We have come to know Maya Angelou as one of America’s most talented poets, honored with 2 Presidential Medals and dozens of other awards before her death in 2014. But, did you know that Angelou’s career, long before she was a writer and before she was an activist, consisted of singing and dancing?
At the height of calypso fever in the U.S. and a popularity for all things “exotic” during the late 1950s, Angelou performed in the film Heat Wave. Her bare feet and a barely there dress are surprising for those who’ve never seen her in movies before! Angelou also had an album of calypso songs (1956) and performed in the Bay Area under the name Miss Calypso. Was there anything she could do?
In the clip from the film Angelou sang the song “Run Joe” which had been a big hit for Louis Jordan a decade before. Have a look for yourself in this wonderful video!