May 17, 1913 (Baltimore, MD) – May 7, 2002 (New York, NY)
Buster Brown started his career in show business with annual high school shows “Autumn Follies.” After graduation he formed a dance trio, “The Three Speed Kings,” which joined a traveling vaudeville show “The Brown Skin Models.” Thereafter the trio played in nightclubs and theaters around the U.S. and Canada, and while at Smallís Paradise in Harlem, they were hired to appear in the film “Something to Shout About,” which starred Alice Faye and Jack Oakie. WWII broke up the act, and Buster worked as a single. He appeared with Cab Calloway in “Jazz Train,” and with Duke Ellington in “The Sacred Concert,” and toured Africa as part of the cultural exchange sponsored by the State Department, which included a command performance of the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. He was a member of the road company of “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and the Broadway company of “Black and Blue,” and a guest artist of “Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk.” Since 1997 until a few weeks before his passing, he hosted a weekly tap jam session at Swing 46 in New York City, which attracted tap dancers around the world. He was honored as a Doctor of Performing Arts at the Oklahoma City University in February of 2002 among eight other legendary tap greats.