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Sophie Tucker

(January 13th 1886 - February 9th 1966)

Born Sofya Kalish to a Jewish family in Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine in 1886 as a girl she moved to the United States with her mother and father arriving in Boston on September 26th 1887. Eight years later they relocated to Hartford, Connecticut and opened a restaurant where their young daughter would begin singing for tips. In 1903 when she was only seventeen Sophie was married to Louis Tucker, a beer cart driver, from whom she derived her professional surname. The year 1907 brought Sophie Tucker's first professional appearance at an amateur night in a vaudeville theater. She performed with the Ziegfeld Follies two years later and was an instant success but was let go when the other female performers refused to share the spotlight with her. Sophie hired pianist and songwriter Ted Shapiro as her accompanist in 1921. He would remain her pianist for much of her career and aside from writing a number of songs for her, Shapiro became an integral part of her stage act as well playing piano and exchanging banter between numbers.

After returning from England where she entertained King George V and Queen Mary at the London Palladium in 1926, Sophie Tucker recorded her hit song "Some of These Days" backed by "Ted Lewis & His Band". It sold over one million copies. In 1929 she made her film debut in the musical talkie "Honky Tonk". During the 1930's Sophie would come to be billed as "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas" due to her hearty sexual appetite which was a frequent topic of her songs, unusual for female entertainers at the time.

Videos:

Blue River (3:27)

I've Got a Cross-Eyed Papa (2:29)

No One But The Right Man, (Can Do Me Wrong) (2:05)

One Sweet Letter From You (2:44)

Some Of These Days (3:14)

What'll You Do? (2:53)

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