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MARKER DATABASE
“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 (Appalachia)
 

“Diamond Teeth” Mary McClain

Blues & Gospel Singer

 

— August 28, 1902--April 4, 2000 —

 
Blues & Gospel Singer Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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 1920’s and 30’s performing in medicine and minstrel shows. During the 1940’s, 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 by the West Virginia Blues Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEntertainment.
 
Location. 38° 25.417′ N, 82° 26.456′ W.
Blues & Gospel Singer Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 14, 2014
2. Blues & Gospel Singer Marker
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Marker is in Huntington, West Virginia, in Cabell County. Marker is at the intersection of 11th Street and Veterans Memorial Boulevard (U.S. 60), on the left when traveling south on 11th Street. The marker is located in Heritage Village which includes the B&O Depot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 210 11th St, Huntington WV 25701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Elk River Coal & Lumber Company #10 Steam Locomotive (here, next to this marker); John Hunt Oley (a few steps from this marker); B&O Railroad Depot / Heritage Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Cabell County Cavalcade (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Virginia State Road (approx. 0.4 miles away); Huntington (approx. 0.4 miles away); War of 1812 Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Huntington Mine Rescue Car (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntington.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 15, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 499 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 15, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 28, 2022