Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tribute Messages Wanted -- "Many Rivers to Cross", A Tribute to Salome Bey and Howard Matthews

"Many Rivers to Cross" is a benefit event and a tribute to Salome Bey and her husband Howard Matthews (The First Floor Club) for their combined and individual contributions that are now reflected, not just here in Canada, but across the International Jazz and Blues scene.

Tribute messages are greatly appreciated, kindly contact us or send your messages to (Digital images and video messages are accepted!)

7 Quick Facts about Salome Bey:

Salome Bey

  1. Salome Bey was born in Newark, New Jersey.

  2. At fourteen she took first place in the Apollo’s infamous Wednesday Night in Harlem amateur night competition. Her father refused to allow her to accept the prize.

  3. For a time, Salome Bey studied law at Rutgers University.

  4. Once, when asked how it felt to be known as The First Lady of the Blues, Salome Bey responded, “I don’t think I’m old enough yet.”

  5. Andy and The Bey Sisters performed at Toronto’s Colonial Tavern in 1961. She met future husband, Howard Matthews during that tour.

  6. Besides singing, Salome Bey has performed in theatre and television, appearing in the role of Momma Lolla in the television series Due South.

  7. In 2005, Salome Bey was made an Honorary member of The Order of Canada. She has also received The Martin Luther King Jr. Lifetime Achievement award.

7 Quick Facts about Howard Matthews:

Howard Matthews

  1. In 1947, the first person Howard Matthews met when his family arrived in Toronto was Archie Alleyne. Archie sat one seat ahead of Howard at Lansdowne Public School.

  2. The Matthews were originally from the Island of St. Kitts.

  3. Architect Harvey Cowan, Archie Alleyne and Howard Matthews once shared a house at 260 Church Street.

  4. Howard was the proprietor of Toronto’s The First Floor Club located at 33 Asquith Avenue.

  5. Howard wed Salome Bey wed in 1964. They have three children and one grandchild.

  6. A fundraising concert series known as The Blues Ball was established by Howard Matthews. Proceeds went to the Canadian Cancer Society.

  7. The Underground Railroad, Toronto’s first soul-food restaurant, was opened by Howard Matthews.

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