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Sun, 09.12.1920

Willie Mae Wong, Musician born

Willie Mae Wong

*Willie Mae Wong was born on this date in 1920. She was an African Asian American musician.

From Greenville, MS., Wong had a Chinese father and a mixed-race mother. Willie Mae, also affectionately known as “Rabbit,” was one of the original members of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. They were the first multi-racial all-female big band in America.  Wong had no visible musical skills when she was recruited to the group as a 15-year-old. She was out on the street playing stickball when they picked her up.

Her nickname was “Rabbit”, Wong played the baritone saxophone for the band during the 1940s. They played for the soldiers during WWII, both overseas and domestically. Mae was married to David L. Scott, Sr. Together the couple had sons David Jr. (Brenda) and Glenn, daughters, Betty Jo and Shelly. Willie Mae Scott passed away peacefully on June 21, 2016, in New Hampshire.

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