In Memoriam: Salome Bey, Canada’s First Lady of the Blues, 1933-2020

Canadian Legend and First Lady of the Blues, Salome Bey passed away on August 8. She was 86 years old. Born in 1933, she performed with her siblings as Andy and the Bey Sisters, touring Europe and North America.

On her first visit to Toronto in 1961, Bey met her future husband Howard Matthews at his establishment, The First Floor Club, a jazz music after-hours spot on Asquith Avenue at the edge of Yorkville. Matthews later opened The Underground Railroad restaurant with partners including local drummer Archie Alleyne.

Following Bey’s retirement, the couple moved to the Lakeside Long Term Care home in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. Matthews passed away in 2016.

Bey passed away on August 8, 2020 at Lakeside. She is survived by her son Marcus Matthews and her two daughters. Jacintha Tuku and SATE sometimes backed their mother on stage as The Relatives. Salome Bey’s family has asked well-wishers to consider donating to The Freedom School Toronto, whose trustee may be reached here; [email protected].

S.A.C. published a feature on Salome Bey for International Women’s Day in March 2019.

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Note: The Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

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