1912 (Waycross, GA) – Jun. 30, 1997 (New York, NY)
Leslie “Bubba” Gains was a boxer and he learned to dance on street corners. The Three Dukes (with Arthur “Pi” Russell, and “Hutch” Hutchinson) was a featured act at the Cotton Club with Cab Calloway and was billed as “the International Aristocrats of Dance”. During much of the Big Band era, the Three Dukes toured Europe starring in shows at the Casino de Paris, the London Palladium, the Empire in Dublin, and so on. During WWII, he served in the ETO (European Theater of Operations) with the Army, and after WWII, he toured in USO shows in Europe, the Northeast, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Japan and Honolulu. Dubbed as “Mr. Showbiz” by Allan McMillan of Amsterdam News, Bubba Gains was a versatile entertainer, performing as an MC, singer, dancer, trumpet player, and comedian. He appeared in films such as Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1933), and The Great Feats of Feet (1977).