The Book

Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop

by Frankie Manning and Cynthia R. Millman 

The autobiography of a legendary swing dancer! (Temple University Press, 2007)

“A poet of the dance floor. This book is a must read for anyone who loves the dance, amateur or professional. What a life he has lived, and thank God he remembers it all!”—Bette Midler, student and fan

“On behalf of all of the Hoofer’s, we thank you and salute you for every moment of truth, love and dedication translated to us all through your art form, your dance. Thank you Frankie Manning. I Love You!”—Savion Glover

SUMMARY

Renowned dancer Frankie Manning presents his riveting life story and most treasured memories in Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop. This autobiography details the artist’s childhood; dancing at the fabulous Savoy Ballroom; performing with Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers on Swing Era stages and screens; seeing active duty during World War II; running his own post-war troupe, The Congaroos; and being rediscovered by a new generation of dancers after working in the post office for thirty years! While making a dramatic and heartwarming comeback, Frankie went on to win a Tony Award for his choreography in Broadway’s hit Black and Blue, and helped lead the international swing dance revival by teaching, choreographing, performing, and sharing reminiscenses with adoring dancers around the world.

Co-written with swing dancer and librarian Cynthia R. Millman, this fascinating and beautifully illustrated book has been translated into French, Japanese, and Italian. An important part of his rich legacy, we invite you to enjoy Frankie’s inspiring history, both professional and personal, as told directly by him to you.

REVIEWS

“And now we have Frankie Manning—master of the oral, written, and dance forms of storytelling. . . . Sit down with the book and you will feel you’ve sat down with Frankie Manning in person to hear the wonderful story of his life.”—SwingDancer.com

Dance writer and swing dancer Millman conducted extensive interviews with Manning for a vivid account of his career. . . . the first-person accounts of Manning’s life capture his vibrancy, humor and charm . . . this vivid memoir by one of swing dancing’s innovators and stars is a must for lovers of dance, jazz and African-American history.”Publishers Weekly

“Aside from having biblical stature in the Lindy Hop community, it’s extremely entertaining to the dancer and non-dancer alike. My only complaint is that it was so good I never wanted it to end!”—Daniel Conner, Amazon.com customer review

“I couldn’t stop smiling while reading it.”—M. Thompson, Amazon.com customer review

CONTENTS

Foreword: Mercedes Ellington

Frankie Manning: An Appreciation by Cynthia R. Millman

Acknowledgments

Prologue: Too Stiff

PART ONE: FIRST STEPS (1914-circa 1933)
Chapter 1. Jazz Baby
Chapter 2. Early Ballroom Forays

PART TWO: SAVOY DANCER (circa 1933-1936)
Chapter 3. To the Savoy at Last
Chapter 4. Whitey, Shorty, and Stretch
Chapter 5. Win Win
Chapter 6. Up in the Air She Goes

PART THREE: WHITEY’S LINDY HOPPERS (1936-1943)
Chapter 7. Going Pro
Chapter 8. Big Time at the Cotton Club
Chapter 9. A Big Apple for Whitey
Chapter 10. On Broadway and In the Movies
Chapter 11. Down Rio Way

PART FOUR: WAR AND HOME (1943-1984)
Chapter 12. Dancer Interrupted
Chapter 13. The Congaroo Dancers and a Day Job

PART FIVE: SECOND ACT (1984-2007)
Chapter 14. Revival

APPENDIXES
A. Frankie Manning Timeline
B. Biographical Sketches of Lindy Hoppers
C. Swing Dance Resources
                  Libraries and Archives
                  Websites
                  Frankie’s List of Swing Dance on Film/TV
                  Swing Dancing Around the World

NOTES

SOURCES

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TO SELL THE BOOK AT YOUR EVENT

Contact Ann-Marie Anderson, Director of Marketing at Temple University Press: Anderson@Temple.edu.