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Jazz/Pop
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Signed Photo

Josephine Baker
1906-1979

Signed Photo in Ball point ink

Biography for
Josephine Baker

Nickname:  Black Venus

Mini biography

    Born to Carrie McDonald, a laundress, and Eddie Carson, a musician, Josephine's early life hinted at her future career. She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis for nickels and dimes. Later, she became a chorus girl on the St. Louis stage. At 15, she married a Pullman porter named Baker, but left him when she ran away from St. Louis at age 17, feeling there was too much racial discrimination in the city. Her first job in Paris was in La revue negre. Her next significant job was at the Folies bergere, where she was a member of their all-black revue. It was at the Folies bergere, in 1925, that she first performed her famous banana dance. She quickly became a favorite of the French, and her fame grew. She had many ups and downs during her career. Although popular in France, during the McCarthy era she was told that she was no longer welcome in the United States. In 1937 she renounced her American citizenship and became a citizen of France. In 1961, she was awarded the Legion of Honor, France's highest honor. In the late 1960's, she began having financial difficulties, and stopped performing in 1968. Princess Grace offered her a home in Monaco when she learned of Josephine's financial problems. At the request of Princess Grace, she performed at Monaco's summer ball in 1974, and was a great success. That same year, she staged a week of performances in New York and called the show 'An Evening with Josephine Baker.' She had just begun a Paris revue celebrating her half-century on the stage, when on April 10 she was stricken and went into a coma. She died without regaining consciousness. Her funeral was held in Paris, and she was buried in Monaco.

IMDb mini-biography by:   Anonymous

Spouse

    'Count' Pepito di Abatino'

    (? - ?)

    'Willie Baker'

    (1920 - ?)

    'Robert Brady'

    (1973 - ?)

    'Joe Bouillon'

    (1947 - ?) (divorced)

    'Jean Lion'

    (1937 - 1938) (divorced)

    Trivia:

    Adopted 11 children of different races, religions, and nationalities.

    Refused to perform in clubs that practiced racial segregation.

    In 1928, her husband/manager 'Count' Pepito di Abatino dueled Andrew Czolovodi, a Hungarian calvary officer, over Josephine in St. Stephen's cemetery in Budapest. The duel lasted only 10 minutes, ending when di Abatino was scratched by Czolovodi's blade.

    During World War II, she worked as a spy for the French resistance.

    Once had a rejected (and dejected) suitor kill himself at her feet.

Personal quotes:

    "Her magnificent dark body, a new model to the French, proved for the first time that black was beautiful." - Janet Flanner, "New Yorker" correspondent

    "Tall, coffee skin, ebony eyes, legs of paradise, a smile to end all smiles." - Pablo Picasso

Florence Mills

Signed Original Vintage Photo 5.5" x 8.5"
On reverse rubber stamp:
S. George's Photo reproductions
"Aladdin House"
Lester Sq. W.0.2
Phone Regent 8751

Florence Mills
January 25, 1896 - November 1, 1927

    o Florence Mills was one of the greatest entertainers and singing, dancing jazz performers the world has ever seen.

    o She was one of the all-time greatest stars of the black theatre, the first black international female superstar of the Twentieth century and a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance

    o Florence Mills was steeped in the traditions of African-based black music and black dance that gave the world the Spirituals ('sorrow songs'), the Blues, Ragtime, Jazz and the basis of much of today's popular culture

    o She was also a truly lovable, charitable, socially and intellectually aware woman, who spoke out for the rights of her fellow African Americans.

    o Although her memory is still alive in the hearts of many of her people, Florence Mills is largely forgotten and neglected today, mainly because the primitive recording techniques of the early twentieth century could not capture her remarkable voice, and her performing medium was the stage not film, so no aural or visual record of her performance remains.

    o The purpose of this site is to help to reclaim for her the status and respect her remarkable talents and heroic personality warrant, in the eyes of the world and of her fellow African-Americans, to whom she was so important in the 1920s.

