The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

The Incomparable Helen Humes: The Life and Career of Louisville's Legendary Jazz and Blues Singer

On June 23, 1909, in Louisville, Kentucky, a rising star was born: the mysterious, elegant, and multi-talented Helen Humes.

Humes was raised loving music, and starting at age 17, she began a wildly successful career singing jazz and blues. She worked with many noteable musicians and groups, including the Count Basie Orchestra and Norman Granz. She spent the 1960s and 70s traveling the world showcasing her wonderful voice, but she also never forgot her roots in Louisville.

This exhibit showcases items from the Filson’s manuscript and photograph collections that illuminate Humes's incomparable life.


CJ Combs