“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)

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. Touch 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 least
Blues & Gospel Singer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 14, 2014
2. Blues & Gospel Singer Marker
8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Elk River Coal & Lumber Company #10 Steam Locomotive (a few steps from this marker); B&O Railroad Depot / Heritage Village (a few steps from 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); James River Company (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntington.
Categories. African AmericansEntertainment
Credits. This page was last revised on November 13, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 15, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 365 times since then. 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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