Wanda Brown


A languid, bluesy singer in the manner of Billie Holiday, Brown was performing in an Oklahoma burlesque club when she was 14. In 1941, she met Vernon Brown in Milwaukee, worked with him in Detroit and later married him and joined him in Seattle, in 1944, after Vernon came west to play with Al Pierre. Wanda sang in most of the Jackson Street clubs as well as a fancy but short-lived venue near Longacres racetrack called the New Orleans, where Billie Holiday heard Wanda and let it be known that she liked her. Wanda also worked as a “dice girl,” collecting money after the game. Brown retired from singing in 1964.

Jackson Street After Hours (print). https://archive.seattletimes.com/archive/?date=19950828&slug=21386411