Instruments: Vocals
Date of Birth: February 20, 1918
Place of Birth: Dayton, Alabama
Date of Death:January 31, 1988

Born Blooma Walton, Bryant frequently sang with local church groups before moving to California in 1936 . After winning a network radio show amateur contest, she formed her own trio and began making regular appearances on the west coast. In 1945 she moved to New York and began working as a solo artist. Throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's Bryant was used extensively in radio, films and television. She also maintained an exhaustive touring schedule. Bryant died January 31,1988 in New York City.

Biography: Claimed by the proud state of Alabama as one of their homegrown talents, Beulah Bryant was born Blooma Bryant and sang in local church groups. She left the state as a teenager, though, relocating to California in 1936 and more or less officially launching her professional career about a decade later by winning an amateur contest held by a network radio show. This victory inspired her to start up her own trio, which worked regularly in California. In the mid-'40s she moved to New York and by 1950 was part of a group of signings pulled off by Joe Davis wearing his hat as an MGM A&R man. The June, Billboard of that year announced that the label had "inked West Coast blues thrush Beulah Bryant." She made some excellent recordings with a group of musicians that had also backed up singers such as Irene Redfield and Millie Bosman, including the fine trombonist Will Bradley and trumpeter Taft Jordan.

Bryant's style was tailored from the same type of musical suits worn by the so-called "blues shouters." She had a strong, authoritative delivery, a sense of rhythm that was like a bass drum pedal come to life, and the advantage of some first-class material created specifically for her by contributors such as singer and writer Irene Higginbotham, most notably the meaty "Fat Mama Blues." As good as these records were, the singer must have supported herself from her gigs or had an additional job, since the payment from the label was almost non-existent; for example, her advance for one session was only $50. Up through the '70s, she kept busy performing in radio, films, and television, as well as keeping up a tireless schedule of personal appearances. She also maintained an exhaustive touring schedule. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi


Beulah Bryant Is Dead; Singer of Blues Was 69     Published: February 06, 1988

Beulah Bryant, a blues singer, died Sunday in Bird S. Coler Memorial Hospital after a heart attack. She was 69 years old and lived in Manhattan.

Dinah Washington, the singer known as the ''Queen of the Blues,'' once called Mrs. Bryant ''one of the best rhythm-and-blues people I know.''

One of Mrs. Bryant's last performances in New York was with Sippi Wallace and Big Mama Thornton in the 1980 Newport Jazz Festival program, ''Blues Is a Woman,'' at Avery Fisher Hall.

Mrs. Bryant traveled internationally from the 1940's to 1975 to perform for American servicemen under auspices of the United Service Organizations. She recorded on the Spivey label.

She also made guest appearances on television shows and stood out, even as an extra, in feature films, including ''Hospital,'' ''The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,'' ''Fame,'' ''Kramer vs. Kramer'' and ''Going in Style.'' At Abyssinian Baptist Church, of which she was a member, she served in many groups, including the scholarship committee.

Mrs. Bryant is survived by her sister, Bessie Myers, of San Francisco, and her son, Otis V. Bryant Jr., of Sylmar, Calif.


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