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Loretta Mary Aiken, 19 March 1894, Brevard, North Carolina, USA, d. 23 May 1975. Mabley was raised in Washington, DC. Her maudlin 1969 recitation of the Dion hit Abraham, Martin And John somewhat obscured her history as the most successful comedienne on the black theatre circuit. The song made her a one-hit-wonder when it made number 18 R&B and number 35 pop, yet she had been performing for almost 40 years and had already charted with 13 comedy albums on the pop album charts. She was masterful at blue humour but less effective with suitable family fare. Mabley entered the Chitlin Circuit in 1921, touring with Butterbeans And Susie. She also had minor roles in the films Emperor Jones (1933), Killer Diller (1947) and Boarding House Blues (1948). Amazing Grace (1974) was her only starring appearance.
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