Hits from Broadway


The story of Vickie Henderson is one of decline. Born in 1926 in Alabama, she had moderate success as a singer in second rate nightclubs when she met the Swiss Joseph Loriol in 1950. The two fell in love and married, and Loriol stayed her manager. They settled in Genf, Switzerland. So far so good.

Loriol got her gigs in films, as an actress. As a black woman she must have been something different in the Switzerland of the fifties. She hit the height of her career with the 1959 movie Freddy, die Gitarre und das Meer.

After that she just was performing in her own bar in her hometown of Genf. The couple had a son, but when he died she retreated from public life. She died in 2015.

Like so many of her contemporaries, Vickie didn’t get much out of showbusiness. When she was too old to be the the exotic dancer, or the Schwarzen Perle des Varietés, she basically had to settle for smaller parts.

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