To all dancers, dance enthusiasts and tap dancers, join us in celebrating the Birthday of Mable Lee Queen of the Soundies today 08/02/1921.
she began performing at the age of 4 in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia and became a soloist with the Red McAlister Band by the age of nine.
As a teenager, Ms. Lee came to New York City where she worked in the chorus line of the West End Theatre followed by that of the Apollo Theatre before being given a spot as a soubrette, a featured soloist with a line of girls behind her. Mable toured with big bands led by the likes of Cab Calloway, Eubie Blake, Louis Jordan, Fats Waller, Lucky Milinder and many more.
During World War II, Mable performed in the first all-black USO unit, conducted by Eubie Blake and his sixteen-piece orchestra, and would later take her own show, complete with chorus line and band, out with the USO.
From 1942-1946, Mable Lee appeared in over 100 SOUNDIES, earning her the title, Queen of the Soundies.
Ms. Lee has also made her mark in theatre starring in Eubie Blake’s Shuffle Along, the national touring production of Bubblin’ Brown Sugar, and AMAS Repertory Theatre’s production of Suddenly the Music Starts – alongside Harold Nicholas. She was also the only female member of the cast of The Hoofers, which opened at the Mercury Theatre and included such luminaries as Lon Chaney, Chuck Green, Jimmy Slyde, Sandman Sims, and Buster Brown, among others.
Ms. Lee has received the Flo-Bert Award for lifetime achievement, has been inducted in the Tap Dance Hall of Fame and is a member of the Tap Legacy™ Honorary Board. She was nominated for an Audelco Award for Outstanding Musical Performance in Suddenly the Music Starts, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been on the cover of Ebony Magazine.
Mable Lee can be found performing today at the Tap Extravaganza®, and other tap dance events.