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Micki Grant

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Micki Grant
Grant on Another World, 1968
Minnie Louise Perkins

(1929-06-30)June 30, 1929
DiedAugust 22, 2021(2021-08-22) (aged 92)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materLehman College
  • Actor
  • composer
  • writer
  • singer
Ray McCutcheon
(m. 1966⁠–⁠1978)

Micki Grant (born Minnie Louise Perkins,[1] June 30, 1929 – August 22, 2021) was an American singer (soprano), actress, writer, and composer.[2] She performed in Having Our Say (as Sadie Delaney), Tambourines to Glory and Jericho-Jim Crow both co-written by Langston Hughes, The Gingham Dog, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, and received three Tony Award nominations for her writing.[3]

Early life[edit]

Perkins was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Gussie and Oscar Perkins on June 30, 1929.[4][1] Some sources also state that she was born in 1941; Grant was said to have lowered her age early for reasons related to her career.[5][6] Her father was a self-taught pianist and master barber, and her mother worked for Stanley Products.[3] She began studying music with double-bass lessons at her elementary school.[7] Grant first took piano lessons at the age of eight, and the next year took acting lessons with Susan Porché. After high school, her cousin, film actress Jeni Le Gon took her under her wing when Grant moved to Los Angeles.[3] Following graduation from Englewood High School in Chicago, Grant studied at the Chicago School of Music and attended the University of Illinois, which she left after three years to move to New York City.[7] Years later she went back to school and graduated from Lehman College in 1994 with a degree in English and Theatre, summa cum laude.[8][9] In 2015, Lehman College awarded her the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.[10]



While in Los Angeles, she was cast in Fly Blackbird by James V. Hatch and C. Bernard Jackson. The show was successful and it moved to New York City. She graduated summa cum laude from Lehman College.[3] In the early 1960s, she appeared off-Broadway in Jean Genet's The Blacks (with James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson), and in Brecht on Brecht, in which she sang "Pirate Jenny". In 1964, Grant appeared as Ella Hammer in Howard da Silva's off-Broadway revival of Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, opposite Jerry Orbach and Rita Gardner.[11]

Much of her early work was done with director Vinnette Carroll,[12] the first African-American woman to direct on Broadway. They collaborated on Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope,[13] in which Grant starred and for which she wrote the music, book and lyrics, and Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, for which Grant wrote additional lyrics and music.[14] Both enjoyed critical acclaim and long Broadway runs. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.[citation needed]


Grant (right) with Barbara Rodell on Another World, 1968

In the first story line written for an African-American in a daytime soap opera, Grant portrayed attorney Peggy Nolan on Another World (1966–1973).[7] She later appeared on The Edge of Night replacing Billie Allen as Ada Chandler [15] and was in the cast of Guiding Light (1982–1984). She also had a brief stint as host of Around the Corner, a children's show on CBS.[7]


In her early days in New York City, Grant sought to supplement her income by working as a receptionist at a radio station. A meeting with a top executive at the station diverted her attention to working on the air. Readings and Writings featured Grant performing material that she compiled from research at a public library.[16]

Personal life and death[edit]

Grant married television news film editor Ray McCutcheon in 1966. They were married for 12 years before divorcing in 1978.[7] Grant died on August 22, 2021, at the age of 92 in Manhattan, New York City.[1]


Grant received a 1972 Obie Award for Music and Lyrics for her work on Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope.[17]

Writing credits[edit]

  • "Pink Shoe Laces" (1959), pop song, recorded by Dodie Stevens, reached number 3 on the U.S single charts. A Spanish-language version was number 1 in Mexico for 9 weeks.
  • Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope (1971), musical – music and lyrics, performer
  • Croesus and the Witch (1971), musical – music and lyrics
  • Step Lively, Boy (1973), musical – music and lyrics
  • The Prodigal Sister (1974), musical – music and lyrics
  • Your Arms Too Short to Box with God (1976), musical – additional music and lyrics
  • The Ups and Downs of Theophilis Maitland (1976), musical – music and lyrics
  • I'm Laughing but I Ain't Tickled (1976), musical – music and lyrics
  • Alice (1978), musical – music and lyrics
  • Working (1978), musical – music and lyrics with Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, James Taylor, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead
  • Eubie! (1978), musical revue – additional lyrics
  • It's So Nice to Be Civilized (1980), musical – book, music and lyrics
  • Phillis (1986), musical – music and lyrics
  • Step into My World (1989), revue – music and lyrics
  • Carver (Don't Underestimate a Nut) (1996) – music, lyrics, and book[18]


  1. ^ a b c Sandomir, Richard (August 25, 2021). "Micki Grant, Groundbreaking Broadway Composer, Dies at 92". The New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  2. ^ "Micki Grant, Composer, Playwright and Performer, Has Died at Age 92".
  3. ^ a b c d "Micki Grant", The HistoryMakers.
  4. ^ Beresford, Trilby (August 26, 2021). "Micki Grant, Broadway Composer and Lyricist, Dies at 92". Billboard. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Evans, Greg (August 23, 2021). "Micki Grant Dies: Broadway's Trailblazing 'Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope' Creator Also Pioneered Daytime TV For Black Performers". Deadline. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  6. ^ Allen Woll, Dictionary of the Black Theatre, Greenwood Press, 1983, ISBN 0-313-22561-3, p. 210.
  7. ^ a b c d e Smith, Jessie Carney (1992). Notable Black American Women. VNR AG. pp. 256–257. ISBN 978-0-8103-9177-2. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "The History Makers". The History Makers. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  9. ^ "Honoring Micki Grant with Charlayne Woodard". Dramatists Guild. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  10. ^ "Lehman College, Honorary Degree Recipients". Lehman College, Honorary Degree Recipients.
  11. ^ Dietz, Dan (March 10, 2010). Off Broadway Musicals, 1910–2007: Casts, Credits, Songs, Critical Reception and Performance Data of More Than 1,800 Shows. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-5731-1.
  12. ^ Bernard L. Peterson, Jr, A Century of Musicals in Black and White (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993), ISBN 0-313-26657-3, p. 111.
  13. ^ "Micki Grant's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  14. ^ "Micki Grant". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on February 21, 2020. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  15. ^ Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. March 1978.
  16. ^ King, Doreen (September 20, 1965). "Micki Grant Dreams of Becoming The First Negro Lady Macbeth". Asbury Park-Press. New Jersey, Asbury Park. Women's News Service. p. 8. Retrieved February 21, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "1970s". OBIEAWARDS. Village Voice and American Theatre Wing. Archived from the original on February 21, 2020. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  18. ^ "Micki Grant & Charlayne Woodard", Dramatists Guild Foundation, 2016. YouTube video.

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