“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Huntington in Cabell County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Blues & Gospel Singer

“Diamond Teeth” Mary McClain


August 28, 1902--April 4, 2000

Blues & Gospel Singer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 14, 2014
1. Blues & Gospel Singer Marker
Inscription. Born and raised in Huntington, WV, Mary hopped a train and left town at age 13 to become a singer and dancer. She spent the 1920s and 30s performing in medicine and minstrel shows. During the 1940s, Mary had diamonds removed from a bracelet and set into her front teeth, creating a dazzling stage effect which earned her the nickname, “Diamond Teeth Mary.” Night spots from Chicago to Miami billed her as “Queen of the Blues,” and “Walking Mary.” She performed at the Apollo Theater, The Cotton Club, Carnegie Hall, the White House, and in Europe, where her show-stopping charisma received standing ovations. She also toured with the USO. As she had requested, her ashes were sprinkled on the railroad tracks at Heritage Station where she had hopped her first train. Mary always lovingly referred to Huntington as “my home.”
Erected 2010 by Presented by the West Virginia Blues Society.
Location. 38° 25.416′ N, 82° 26.448′ W. Marker is in Huntington, West Virginia, in Cabell County. Marker is on Veterans Memorial Blvd. Click for map. The marker is located in Heritage Village which includes the B&O Depot. Marker is in this post office area: Huntington WV 25701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At
Blues & Gospel Singer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 14, 2014
2. Blues & Gospel Singer Marker
least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Elk River Coal & Lumber Company #10 Steam Locomotive (a few steps from this marker); Heritage Village (a few steps from this marker); The Virginia Road (approx. 0.4 miles away); One Room School Museum (approx. mile away); Carter Godwin Woodson (approx. 0.8 miles away); Marshall Memorial Boulevard (Charleston Ave) (approx. 1.3 miles away); Marshall Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); War Between the States Generals (approx. 1.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Huntington.
Also see . . .  Mary "Diamond Teeth" McClain an Original - African American Registry. (Submitted on May 15, 2014, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Categories. African AmericansEntertainment
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 293 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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