Drummer Louis Bellson lighting Pearl Bailey’s cigarette, London, England, November 17, 1952. In 1952, Pearl Bailey married Louis Bellson, Jr., a white jazz drummer  eight years her junior.  After their marriage, Bellson left Duke  Ellington’s band to become Bailey’s musical director and lead his own  band. Their marriage lasted for thirty-eight years, until her death in  1990. Together they adopted and raised a daughter and a son.

Drummer Louis Bellson lighting Pearl Bailey’s cigarette, London, England, November 17, 1952. In 1952, Pearl Bailey married Louis Bellson, Jr., a white jazz drummer eight years her junior. After their marriage, Bellson left Duke Ellington’s band to become Bailey’s musical director and lead his own band. Their marriage lasted for thirty-eight years, until her death in 1990. Together they adopted and raised a daughter and a son.

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