E is for Evelyn

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2019-01-19 02:48Z by Steven

E is for Evelyn

Adulting Whilst…

Fiona Timba

E is for Evelyn, Evelyn Dove.

Evelyn Dove was born in London on 11 January 1902 and was the first black woman to sing on BBC radio. Although often referred to as the British Josephine Baker, Evelyn Dove replaced Josephine Baker in 1932 as the star attraction at the Casino de Paris and in a career that spanned over five decades she was a star of jazz and cabaret, embraced by the world.

Evelyn had West African and English heritage, her father being a barrister originally from Sierra Leone. It is reported that she had a privileged upbringing, attending private school before going on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and in 1925 she became the first black woman to sing on BBC radio in 1925 at the age of just 24! Evelyn toured Europe performing with many of the great American jazz performers of the time before replacing Josephine Baker at the Casino de Paris. Coming from a privileged middle-class family, and with a parent of African heritage, you can only imagine the reaction her parents had to Evelyn donning Josephine’s revealing costume…

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