A dimple incarnate . . . a five-foot bundle of singing and dancing energy who sparked major musicals by Jerome Kern ("Night Boat," "Good Morning, Dearie") and Vincent Youmans ("No, No, Nannette," "Hit the Deck"), Louise Groody was a performer who emblematized an age. She had the athleticism and speed of the modern woman with a joyous innocence that harkened back to the heydey of the "girl." Her two signature songs, both by Youmans -"Tea for Two" and "Sometimes I'm Happy" - were anthems of the '20s.
When that age ended with the stock market crash of 1929, Groody found herself a performer out of time. Her stage shows of the 1930s were failures. In the context of the Depression her personality seemed jejune. Still, she could sing. And she found a place for herself on radio and in the recording studio. She spent extensive periods of time in Europe. When she returned to the U.S. and craved performing live, she would take pianist Neville Fleeson into the American hinterlands, visiting the few remaining vaudeville theaters in the provinces for an evening of "Storiettes." David S. Shields/ALS