne, Eugene. "May Alix".

Further reading[edit]

  • Komara, Edward (Ed.) (2006), Encyclopedia of the Blues, Routledge