African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788-1941

African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788-1941

by Bill Egan

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Overview

 Eleven African Americans, including a musician, were among the First Fleet of colonial settlers to Australia. In the 150-plus following years, African Americans visiting the region included jubilee singers, vaudevillians, sports stars and general entertainers. This book provides the only comprehensive history of more than 350 African American entertainers in Australia and New Zealand between European settlement in Australia in 1788 and the entry of the United States into World War II in 1941. Famous names covered include boxer Jack Johnson, film star Nina Mae McKinney and jazz singer Eva Taylor. Background stories provide a multidimensional view of the entertainers' time in a place very far from home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476677958
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 12/06/2019
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Bill Egan is a Canberra (Australia) based independent researcher with a lifelong interest in jazz and African American culture.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction 4

 1. In the Beginning 7

 2. African American Minstrels Arrive: Dueling Georgians 14

 3. The Fisk Jubilee Singers 29

 4. Further Adventures of the Jubilee Singers 36

 5. Charles B. Hicks Returns 49

 6. Orpheus McAdoo and the Return of the Fisks 57

 7. The Tivoli Era Starts 65

 8. The Return of Orpheus McAdoo and a Rival 70

 9. McAdoo and Curtis: The Battle Begins 81

10. McAdoo Reigns Again 86

11. Eva Taylor (Irene Gibbons) and Josephine Gassman 94

12. This Sporting Life: Major Taylor 102

13. George Sorlie and Cassie Walmer 113

14. Big, Bad Jack Johnson 120

15. The Lay of the Last Minstrel: Billy Kersands (1912) 130

16. Throw the Switch to Vaudeville 137

17. The Jazz Age (1923–1925) 150

18. The Jazz Age (1926–1927) 159

19. Sonny Clay’s Colored Idea (White Australia’s Darkest Hour) 169

20. The Post-Clay Lean Years (1928–1934) 177

21. The Norman Thomas Quintette and Ulysses S. Thompson 187

22. Nina Mae McKinney 194

23. 1937: The Harmony Kings and Bob Parrish 201

24. 1938: Chris Gill, the Edwards Sisters, Chuck Richards and Peg Leg Bates 206

25. Frankie Manning and the Lindy Hoppers (1938–1939) 210

26. 1939: Radcliffe and Rodgers, Ada Brown, the Dancing Chefs, Chuck and Chuckles, the Mills Brothers 215

27. Epilogue: 1940–1941 and After 224

Appendix 1: African American Boxers Pre–World War I 227

Appendix 2: African American Boxers Post–World War I 232

Appendix 3: The Later Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1902–1936 235

Appendix 4: Miscellanea 241

Chapter Notes 243

Bibliography 256

Index 259

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