The way I heard of her was through Thomas Meehan’s New Yorker story “Yma Dream,” which is performed in the YouTube clip above by Christine Baranski. The visuals are just pictures of everyone mentioned in the story.
During David Letterman’s rather disastrous hosting of the Academy Awards a few years ago, I don’t think anyone got it that his bit of introducing Oprah Winfrey to Uma Thurman, and then to Keanu Reeves (“Oprah, Uma; Uma, Oprah; Oprah, Keanu…”) was in fact modelled on this story.
This story begs to be heard. I don’t think simply reading it off the page, silently to yourself, could have the same effect.