Virginia Liston was one of the blues singers whose career was spent primarily in Black vaudeville. She is said to have gotten her start in show business around 1912 in Washington D.C. In 1920 she married entertainer Sam Gray and toured with him as part of a husband-and-wife team called Liston & Liston.

They divorced in 1925. In the early ’20s Liston came in contact with Clarence Williams, who recorded with her for Okeh for the first time in September, 1923. Thirty-six issued sides for Okeh and Vocalion came out under Virginia Liston’s name through the summer of 1926, the most famous being a pairing that united Liston with Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, then including Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Virginia Liston remarried and retired from show business in 1929, afterward settling in St. Louis to work in the church. Three years later she was dead. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis

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