Alice Darr - Recording Artist, Song Writer, and Composer
Alice Darr was born in Cumberland, grew up on Pine Avenue, and attended the Carver School. Her parents were extremely hard working, and worked several jobs to provide for the family. Her father, James Darr, was also an accomplished jazz musician who worked with many well-known musicians of the period. Alice not only sang, but at a very young age learned how to play the piano and snare drums. She first gained experience playing at the former Cadillac Cocktail Lounge in downtown Cumberland, and soon afterwards received a call from an agent out of Pittsburgh which resulted in a nation-wide tour. Alice Darr would go on to perform around the world, meet and work alongside some of the greatest entertainers, and performed in Europe for many years. As noted by the famous variety show television host, Ed Sullivan, in describing Alice in his New York Daily News column, she has "Plenty of Talent", and in writing for the New York Post, the nationally syndicated show business columnist Earl Wilson described her as, "a lovely, charming, and vivacious girl". An exceptionally talented pianist, Alice Darr enjoyed great success in the music industry as a performer, music composer, and songwriter with two albums and six copyrighted songs.
An article from the Cumberland Times-News in 1998 about Alice's father, James Darr, appears also on this website.
Photograph of Alice Darr and entertainer Dean Martin (1917-1995) provided by Alice Darr.
Text excerpted from Hidden Stories, Discovered Voices: A History of African Americans in Cumberland, Maryland
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008