Oral history interview with Nettie Sherman
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Nettie Sherman (née Brown) was born in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, May 20, 1900 of an Irish father and an African American mother. The family for whom her mother worked as a domestic provided Nettie's formal education in a southern parochial school and at the Boston Conservatory of Music. In 1917, Sherman moved to the Twin Cities. During the Prohibition era, she worked at various clubs and for several years operated her own club in Saint Paul. During this time, she also worked for the Minneapolis radio station WLAG, later WCCO, and appeared on some of the first "Betty Crocker" shows. In 1937, Sherman moved to Chicago where she was cast in nationally broadcast programs and soap operas and sang in nightclubs. She returned to Minneapolis in 1974 and at age sixty five, following the death of her fourth husband, Roger Sherman, started a boarding home for children of poor working mothers, later raising three of the children. Nettie Sherman died on March 31, 1986. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Sherman talks about her education and the influence and generosity of the family that provided it; her introduction to radio work at WLAG and WCCO, as well as her work in Chicago on nationally broadcast radio soap operas and programs such as "Helen Trent" and "Duffy's Tavern"; speaks of many of her radio colleagues including Marion Hustad, Cedric Adams, Gloria Dale, Al Sheehan and Earl Gammons, and Dwight Fiske. She describes the atmosphere of the Prohibition era nightclubs in Saint Paul, law enforcement and her familiarity with underworld notables such as Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson. Sherman also tells anecdotes of her associations with socially and politically prominent people from both Saint Paul and Minneapolis, including the Towle family, Hubert Humphrey, Milton Rosen, James J. Hill, Floyd B. Olson, and others. Sherman recounts her experiences in trying to secure and provide adequate care for children of poor and disadvantaged working mothers and her commitment to these children. She also discusses her philosophy of life, her views on racial discrimination, African American/white relationships, and intermarriage.
Quantity 2 hours sound cassette
21 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:17:01 running time
Creation Interviewee: Sherman, Nettie Hayes
Interviewer: Goff, Lila Johnson
Made in Bloomington, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Bloomington, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 09/17/1974
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 78
Accession Number AV1991.1
More Info MHS Library Catalog

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