Nancy Steele started her teen years as a budding portrait artist at high school in Philadelphia. She switched to commercial art as a simple expedient for gathering the necessary wherewithal for three squares a day. After moving to New York, she enrolled in art classes and took voice lessons in her spare time. Her teacher was impressed with her potential and managed to persuade her to pursue a professional career.
In 1952, she secured a spot at English-born cabaret singer Mabel Mercer’s Byline Room, which was frequented by none other than Frank Sinatra. This was the launch of what would become an exciting career in showbusiness. Nancy went on to appear at prestigious New York City spots like the Blue Note (1953), Village Vanguard (1955), Le Cupidon (1955), Rainbow Room (1955) as well as other major clubs and hotels across the country.
She enjoyed a rapid ascent as a veritable vocal...