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Stage Name

Birth Name

Blanche Calloway

Blanche Dorothea Calloway

        African-American Jazz Singer, dancer and Orchestra Leader. Blanche Dorothea Calloway was Born in Baltimore, moved to Rochester, NY when she was four, and then back to Baltimore when she was six. Blanche was sister to her younger brother Cab Calloway. Florence Mills and Gertrude Saunders were the inspiration for Blanche to go into show business. Her first big "break" came in 1923, when she joined the touring companies of the Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake musical "Shuffle Along."

    Later Bill Bailey and Blanche Calloway, separately and together were Dance Partners at many nightclubs in New York and Chicago before her singing career took off. She was a very talented singer and performer of the Blues style of music. 

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One of her first music sessions was with Louis Armstrong on trumpet and Blanche on vocals. She formed her own all male group calling themselves 'Blanche Calloway and her Joy Boys' (1925-1935) later to be renamed 'Blanche Calloway and Her Orchestra'. It is said she was the one who started her younger brother ' Cab Calloway' in the business and because of her dancing was much more wild than he on Stage.

As she aged, and retired from the limelight, she started a small Cosmetic Business for "Black People" in Miami Florida which was somewhat a success in the 1960's.

Birth Place

Birth Date



Baltimore, Maryland 2/9/1902 - 12/16/1978 n/a n/a

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

The Black Bottom Bill Bailey Blue Memories (Blanche)
    Casey Jones (Blanche) 1931
The Charleston Blanche Calloway & her Jazz Boys Catch On (Blanche) 1934
    I Got What It Takes (Blanche) 1931
    I Gotta Swing (Blanche) 1935
Jazz Dance       I Need Lovin (Blanche) 1934
The Jitterbug       I'm Gettin Myself Ready For You (Blanche) 1931
      It Looks Like Suzy (Blanche) 1931
      It's Right Here For You (Blanche) 1931
The Lindy Hop       Last Dollar (Blanche) 1931
      Lazy Woman Blues (Blanche)
      Line A Jive (Blanche) 1935
      Make Me Know It (Blanche) 1931
Tap Dance       Minnie the Frail (Blanche)
      Misery (Blanche) 1931
      What's A Poor Girl Gonna Do (Blanche) 1934
        $ Growlin' Dan [CD] (Blanche)
      $ I Gotta Swing [CD] (Blanche)
      $ Line-A-Jive [CD] (Blanche)
      $ Blanche [1925-1935] [CD] (Blanche)

Night Clubs



Chicago Clubs Apollo Theater (1935) 1921 - Shuffle Along (?1923?)
Ciro Club Harlem Opera House (1934) 1926 - Plantation Days
Club Harlem Lafayette Theatre (1931)  
THE Cotton Club Pearl Theater (1931)


The Crystle Caverns 63rd Street Music Hall (1923) Blanche Calloway & her Jazz (Joy) Boys
The SAVOY Ballroom   Blanche Calloway


Music Groups


n/a Blanche's Joy Boys [CD] 1/16/1932 - Pittsburgh Courier
      Andy Kirk & the Twelve Clouds of Joy      

NOTE: Chris Calloway - Website

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