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Q: Birth & death dates & yrs. of all-time great of tap dance. ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Birth & death dates & yrs. of all-time great of tap dance.
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Performing Arts
Asked by: bluestreak-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 25 Nov 2002 06:30 PST
Expires: 25 Dec 2002 06:30 PST
Question ID: 114150
Baby Laurence(Laurence Donald Jackson) was one of the all-time greats
of tap dance. He was born around 1922 and was still alive around 1986.
He may have died in Harlem,NY. I need both his birth date & yr. AND
his death date,yr. & place.  I can pay $15.00.
Subject: Re: Birth & death dates & yrs. of all-time great of tap dance.
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 25 Nov 2002 09:42 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi bluestreak-ga,

Thanks for your question. 

According to "American National Biography," Laurence Donald Jackson,
more commonly known as Baby Laurence, was born 24 February 1961 in
Baltimore, Maryland. They have his date of death listed as 2 April

"Baby Laurence," by Constance Valis Hill. "American National Biography
Online" February 2000.

I also found a listing on Google groups for his date of death and a
place of death listed as Manhattan.

Dan Gross, "eRIC's BLUES DATE: Apr 2" Online posting (April 1, 2001).
bit.listserv.blues-l via Google Groups

Incidentally, there was a documentary done on Baby Laurence, entitled:
"Jazz Hoofer: the story of the legendary Baby Laurence." The date of
the video was 1986.

UO Knight Library's Dance Videos

Search strategy:
Google search:
"baby laurence" tap dancer 1974

I was searching American National Biography for something else and on
a whim decided to try there; Baby Laurence has a decent entry there.

I hope this answers your question. If you need additional information
or if any of the links don't work, please ask for clarification and
I'll do my best to assist you.


Request for Answer Clarification by bluestreak-ga on 25 Nov 2002 17:33 PST
Are you sure the american National Biography listed him being born in
1961, not 1921? The reason I stated that he was still alive as of 1986
is now somewhat bizarre. I once was a cab driver in the 80's and one
day a black passenger got to talking to me, and told me he was the
famous tap dancer, Baby Laurence. I got him to sign me his autograph.
He wrote Sherman La-She Baby Laurence. Now I feel he may have been a
wanna-be Baby Laurence.

Clarification of Answer by luciaphile-ga on 25 Nov 2002 17:54 PST
Hi bluestreak-ga,

Please forgive me--I made a typo. You are entirely correct; the year
of birth is 1921. I'll cut and paste exactly what the American
National Biography has:

"Baby Laurence (24 Feb. 1921-2 Apr. 1974), African-American jazz tap
dancer, was born Laurence Donald Jackson in Baltimore, Maryland."

Toward the end of the article, the author describes the last years of
Baby Laurence, mentioning that the dancer reappeared in NYC in 1973
"heading up the successful Sunday afternoon tap dancing sessions at
the Jazz Museum. During this time, he took in students, danced at the
Palace with Josephine Baker, did some television, and gave one of his
last triumphant performances at the Newport-New York Jazz Festival."

"Baby Laurence," by Constance Valis Hill. "American National Biography
Online" February 2000.
bluestreak-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
I accept your finding. Could you get back to me with if he was listed
as born in '61 as opposed to '21 in the American National Biography?
Excellet searching. Thank you so very much luciaphile.

There are no comments at this time.

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