After focusing on the trumpet, she quickly became so famous at the instrument that she was named "Little Louis" after Louis Armstrong, who used to call her the world's second best jazz trumpet player besides himself. She played concerts throughout the USA, Europe and China.
Her most successful period was in the 1930s when she became the toast of London and Paris. Around this time she recorded her hit song, "High Hat, Trumpet, and Rhythm." She performed in the Ethel Waters show, "Rhapsody In Black", in New York. In the mid-30s she made films with her husband, Ananais Berry, of the Berry Brothers dancing troupe. After playing New York's Apollo, she revisited Europe and the Far East for more shows and films.
Later she became addicted to morphine. While touring through Denmark in 1941, she was arrested and sent to a Concentration camp by the Nazis, where she was held from March until May of 1942 before being released on a prisoner exchange. According to jazz historian Scott Yanow, "she never emotionally recovered from the experience". In the 1950s, she was unable to regain her former success.
There is a novel, Valaida (London: Vertigo 2004), by Candace Allen, based on her life story. Another novel, written in French by Pascal Rannou and entitled Noire, la neige (published in 2008 by Editions Parenthèses, Marseille), is inspired by Valaida's life, but is more fictitious than strictly biographical. A biography by Mark Miller, High Hat, Trumpet and Rhythm: The Life and Music of Valaida Snow, was published by The Mercury Press, Toronto, in 2007. Both the Allen and Miller books contradict the assertion that Snow was held by the Nazis and instead place her in Danish custody at a Copenhagen prison.
I'm Proud to Be Gay and I'm Still Not Kidding! BRIAN KENNEDY ON BEING IN LOVE & HAPPY AT LAST WITH HIS SEXUALITY
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