If you see what Martha Raye did in 1937's DOUBLE OF NOTHING, you see why she was a hit in Harlem. With Bing Crosby and Frances Faye, Martha jammed in the "After You" number.
Don't forget that Martha Raye, with her talent for physical comedy, was one of Charlie Chaplin's leading ladies. In his 1947 black comedy, MONSIEUR VERDOUX, she's the new bride who doesn't know that the dapper Parisian gent she married wants to knock her off for her money. Just as he did his other wives. Here's a clip.
Mom and Dad used to listen to a Sunday afternoon jazz show on FM radio in Los Angeles when I was almost a teen. It was hosted by jazz historian Leonard Feather. He played wonderful jazz cuts and had wonderful guests in the studio to interview live. One day, his in-studio guests were Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae. Leonard Feather asked them to name some of their favorite vocalists. Sarah said she was going to name someone listeners might be surprised to hear, but Carmen McRae would agree with her. Sarah Vaughan named Martha Raye and Carmen McRae did, indeed, agree immediately.
Mom was right. Treat yourself and listen to Martha Raye sing "Stairway to the Stars."
I'd include a couple of stories Martha Raye told me over cocktails, but they're delightfully R-rated. I'll tell you in person.