Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Member Of The Communist Party?
August 18, 2018 9:51 AM   Subscribe

In the 1930s and 40s, jazz pianist Hazel Scott was a child prodigy, the star of Cafe’ Society, a fighter for civil rights, Hollywood strike leader, and the first African-American woman to solo host her own TV show. So what ever happened to The Queen of Jazz?
posted by The Whelk (5 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

Definitely want to see more people learning about her! I listened to her greatest hits album driving through North Ontario yesterday and it did a great job of helping me maintain my sanity during the long dead stretch from Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 11:05 AM on August 18, 2018

I'd learned about her from that previously.
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:18 PM on August 18, 2018

$75,000 a year in the late 40s? Whoa!

Always dismaying to learn about another talent ruined in those witch-hunting times.
Speaking of serious money,
The television blacklist came to an end when the blacklisters began to become financially liable for the consequences of their listings. In 1956, Texas humorist John Faulk sued Johnson and Hartnett for libel after Aware, Inc., in a case of mistaken identity, inaccurately publicized his alleged Communist associations. Faulk was blacklisted and his radio and television career destroyed. In 1962, a jury awarded Faulk $3.5 million dollars. Although the judgment was later reduced to $550,000, the precedent of making the listing organizations financially responsible did much to end the television and radio blacklists. - Richard A. Schwartz (much more detail at the link)
The Red Channels list was published by newsletter Counterattack. Financed, it's said, by one of the future founders of the John Birch Society.
posted by Twang at 11:32 PM on August 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Interestingly, she's not mentioned at all in Gunther Schuller's The Swing Era, which until now I thought to be encyclopedic.
posted by tommasz at 6:31 AM on August 19, 2018

I love her. Thank you so much for the post!
posted by dame at 10:01 AM on August 19, 2018

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