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Hazel Doris Scott: Breaking Down Racial Barriers in Music and Film


The Chinue X Project, Inc. Celebrates The Life And Legacy Of Hazel Doris Scott, Child Musical Prodigy, and Jazz and Classical Pianist and Singer, who Broke Down Barriers in the Recording and Film Industries.
Born in Port Au Spain, Trinidad, Ms. Scott’s parents moved to the United States, where she began perfecting her “gift” as a pianist. She studied classical piano at Juilliard from the age of eight. She became an attraction at downtown and uptown branches of Cafe Society in the late '30s and early '40s. Scott had her own radio show in 1936, appeared on Broadway in 1938, and was in five films during the '40s, among them Rhapsody in Blue. She wrote such songs as "Love Comes Softly" and "Nightmare Blues.“
In 1950, she would become the First African American performer to host her own nationally syndicated television show. As the solo star of the show, Hazel performed piano and vocals, often singing tunes in one of the seven languages she spoke. A review in Variety stated, “Hazel Scott has a neat little show in this modest package. Most engaging element in the air is the Scott personality, which is dignified, yet relaxed and versatile.”
She was also the second wife of US Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
For Further Reading and Viewing: