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Anne Brown and Todd Duncan Broadway's original Porgy & Bess

The cover of the 1942 album, featuring Anne Brown and Todd Duncan

todd duncan anne brown bess you is my woman original porgy and bess ...

Porgy and Bess, 1935 silent home movie The original cast of Porgy and Bess. Todd Duncan, Anne Brown, John W. Bubbles, and Rouben Mamoulian (the director) as well as myriad other cast members, can be seen here rehearsing the show. Anne sits on the stoop and clearly sings "Porgy, I's Your Woman Now," and Bubbles seems to be performing "There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York."

Tod Duncan the pioneering opera singer, circa 1930s. Mr. Duncan was the first African-American to perform with a major opera company, the New York City Opera.

Opera singer Todd Duncan in 1930, photographed by Addison Scurlock. In 1935, Mr. Duncan was selected by George Gershwin to originate the role of Porgy in “Porgy and Bess" and in 1955, he was the first person to record the now classic song, “Unchained Melody." Mr. Duncan earned a bachelor’s degree at Butler University in 1925, and a master’s at Columbia University Teachers College in 1930. He later taught voice at Howard University, well into his 90’s, for over fifty years.