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"Moms" Mabley oversees a boarding house of down-'n-out vaudevillians who put on a show to raise the money for the rent. "Moms" and little tramp Dusty Fletcher play host to the boarding house's zany tenants. Almost exclusively performed by an all-black cast, Boarding House Blues was made for an African-American audience and as a result, possesses a tone and spirit radically different than most films of the '40s. Still fresh and unapologetically unrefined, Boarding House Blues is an unusual musical comedy revue featuring show-stopping performances from alluring singer pianist Una Mae Carlisle, rapscallions Stump and Stumpy and the legendary "Crip" Heard-a dancer with only one leg and one arm. Born Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894, Jackie Mabley, better known as "Moms," made a career of spinning hardship into comic gold. With her pioneering comedic forays into race relations, feminist and lesbian issues, "Moms" Mabley is best remembered for nine classic comedy albums recorded for Chess Records and her appearance in the feature film Amazing Grace (1974). Features performances by Lucky Millinder and His Band, Una Mae Carlisle, The Berry Brothers, Bull Moose Jackson, Lewis and White, Anistine Allen, Paul Breckenridge, Stump and Stumpy, The Lee Norman Trio and "Crip" Heard.

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ALP4625 Boarding House Blues DVD (1948/Moms Mabley) $5.99