After Seben (1929)

Short. 1929 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 of major historical import. Although it is a fictionalized Harlem nightclub scene, it features Chick Webb […]

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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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Manhattan Merry-Go-Round (1937)

USA 1937 82 mins. Black and White Republic Pictures A musical revue with an all-star cast that includes Cab Calloway and his Orchestra, Ted Lewis and his Orchestra, Louis Prima and his Band, Gene Autry, and Joe DiMaggio. Manhattan Merry-Go-Round has a storyline about gangsters taking over a radio station. Variety Magazine of the day […]

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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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Hellzapoppin’ (1941)

1941 Directed by H. C. Potter This movie, based on a hit Broadway play, showcases Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers dancing the most famous and most spectacular Lindy Hop scene ever preserved on film. The dancing was choreographed by Frankie Manning.  This scene featuring Black dancers has only a superficial connection to the rest of the film, […]

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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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