Symphony in Black (1935)

A Rhapsody of Negro Life 10 mins., black & white, 16mm. FAB 6260 Paramount Pictures, 1935. Director: Fred Waller; Photography: William Steiner, Jr. Valburn/Ellington Collection of the Library of Congress This film of extraordinary historic and esthetic interest features Duke Ellington at the piano presumably composing the title symphony, crosscut with shots of a band […]

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The Big Apple /Keep Punching (1939)

1939 excerpt from the film KEEP PUNCHING (also a short known as Jittering Jitterbugs) A film clip featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. It was originally part of the black-cast film Keep Punching and was also released as the short “Jittering Jitterbugs” in1943. Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers perform a Big Apple routine which was choreographed by Frankie Manning. […]

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Cootie Williams & His Orchestra (1943)

Soundie 1943 Dancers: Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers: Leon James and Dottie Mae Johnson Russell Williams and Connie Hill While most of the men in Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers were drafted to fight in World War 2, Leon James and Russell Williams were disqualified from service due to poor eyesight.  Here they are in 1943 holding the fort […]

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