Salome Bey was one of a kind. An artist. A person whose tools made an impact on the world.
Salome Bey (October 10, 1933 – August 8, 2020) was an American-born Canadian singer-songwriter, composer, and actress who lived in Toronto Ontario since 1966.
In 2005, she was made an honorary Member of the Order of Canada.
Born to a middle-class African-American family in New Jersey, Bey formed a vocal group with her brother Andy Bey and sister Geraldine Bey (de Haas), known as Andy and the Bey Sisters. She performed in local clubs and toured North America and Europe. After moving to Toronto in 1964 and playing the jazz club circuit, she became known as “Canada’s First Lady of Blues”.
Bey appeared on Broadway in Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award for her work on the cast album. She put together a blues & jazz cabaret show on the history of black music, Indigo – which earned her the Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding performance. The show was later taped for TV networks.
Bey recorded two albums with Horace Silver, and released live albums of her performances with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
She was part of the Canadian super-group Northern Lights which performed the charity single “Tears Are Not Enough” in 1985. Bey can be seen in the music video for the song singing the line “Every woman, child and man” with Mark Holmes of Platinum Blonde and Lorraine Segato of The Parachute Club.
Beginning in her early sixties, Bey began showing signs of dementia. As of 2011 her illness had progressed to the point that she could no longer perform.