Florence Mills was one of the most acclaimed entertainers of the 1920s, and she used her status as a performer to comment on the nation's racial ills. This four-story rowhouse was her home for most of her tragically short life. Mills first appeared in the musical "Shuffle Along," a work written, directed and performed entirely by African-Americans. Mill's performances were a marked departure from the all-male vaudeville style which dominated theater of the time, and her acting drew rave reviews. Mills became an international success, starring in later productions in Paris and London. Upon her return to New York, Florenz Ziegfeld offered her a major role in the "Ziegfeld Follies," which Mills, deeply conscious of rampant racial inequality despite her own stardom, turned down in order to participate in an all-Black revue. Mills hoped that her "own success makes people think better of other colored folk," and she was a major contributor to the growth and spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. Following an illness, Florence Mills died in New York City on November 1, 1927. Over 5,000 mourners attended her funeral at the Mother Zion A.M.E. Church in Harlem and more than 150,000 people crowded Harlem's streets in tribute, the largest funeral in its history.

Pearl Bailey

Signed Original Book Illustration

Peggy Lee

Signed Original Book Illustration

Peggy Lee History

Birth name:
  Norma Delores Egstrom
Date of birth (location):  26 May 1920, Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
Trivia:
Sued Disney Studios for royalties from her work in "The Lady and The ... (show more)
Peggy Lee (I)
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Filmography as: Actress, Composer, Miscellaneous crew, Notable TV guest appearances
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Actress - filmography
(1950s) (1940s)

Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) .... Rose Hopkins
Lady and the Tramp (1955) (voice) .... Darling/Si/Am/Peg
Jazz Singer, The (1952) .... Judy Lane
"TV's Top Tunes" (1951) TV Series .... Regular (1951)
Mr. Music (1950) .... Herself

Stage Door Canteen (1943) (uncredited) .... Herself
Powers Girl, The (1942) .... Herself
... aka Hello Beautiful (1942)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Filmography as: Actress, Composer, Miscellaneous crew, Notable TV guest appearances
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Composer - filmography

tom thumb (1958) (songs)
My Man Godfrey (1957) (title song)
Rawhide Years, The (1956) (song) (uncredited)
Lady and the Tramp (1955) (songs)
Woman They Almost Lynched, The (1953)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Filmography as: Actress, Composer, Miscellaneous crew, Notable TV guest appearances
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Miscellaneous crew - filmography:  (1960s) (1950s)

Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, The (1966) (lyricist)

Johnny Trouble (1957) (lyricist)
Johnny Guitar (1954) (lyricist: title song) (singer: title song)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Filmography as: Actress, Composer, Miscellaneous crew, Notable TV guest appearances
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notable TV guest appearances

"Andy Williams Show, The" (1969) 10/11/1969
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 10/2/1966
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 3/7/1966
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 5/31/1965
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 11/12/1963
"Andy Williams Show, The" (1962) 9/27/1962
"Disneyland" (1954) playing "Herself" in episode: "Cavalcade of Song" 9/16/1962
"Revlon Revue, The" (1960)
"Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom, The" (1957) 2/1958
"Frank Sinatra Show, The" (1957) playing "Herself"(episode # 1.1) 10/18/1957
"Milton Berle Show, The" (1948) 2/21/1956
"Hour Glass" (1946)

Ruth Etting

NEW

Click to enlarge
Sheet Music
"A Faded Summer Love"
excellent condition

Original Typed Letter Signed
May 28th, 1935

Ruth Etting

Date of birth (location)

    23 November 1896,
    David City, Nebraska, USA

    Date of death (details)

    24 September 1978,
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Actress- filmography
(1930s) (1920s)

    Aladdin From Manhattan (1936)
    Sleepy Time (1936)
    Melody in May (1936) .... Herself
    Old Spanish Onion, An (1935)
    Ticket or Leave It (1935)
    Turned Out (1935)
    Bandits and Ballads (1934)
    Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934) .... Herself
    Hollywood on Parade (1934)
    Southern Style (1934)
    Torch Tango, A (1934)
    No Contest (1934)
    Gift of Gab (1934) .... Ruth
    Derby Decade (1934)
    Song of Fame, The (1934)
    Knee Deep in Music (1933)
    Roman Scandals (1933) .... Olga
    California Weather (1933)
    Mr. Broadway (1933) .... Herself
    Crashing the Gate (1933)
    Along Came Ruth (1933)
    Bye-Gones (1933)
    I Know Everybody and Everybody's Racket (1933)
    Artistic Temper (1932) .... Ruth Whitney
    ... aka Artistic Temperament (1932)
    Mail Bride, A (1932)
    Regular Trouper, A (1932)
    Modern Cinderella, A (1932) .... Anita Ragusa
    Freshman Love (1931) .... Herself
    Old Lace (1931)
    Radio Salutes (1931)
    Seasons Greetings (1931)
    Stage Struck (1931)
    Words & Music (1931) .... Ruth Eton
    Broadway's Like That (1930)
    One Good Turn (1930) .... Ruth Eton
    Roseland (1930) .... Helen Leslie

