Tally Brown

Brand X - Tally Brown in Boys Talk

Tally Brown was born August 1, 1924 in New York City and died of a stroke at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on May 6, 1989. She received classical musical training at Juilliard but later took up the genres of jazz and the blues after having met Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood in 1947. By the 1950s, Brown had developed a rhythm-and-blues style akin to such performers as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, and during this time, she released an album entitled, A Torch for Tally, with the Jimmy Diamond Quartet. The album featured the songs Lime House Blues, Honeysuckle Rose, and My Man. In 1951, Tally was a founder of the Fine Arts Conservatory, in Miami, which was one of the first racially integrated theaters and art schools in the South. In the 1960's and 1970's, Tally was prominent in the underground performance world, appearing frequently at such New York nightclubs as Reno Sweeney's, S.N.A.F.U. and the Continental Baths where she was known for her intense, dramatic renditions of songs by Kurt Weill, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. She also appeared in Broadway and Off Broadway productions of ''Mame,'' ''The Pajama Game,'' ''Medea'' and other shows. Tally began her film acting career in Andy Warhol's 1964 film "Batman Dracula" and his 1965 film "Camp," where she mimicked Yma Sumac. In 1968 she co stared with Taylor Mead, Sally Kirkland and Frank Cavestani in Wynn Chamberlain's BRAND X which opened on May 18, 1970. In 1974 she was featured in the 1974 horror film "Silent Night, Bloody Night" and in 1980 was the subject of ''Tally Brown, New York,'' a documentary by Rosa von Praunheim, which won the Film Award in Silver at the German Film Awards for Outstanding Non-Feature Film. The documentary was also noteworthy for its use of cinéma vérité in its opening shot by depicting New York's gritty street life in and around Times Square in the 1970s, before it was later cleaned up