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The first steps

1: the first clipping I found when I was searching for "Stormy Dale.

2: the next clipping, when I searched for Viva Hublitz again -- and this time there's a photo!

3. Working in Raynell Golden's Girl Show as a blues singer. Just like Stormé...

The first clipping I found, back in August 2020, that led me to Stormé's pre-"Stormy Dale" life and family was from 1949. Viva Hublitz, who sang professionally under the name Stormy Dale and who had graduated Alliance high school in the class of 1942, was visiting Mr. and Mrs. Ben Freeman in Alliance, Nebraska.


I had shivers when I found it. But the age was wrong! How could she have not graduated high school until she was almost 21? And... Nebraska?

But then I remembered that in Stormé's interview in Village Elders she mentioned "Nebraska, of all places", and I knew I had to keep looking


I messaged Michele about it and I think she was as confused as I was. Maybe there were TWO women who used the name Stormy Dale?


And finding it was more than a little eerie. I'd only found it because after I'd been looking for more clippings about Stormy Dale and didn't find anything new. But  something told me to look one more time, that it was important. And there was Stormy Dale -- and Viva Hublitz!

I searched for Viva Hublitz and found a clipping from 1947. It was about Viva May Hublitz, a 1942 graduate of the Alliance high school and the daughter of Mrs. Harvey Hublitz. It said she was singing professionally in Pensacola, and there was a photo of Stormé! Poor quality, grainy, but Michele's immediate reaction was "That's Stormé'!" just as mine was.

That photo is also in the Gallery here; it's one of three photos that are all the same clothes & hair, so probably all from the same session at Bloom Photographers, probably during 1947.


Searching for Viva also brought up the 20 April 1946 issue of the Billboard -- she was listed as working for Raynell Golden, who Storme worked for the next year!


Researching Viva

My background is genealogy, so I started researching. One of the first things I did was contact the local Historical Museum in Alliance to introduce myself, explain why I was asking, and then ask they might have the 1942 Alliance High School yearbook, and if so, was Viva Hublitz in it? And if she was, would they be willing to scan it for me. 

Yes, and yes. And that photo? It WAS Stormy Dale, just a little bit younger! Which is the first image on the Gallery page on this site.

I also started looking for census and other records, and there Viva was in 1940, the daughter of Harvey and Rose Hublitz. When I didn't see her in 1930, I looked up Harvey, and there she was: Viva M. Thomas, a 6 year old boarder living with the Hublitzes.

I built out a tree, starting with Harvey and Rose. And as I built out the tree, I found another tree with the Hublitzes.

I've been researching my own family for nearly 20 years, and I'm not shy about messaging the owners of other public trees to see if we're connected. 

I messaged the tree owner with who I am, that I was researching the entertainer Stormé DeLarverié, that I thought she might have been Viva Hublitz when she was growing up--and why I thought that.

And fairly soon they got back to me with confirmation--and with the news that Viva's youngest niece was living and had confirmed that her aunt was a wonderful singer who left home to sing professionally, but for years came home for visits. And then she stopped coming home. Her niece had always wondered what had become of her.

I'd found Viva, and Stormé's family.

Clippings about Viva Singing


1942 and 1943

 Viva was busy with performing and school until graduation in May 1942. That summer she participated in the Summer Concert Series.

I don't know when she left home; in some accounts, Stormé said she worked for the circus as an equestrienne, and I believe that probably happened after the summer concerts. And in 1942 or 1943, she met Diana (which we know because she said she'd been with Diana 26 years before Diana's death in 1969).

Diana was an aerialist and dancer; did she work for the circus? I hope someday to know, but I don't yet.

Stormé also said that she left the circus after falling off a horse and getting injured. She was in Alliance in 1943 (per mentions in the newspaper) on March 23, May 7, June 22, and July 6, all days she performed.

And then I think she went, as she told people she did when she left home, to Chicago, probably with Diana.

She's not mentioned again in the Alliance papers I could find until 21 January 1947, when her family had an article with her photo put in.

But before that, she met Danny and Doc. 


In Michelle Parkerson's film Stormé: Lady of the Jewel Box, she relates that she first met Doc and Danny when their club opened in Miami; that was in March 1946.

Did she already know Ginger Raye Lorow (Raynell Golden's baby sister), or meet her at the same time? Did she already know Joe Patane? Anybody know? I don't, and I'd love to!

But 2 months after that opening, Viva Hublitz is named as the blues singer in Raynell's show.

That year she had the Bloom photos taken, and in January her family had at least one of them.

And in February she's working with Raynell at both the Florida State Fair and the Central Florida Exposition, now as Stormy Dale. 

And you can read about that on the Who's Stormé page.

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