Emmett "Babe" Wallace

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Emmett "Babe" Wallace
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Brooklyn, New York
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Singer
  • Composer
  • Actor
  • Poet

Emmett "Babe" Wallace (1909 - 2006) was a singer, composer, actor, and poet from the United States. His many decades long career included many years performing abroad in Europe and Israel. He featured on stage and screen. The New York Public Library has a collection of his papers.[1]

Wallace was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 24, 1909 to George Bason and Inez Wallace. He attended a Manual Training High School in Brooklyn and worked as busboy, messenger, and bouncer at the Savoy Ballroom.[1]

He had a son with Vivian Dandridge.

He was to broadcast on the Gloom Dodgers show on radio station WEPN (AM)#WHN (1922–1948).[2] He composed the song "A Chicken Ain't Nothin' but a Bird" recorded by Louis Jordan discography in 1940.

The New York Public Library has a collection of his papers and photographs of him.[3][4] Carl Van Vechten photographed him and Yale has the images in its archives.[5] In 1940 he was selected to front the Ella Fitzgerald Orchestra on tour.[6]


  • The Black Network (1936)
  • The Devil's Daughter (1939 film) as John Lowden
  • Stormy Weather (1943 film) (1943) as Chuck Bailey
  • Rhythm in a Riff (1946)
  • The Fight Never Ends (1948)[7]


  • "A Chicken Ain't Nothin' but a Bird"
  • "Get It, Get It, I Love to See You With It"
  • "That Feeling is Gone"
  • "America Forever"
  • "Bring Enough Clothes for Three Days"[2] Timmie Rogers recorded it and it was a hit.[8]
  • ""Dorie Miller" abour war her Doris Miller[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "archives.nypl.org -- Emmett "Babe" Wallace papers". archives.nypl.org.
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://www.newspapers.com/clip/83052416/the-pittsburgh-courier/
  3. Wallace, Emmett Babe (August 5, 2021). "Emmett "Babe" Wallace photograph collection" – via Open WorldCat.
  4. "Wallace, Emmett Babe 1909-2006 [WorldCat Identities]".
  5. "Wallace, Emmett Babe - Yale University Library". collections.library.yale.edu.
  6. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/83052606/the-pittsburgh-courier/
  7. https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/1547348%7C47768/Babe-Wallace/#overview
  8. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/83052472/california-eagle/
  9. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/83052603/the-new-york-age/

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