    Book of Lovers, The (1929) (voice)
    Favorite Melodies (1929)
    Glorifying the Popular Song (1929) .... Herself
    Ruth Etting (1929) .... Herself
    Melancholy Dame (1928)
    Paramount Movietone (1928) .... Herself
    Ruth Etting (1928) .... Herself

    Mini biography

    Celebrated singing star of US stage, radio and recordings, she popularized the torch song "You Made Me Love You," among others. Etting appeared in numerous film shorts as well as three feature-length films of the early 1930's.

Ella Fitzgerald

Click to enlarge

Signed Menu from Lord & Taylor, NYC with Photo SOLD

Signed 8"x10" Photo
w/Cert. of Auth. from Todd Mueller
SOLD

"A Tisket, a Tasket, I Lost My Yellow Basket."
In honor of Ella Fitzgerald Oct. 8th, 1980.

DUKE ELLINGTON

COVER
INSIDE BACK
ONE OF FOUR RECORDS

This 1940s 78rpm album has 8 songs on
four shellac records near mint condition & unplayed!
All songs are listed on album cover and
are original performances from the 1930s.

Four- Record Album w/ Four 78 RPM Platters

Famous Cotton Club image by Maurice
Click to enlarge
 
8" x 10" Unsigned Vintage Photo &
Boldly "Red Ink" Typed Letter Signed March 30th, 1959

a

Click to enlarge
Original Sheet Music
"Solitude"
Excellent condition

Biography for
Duke Ellington


Personal quotes

"I'm a telephone freak, the greatest invention since peanut brittle."

"In the royalty of American music, no man swings more or stands higher than the Duke." - Richard Nixon

(Q: How did you get the scar on your face?) "I have four stories about it, and it depends on which you like the best. One is a taxicab accident; another is that I slipped and fell on a broken bottle; then there is a jealous woman; and last is Old Heidelberg, here they used to stand toe to toe with a saber in each hand, and slash away. The first man to step back lost the contest, no matter how many times he'd sliced the other. Take your pick."

"I'm the world's worst disciplinarian. There's too much responsibility in being a leader! You have to have the dignity and authority of a leader, and that's all so heavy!"

"He has nurtured the reputation he has made for always being late, because it allows him the freedom to time his entrance to suit his sense of drama^ In our years of recording together, I've known Duke to arrive an hour early, two hours late, and at every point between these two extremes. I have never known him to arrive anywhere at the wrong moment." - Irving Townsend

"I like any and all of my associations with music ^ writing, playing, and listening. We write and play from our perspective, and the audience listens from its perspective. If and when we agree, I am lucky."

"I am a bandleader and I am a composer."

"I don't believe in categories of any kind, and when you speak of problems between blacks and whites in the USA. you are referring to categories again."

COLE PORTER

Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire & Cole Porter - "You'll Never Get Rich" 1941
Click to enlarge
11" x 14" Original Vintage Lobby Card

