Georgia Carr was a singer, actress and eventual entrepreneur. Born Mary Louise Thomas in Los Angeles on June 20, 1925, she held multiple jobs (most famously as a secretary) and attended the University of California in Los Angeles as she tried to build her singing career. She was singing at the Club Royale in San Diego when Stan Kenton saw her and, according to the August 20, 1953 cover story on her in JET, “started her on a career that was destined to hit the big time.” According to JET, it was Mr. Kenton who suggested that she change her name to Georgia Carr. In short order, she was booked in popular clubs like Birdland and La Vie En Rose in New York and recorded a few modest hits, including “Softly” and I’m Not Gonna Let You In.” She also had a radio show at one time on New Yorks WOV called “Carr-fare.” The most interesting piece of information I came across regarding Ms. Carr was from a Chicago Defender newspaper article from January 29, 1963. The article said Ms. Carr “possess beauty, personality, “class,” and a warm, husky voice of intimate styling” and noted that she was being “sought for a tour of the Orient, which would take her to Manila, Tokyo and Hong Kong.” Ms. Carr told the paper that she would probably turn down the tour in favor of a new business where she was vice president in charge of sales. It was called American Negro Commercials, Inc. and they wanted to make “television and theatrical commercials utilizing Negro actors and models.” Ms. Carr is quoted as saying, “There is no reason why our actors and actresses can’t do commercials for major companies which sell their products on the general market. I am more excited by this project than anything I have ever done.” I have no idea what became of American Negro Commercials - but I will find out! In later years, Ms. Carr apparently owned a catering company with her sister. A 1971 article in the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper described a reception in honor of the pianist Bobby Short where a “black-owned catering firm owned by singer Georgia Carr and her sister served memorable cuisine.” Ms. Carr died in Los Angeles at the age of 46 of a stroke on July 4, 1971.
Sammy Davis, Jr. with talk show host Sam Levenson and tennis legend Althea Gibson at piano at a Bon Voyage party for Ms. Gibson at Birdland Nightclub in New York City. Ms. Gibson was set to leave for Wimbledon in the next few days. Photo by Fred Morgan/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images.
Flip Wilson and Gail Fisher guest starring on an episode of “Love, American Style” called “Love and the Hustler.” This show aired one month before I was born, on September 29, 1969, but I definitely remember watching “Love, American Style” in repeats. I wonder if it still holds up today? Hmmm….
I’m sure most of you know the iconic comedian Flip Wilson, but Gail Fisher was an actress best known for her Emmy-winning role as Peggy Fair, secretary to a detective, in the groundbreaking television series, “Mannix.” Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images.
Leslie Uggams and Clarence Williams III on the set of ‘Mod Squad.’ Ms. Uggams was a guest star in the episode, “Kill Gently, Sweet Jessie,” which aired on January 18, 1972. Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images.
Sammy Davis Jr. and Diana Ross sing and dance to a medley of classic songs on “The Hollywood Palace” variety show on October 18, 1969. This episode also marked one of the last appearances Ms. Ross would make with The Supremes - and the national television debut of The Jackson 5.
I was named after Nichelle Nichols, so she has always had a special place in my heart. In this screen grab, she is in her most famous role, Lt. Uhura of STAR TREK, in the episode ‘Plato’s Stepchildren,’ which aired on November 22, 1968. Photo by CBS via Getty Images.
Denise Nicholas as school counselor Liz McIntyre from the groundbreaking television show, “Room 222” in September 1969. Ms. Nicholas also starred in - and wrote for - the drama, “In the Heat of the Night” in the 1980s and was once married to the singer-songwriter, Bill Withers. In 2005, she released her debut novel “Freshwater Road,” which was loosely based on her own life. The novel follows a young Michigan woman’s journey south as a volunteer during 1964’s “Freedom Summer.” Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images.
Sammy Davis Jr. playing the drums on the set of “The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show” around January 1966. The show, beset by contractual issues among other things, only lasted for fifteen episodes. Photo: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images.