Inductees Archive

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Ethel Waters

Born in 1896 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Ethel Waters launched a career in the early 1900′s that took her from small clubs to Broadway to movies and television. Renowned for her Broadway role as Bernice Sadie Brown in “Member of the Wedding”, she appeared in 501 performances, singing a gospel song with the now very popular Julie Harris upon her lap — the song which she is most remembered for around the world, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”. Other songs which she made famous were “Dinah”, “Stormy Weather”, “St. Louis Blues” and “Cabin In The Sky”; however, it was a gospel song that endeared her to the hearts of millions. She toured around the world in a one-woman show titled An Evening With Ethel Waters and stated “Because she weighed 350 pounds, it was easier to stand on stage propped against a piano and seldom leave the stage”. In 1957, while attending a Billy Graham Crusade, she rededicated her life to Christian service, became a member of the Billy Graham Crusade team and appeared regularly in various parts of the world singing gospel songs, especially “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”. She died in 1977 at the age of 81.

 

Induction Year

1984

 

Hometown

Philadelphia, PA

 

Genre

Blues and Jazz

 

Professions

Singer and film, television, and stage actress

 

Video

Ethel Waters singing “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” in a 1952 film titled The Member of The Wedding