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Transcription: [00:37:20]
{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
And Lindbergh just had made his flight, and he called it the Lindy Hop, and they started doing it, and that- Paul Whiteman took them I wasn't with that group.
Paul Whiteman took 'em and carried them all over the world. Shorty Snowden and Bea.

{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
There's one important thing to note in what Willie is saying here. He's talking about Whitey incorporating all these other moves in the dance.
Now, for those of you who have seen break-dancers or have seen the disco queens and kings on our stage here, you'll notice that there are dance sequences clearly drawn from other traditions.
There might be a dance sequence which looks like it has a bit of ballet in it. There might be a dance sequence which looks similar to Russian traditional dancing. There might be an acrobatic move.
This was really the key to the success of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers.
They were able to incorporate a wide variety of dance moves into their own repertoire.
Now the ones that they became the best known for were the acrobatic moves. They took the moves of flash-dancing of the period, put them with a social dance of the ballroom floor.
What were some of the acrobatic moves that you would do on the dance floor with the Lindy?

{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
Well the Lindy, that start to throw them over your head, across your back. You throw them from one partner to the other one.
Between your legs, you step over them, slide around, and then you had guys doing knee spins.
The girl'a hold them up and turn all the way down to the floor, and do knee spins and lock the legs and catch each other.

{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
When you say knee spins, immediately people should think they're break-dancing right away. It's the same basic move that they were doing in some of the performance types of Lindy Hop.
Now, it's hard to understand the real acrobatics that go into Lindy dancing or Savoy Lindy dancing unless you actually see someone do it.
If you're able to see old film clips, for example in the Marx Brothers movie, Day at the Races, you'll see Willie Jones and some of his fellow colleagues doing some of the acrobatic moves,
which would include such things as the males throwing their female partners up to 15 to 20 feet into the air, in front of them.
She would come down on her knees, push off with her knees. They would grab her around the waist, throw her up as high as they could. Then, when she came down the next time, instead of landing on her feet, the male partner would spread his legs apart, catch her at the waist as she's coming down,
and throw her under his legs where she went sliding across the floor on a patch, conveniently patched on, so that she wouldn't get any scratches. The floor was slick but just in case.
Sliding across as many as 30 or 40 feet across the floor, only to meet another male partner at the other end. Roll right into the dance and not miss a beat.
Now that's the sort of acrobatics that characterized the work of Whitey's Lindy hoppers,
The Lindy hoppers that Whitey trained worked in a variety of settings.

{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}

{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
Where, where would you, what sort of places would you work?

{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
Well we worked night clubs, auditoriums, and any place that it was a big crowd. We, we worked lot of places like the World Fair, we worked the World Fair 1939, in New York City.

{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
There was a special pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair set up by the Savoy Ballroom.
{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
Yeah, just like this one here
{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
Just for the Lindy hoppers.

{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
Just like we got this set up here, that's the way it was set-up for the Savoy Lindy Hoppers, then part of us went that same time they had the exhibition in Frisco. Some us went out to Frisco for it, the exhibition out there.

{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
Now the Lindy hop wasn't confined to the particular performances of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers obviously, and very soon some of the acrobatic Lindy Hoppers who were working with Whitey's troops began to present the Lindy Hop in travelling stages.
Now Willie Jones here began to work with probably the most renowned black travelling review that worked out of New York City. From the late 20's really, through the 30's and 40's, a review called the Irvin C Miller's Brown Skin Models.
Willie, how was it that you hooked up with Miller and what exactly, what kind of show was that?

{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
Well, Miller had a show and a, that show he had to have a lot of places, he would have a flash, a flash, in fact we were a flash dancer.
What we did we did we couldn't do it over three minutes.

{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
We couldn't do it, three minutes you know, a piece.
{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
{SPEAKER name="Willie "Ashcan" Jones"}
But ah ah, I say 6 of us do 11 minutes to 10 minutes because we would do 3 minutes a piece, and then we would do 2 minutes together. All of us 2 minutes together.

Well ah, well he would like then he would have ah somebody want to change, wanted to break up a bunch of 2 singers, 2 groups of singers were singing here.
So this group just went off, you understand, don't wanna bring on another group on because this group went off, had the house in an up roar
and something like us was the only thing that could quiet it down. You couldn't put another singer there, because they wouldn't even give 'em a chance, ya understand.
You'd see they wasn't good enough because they'd be applauding for the other singers, that just went off, so we would come in between to break it up.

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