Real Name:
Dewey Markham
Born Dewey Markham on April 18, 1904 in Durham, North Carolina, Pigmeat Markham got his nickname from a song in his act called “Sweet Papa Pigmeat”. He started entertaining in 1917 at the age of thirteen when he danced on the southern “race” circuit with Bessie Smith and later appeared on burlesque bills with such comedy legends as Milton Berle, Red Buttons, and Eddie Cantor.
In the 50’s while playing such night clubs and theatres as the Regal in Chicago, The Howard in Washington, and of course the Apollo, Markham became one of Black America’s most popular entertainers. By 1968 he had signed with the famous Chicago blues record label Chess, and recorded what would later become a top 20 hit “Here Comes The Judge.”
Pigmeat Markham has made several appearances on television including a number of hilarious and memorable spots on The Ed Sullivan Show. Pigmeat Markham died December 13, 1981.
Markham starred in several films in the 1940’s
including “House-Rent Party” in 1946.

Singles & EPs

COS-751 Pigmeat Markham - Let's Have Some Heat / Your Wires Have Been Tapped album art Pig Meat Markham* Let's Have Some Heat / Your Wires Have Been Tapped(7", Single, Unofficial) Cosmopolitan Records (2) COS-751 Unknown Sell This Version


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May 3, 2007
edited over 12 years ago
Dewey "Pigmeat" Markhan was one of the only African-American performers to break the color barrier and perform in the then segregated world of Big Time Burlesque. And of course it was in the Minsky's show that he led the way. Prior to that he was a big star on the black vaudeville for the Theatre Owners and Bookers Association, which was called the TOBA circuit. It had only black entertainers and played to black audiences. It was mainly through the Deep South but there were also TOBA houses in Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, St. Louis and Kansas City. The world-famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem was a member of the chain. Mr. Markham was king of the comics at the Apollo. He was a big raucous comedian who's speciality was courtroom scenes.

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