Frankie Manning Walking Tour Woodlawn Cemetery

“Frankie Manning’s World” Walking Tour

Woodlawn Cemetery 

Frankie Manning map_11_17_FINAL

BenHejkal-RafalGrave2
Frankie100 tour at grave of Florence Mills. Ben Hejkal photo.

 

This walking tour was created especially for Frankie 100 participants after visiting Manning’s grave at Woodlawn Cemetery. It includes visits to nearby graves of people who directly influenced Frankie Manning and the dancing and music of his era. Since it is a self-guided tour, you can use the information and downloadable map at any time to take this tour. 

 

You can also download the Woodlawn Cemetery Mobile Ap to help you in navigation to these graves.

 

We will be repeating the group tour periodically from time to time. Please contact the Frankie Manning Foundation if you are interested in joining us or if you have specific dates in mind.

 

Other Important Graves at Woodlawn Cemetery

These are listed more or less chronologically in order of their influence or connection to Frankie’s life. 

 

Bert Williams (1874 –1922)    A song-and-dance man and a comedian noted for the wit of his physical body language, Williams was a key figure in the development of African-American entertainment. He became the first black American to take a lead role on the Broadway stage, and did much to push back racial barriers during his career.

Joe “King” Oliver (1885-1938)    
The leader of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band served as a mentor to Louis Armstrong and is credited with giving the young musician his first coronet. A New Orleans native, Oliver recorded duets with pianist Jelly Roll Morton and is considered one of early pioneers of jazz music. 

William Christopher “W.C.” Handy, (1873-1958)    The “Father of the Blues” was born in Florence, Alabama, and rose to fame when his songs were published and played across America. His signature song, “St. Louis Blues,” is inscribed on his grave. He is also known for writing “Beale Street Blues” and “Memphis Blues.”

Irene (1893-1969) and Vernon (1887-1918) Castle   
During the Jazz Age, the Castles traveled the world demonstrating a new way to dance. The Fox Trot, Castle Walk and other syncopated dances became all the rage as they set the style for a new century. Orchestra leader James Reese Europe often provided the music for the famous dance team as they swirled to the tunes of W.C. Handy and other great composers.

Florence Mills (1895-1927)    
The “Blackbird of Harlem” was considered the first black female star to win international acclaim. She was a dancer, singer and a major performer at the height of the Harlem Renaissance. Duke Ellington wrote his classic “Black Beauty” as a tribute to her.

Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham, (1904-1981)    The widely popular comedian performed frequently at the Apollo theatre, in vaudeville and, eventually, on television, starting on the Ed Sullivan show in the 1950s. His most famous routine was “Here comes the judge”, but dancers recognize him for popularizing the dance step, Truckin’.

Duke Ellington, (1899-1974)    
Often considered “America’s greatest composer,” Ellington received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969. His career spanned more than fifty years, and included illustrious compositions such as “Satin Doll,” “Mood Indigo,” and “Solitude.”

Lionel Hampton, (1908-2002 )   
The “King of the Vibes” was a composer, bandleader and great philanthropist. His recording “Flying Home” is considered one of the most influential recordings in American musical history.

William Christopher “W.C.” Handy, (1873-1958)    
The “Father of the Blues” was born in Florence, Alabama, and rose to fame when his songs were published and played across America. His signature song, “St. Louis Blues,” is inscribed on his grave. He is also known for writing “Beale Street Blues” and “Memphis Blues.”

Coleman Hawkins, (1904-1969)
    Credited as the jazz pioneer that turned a comic tenor saxophone into a romantic horn, Hawkins played with the Fletcher Henderson orchestra when he first came to New York. The Missouri native is best remembered for his classic 1939 recording “Body and Soul.”

Jean Baptiste “Illinois” Jacquet, (1923-2004)    
Jacquet created an entirely new style and sound for the tenor saxophone in the early 1940’s, elevating the instrument to a colorful and pre-eminent role in the world of jazz music. In 1942, at the age of nineteen, Jacquet was catapulted to immediate international fame with his classic solo on the very first recording of his career, “Flying Home.”

Antoinette Perry (1888-1946)    The actress and director was co-founder of the American Theatre Wing. The Tony Awards, given annually to the best Broadway shows, are named after her.

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *