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Minto Cato


Singer, Actress

(1900 - 1979)

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"John Henry" on Broadway at ibdb...
 
Minto Cato , with regard to jazz standards, is best remembered for her introduction of “Memories of You” in Blackbirds of 1930, written by Eubie Blake and Andy Razaf.

Cato was a member of the National Negro Opera Company, founded in 1941 by Mary Cardwell Dawson to offer professional opportunities to blacks. For over twenty years the company (which also included Robert McFerrin, the father of contemporary singer Bobby McFerrin) mounted productions in major east coast cities.

Cato also appeared in productions at the St. Louis Municipal Theater (“The Muny”) including Gentlemen Unafraid (1938) as Mammy Liza and Showboat (1938 and 1942) as Queenie. On Broadway, Cato played Old Aunt Dinah in John Henry (1940), and on film she was Dona Paula in The End of the River (1947).

- Sandra Burlingame

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