"The Gay Divorcee"
Original Songsheet signed Boldly by Ginger & Fred

Biography for
Cole Porter



Mini biography

Cole Porter was born June 9, 1891 at Peru, Indiana the son of Samuel Fenwick Porter, a pharmacist and Kate Cole. Porter's grandfather J. G. Cole was a multi millionaire who made his fortune in the coal and western timber business. Cole was raised on a 750 acre fruit ranch. Kate Cole married Samuel Porter in 1884 and issued two children, Louis and Rachel who both died in infancy. Cole began riding horses at six and began to learn the piano at eight at the Marion Conservatory in Indiana. By ten he had began to compose songs and his first song was entitled "Song of The Birds". His mother introduced him to the violin and the piano. He later attended Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1905. The academy was an elite private school and he graduated in 1909 as class valedictorian and that summer he toured Europe as a graduation present from his grandfather. That same year he entered Yale University and lived in a single room at Garland's Lodging House at 242 York Street in New Haven, CT. And became a member of the Freshman Glee Club. In 1910 he published his first song entitled "Bridget Mcguire". While at Yale he wrote football fight songs including the Yale Bulldog song and Bingo Eli Yale, which was introduced at the Yale dining hall dinner concert. One of his clasmates was poet Archibald Macleish and Bill Crocker of the banking industry giant, Crocker Bank of San Francisco, CA. In his senior year he was president of the University Glee club and a football cheerleader. Porter graduated in 1913 with a BA degree. He later attended Harvard Law school from 1913 to 1914 and the Harvard School of music from 1915 to 19166. Dean Acheson the later secretary of state for the united states lived in the same dorm with Porter and was a good friend. In 1917 he went to France and distributed food stuffs to the war stricken villages. In April 1918 he joined the 32nd Field Artillery Regiment and worked with the Bureau of the Military Attache of the United States. During this time he met his wife Linda Lee Thomas, a wealthy Kentucky divorcee at a breakfast reception at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. On April 20, 1918 he joined the First Foreign Regiment of the French Foreign Legion and became a French Officer in WWI. In 1919 he as discharged and rented an apartment in Paris and enrolled in a school specializing in music composition. He studied with Vincent D'indy in France and on December 18, 1919 he married Linda Lee Thomas, honeymooning in the south of France. She had been married to a newspaper publisher and was described as a beautiful woman and known as one of the most celebrated hostesses in Europe. The porters made their home on the Rue Monsieur in parish where their parties were described as long and brilliant. They even hired the Monte Carlo Ballet for one of their affairs. On another occasion, on a whim all of their guests were transported to the French Riviera. In 1923 they moved to the gay life of Venice, Italy where they lived at the Rezzonico Palace, the former home of Elizabeth and Robert Browning the poet. They even had an extravagant floating nightclub built that would accommadate up to one hundred guests. They conducted elaborate games including treasure hunts through the canals and arranged spectacular balls. His first play on broadway featured a former ballet dance, actor Clifton Webb. He once collaborated with E. Ray Goetz, the brother in law of irving berlin on several broadway plays as Goetz was an established producer and lyricist. In 1934 his hit "Anything Goes" appeared on Broadway. During the show's hectic rehersal Porter once asked the stage doorman what he thought the show should be called. The doorman responded that nothing seemed to go right, so many things being taken out and then put back in that "Anything Goes" might be a good title. And the title was born. His ballad "Love For Sale" was introduced on December 8, 1930 in a revue that starred Jimmy Durante and was introduced by Catherine Crawford. Walter Winchell , the newspaper and radio columnist promoted the song which was later banned by radio stations because of its' content. In 1936 while preparing for "red, hote and blue" with Bob Hope and Jimmy Durante, Ethel Merman was used to do stenographic work to help Porter in rewriting scripts of the show. He once said she was one of the best stenographers he ever had. While a guest at a countess home, Piping Rock Club, Locust Valley, New York, on October 24, 1937, he was injured riding horseback and was kept in the hospital for two years. Both of his legs were smashed and he suffered a nerve injury. He was confined to a wheelchair for five years and endured over 30 operations to save his legs over the next 20 years. During his recuperations he wrote a number of Broadway musical plays. On August 3, 1952 his devoted mother died of a Cerebral Hemorrage. His wife later died on may 20, 1954. On April 3, 1958 he sustained his 33rd operation and suffering from chronic pain, his right leg was amputated. He refused to wear an artificial limb and lived as a recluse in his apartment at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. He sought refuge in alcohol, sleep, self pity and overwhelming despair. He refused to attend a salute to Cole Porter night at the Metropolitan Opera house on May 15, 1960 or the commencement exercises at Yale university in June of 1960 when he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters or his 70th birthday party arranged by his friends at the Orpheum Theater in New York City in June 1962. After what appeared to be a successful kidney stone operation at St. John's hospital in Santa Monica, California, he died very unexpectedly. His funeral instructions were to have no funeral or memorial service and he was buried adjacent to his father and wife in Peru, Indiana. His songs include Lets Do It in 1928, You Do Something To Me in 1929, Love For Sale in 1930, What Is This Thing Called Love in 1929, Night and Day in 1932, I Get A Kick Out Of You in 1934, Begin the Beguine in 1935, My Heart Belongs to Daddy in 1938, Dont Fence Me In in 1944, I Love Paris 1953, I've Got You Under My Skin, In the Still of The Night, You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To, True Love, Just One Of Those Things, Anything Goes, From This Moment On, You're The Top, Easy to Love and many many more.

 

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