19.5.11

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Louis Bellson lighting Pearl Bailey's cigarette, London, England, November 17, 1952.jpg
Drummer Louis Bellson lighting Pearl Bailey's cigarette, London, England, November 17, 1952.
Credit: Image Donated by Corbis-Bettmann

In 1952, Pearl Bailey married Louis Bellson, Jr., a white jazz drummer eight years her junior. Their marriage lasted for thirty-eight years, until her death in 1990. Together they adopted and raised a daughter and a son. After their marriage, Bellson left Duke Ellington's band to become Bailey's musical director and lead his own band.

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