Paramount Famous Lasky Corp.
Director: S. J. Kaufman
Story: James Barton
Cast: James Barton – Emcee and Solo Dancer (in blackface)
“Shorty George” Snowden – Third Male Dancer (Called “Shorty Stump” in the film)
An early sound short set in a Harlem nightclub, featuring white vaudeville comic and eccentric dancer James Barton performing in blackface. He had a long career in film and tv, and is best remembered as “Kit” Carson in ‘The Time of Your Life’ (1948). Three Savoy Ballroom couples perform the latest dance styles, primarily Charleston. The last couple is Shorty Snowden and his partner. They are just terrific, although their style clearly looks dated to us.
Note how Snowden introduces Breakaway steps, to the closed-form Charleston and you’ll feel like you are witnessing the birth of the Lindy Hop, which, in fact, was the name that Snowden gave to the dance he was doing. The couple exit exuberantly with a Cake Walk.
Music by the Savoy Ballroom house band, Chick Webb and his Orchestra.
This content was originally written by Judy Pritchett with Frank Manning. Copyright, 1995, 1996, 1997 for the savoystyle.com. It may not be reproduced without written permission. Please use the contact form on this website to get in touch. This Biography is also part of the World Lindy Hop Federation Archives maintained by Keith Hughes.