(Also credited as Deborah Blackwell-Cook) Debbi performed under the RCA Salsoul recording label as female lead for the R&B group The Jammers. She did the circuit and performed The Jammers’ #1 England hit Be Mine Tonight at the prestigious Studio 54, Garage, Cheetah, Xenons and others.
Other labels that Debbi has been associated with include Badcat Records, Vista Sounds International, Blank Tapes and Island Records (Jump Street). Billboard magazine, in its Dance Singles Picks review of Once You Got Me Going on the Jump Street label, described “Ms. D.” as “Formidable soprano [who] belts up a storm…while track keeps the temperature rising.”
Debbi is also an accomplished actress who has graced the Broadway stage of the New Victory Theatre; the stages of D.C.’s Kennedy Center and the Ford’s Theatre; New Haven’s Shubert Theatre; as well as the Billie Holiday Theatre, Black Spectrum Theatre, National Black Theatre (NBT) and New Federal Theatre (NFT) of New York City. She has garnered AUDELCO nominations as Best Actress in the NFT’s production of BESSIE SPEAKS, NBT’s productions of THE RIVER NIGER, MOMS MABLEY & HER LADIES and the Black Spectrum Theatre’s AIN’T LOVE GRAND.
She received the AUDELCO for the NFT’s production of James Weldon Johnson’s GOD’S TROMBONES.
The Village Voice said of Debbi’s performance in the NFT’s production of BESSIE SPEAKS, that “…when Debbi Blackwell-Cook enters as…blues-belting (Bessie) Smith, she raises the production’s dominate tone: diva-ness.” The Voice also dubbed her as “a winning actress with a beautiful voice.”
In LOOKING BACK, also at NFT, the New York Times said Ms. Cook was endowed with a “…gospel voice that [has] the power to transmute clichés into truths” and The Amsterdam News said, “Debbi Blackwell-Cook…lifted the production to its heights.”
“Ms. D” has performed on the TV sitcoms A DIFFERENT WORLD and SISTER, SISTER as well as the PBS specials A QUESTION OF COLOR and as Juniper in MY OWN TV. – DebbieBlackwellCook.com
|Actor||God’s Trombones||1989-90 Season|
|Actor||Looking Back||1993-94 Season|
|Actor||Bessie Speaks||1994-95 Season|