HUNTER, Alberta (1895-1984)
American jazz singer and songwriter who enjoyed a successful career from the early 1920s – ’50s then stopped performing. After 20 years as a nurse, Hunter successfully resumed her singing career in 1977 and continued until her death.
SIG – Vintage signature in ballpoint pen ink on a 3″x5″ card (sufficient room for matting). Accompanied by a striking 5″x7″ black/white high quality giclee image printed on heavy stock (from an original photograph). NOTA BENE: we have another card signed by Hunter.
Comeback 1970s-’80s. Hunter was working at Goldwater Memorial Hospital in 1961 when she was persuaded to participate in two recording sessions. In 1971 she was videotaped for a segment of a Danish TV program and also taped an interview for The Smithsonian Institution. That same year record producer Chris Albertson asked her to break an 11-year absence from the recording studio. The result was her participation (four songs) on a Prrestige Bluesville Records album, Songs We Taught Your Mother. The following month Albertson recorded her again, this time for Riverside Records, reuniting her with Lil Armstrong and Lovie Austin, both with whom she had performed in the 1920s.
Hunter was prepared to devote the rest of her life to nursing but she was retired from the hospital in 1977 when it was believed she had reached retirement age (she was then 82). In the summer of 1977, Hunter attended a party for her long-time friend Mabel Mercer, hosted by Bobby Short. Music public relations agent Charles Bourgeois asked Hunter to sing and connected her with the legendary owner of Cafe Society, Barney Josephson who subsequently offered her a limited engagement at his Greenwich Village Club, The Cookery. Her two-week appearance was a huge success, turning into a six-year engagement and a revival of her career in music. In 2013, PBS released a documentary on the life of Hunter entitled My Castle’s Rockin.