Oct. 11, 1907, Fountain Inn, SC – Dec. 6, 1998, Fountain Inn, SC
Lost his left leg at age 12 in an accident, yet with his acrobatic feat as well as his wooden peg as a new sound element, he became one of the most popular tap dancers the nation. His first major break was “Blackbirds of 1928” on Broadway then in Paris. Toured in various vaudeville circuits and appeared in major theaters in the US as well as in Europe and Australia, with bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Erskine Hawkins, Jimmie Lunceford, Claude Hopkings, Louis Armstrong and Billy Eckstine. He was a regular guest on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on TV. His resort in the Catskills, catering to mostly black clientele, was one of the first integrated country clubs in the country. He continued to perform well in to the 1990s. Was a subject of a PBS documentary “A Dancing Man” (1991).