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Atkins, Cholly  

Howard Rye

[Charles; the Man with the Moves]

(b Birmingham, AL, Sept 30, 1913; d Las Vegas, NV, April 19, 2003). American dancer. Tennessee Birth Records, a 1944 marriage certificate, and the Nevada Death Index document his vital records. His parents moved to Buffalo when he was four, and he later began his professional career in the area as a singing waiter. In 1933 he met the dancer Bill (William) Porter, and the two men formed an act, the Rhythm Pals; in 1935 they went to New York, after which they toured widely until 1939, incorporating a residency at Sebastian’s New Cotton Club in Los Angeles in 1938. In 1936 Atkins married the Cotton Club dancer Catherine Gayle Williams, who enjoyed a distinguished career in social work in Iowa after her retirement from show business in 1942. In 1939 he returned to New York and began dancing with and choreographing for the Cotton Club Boys, appearing with them in the show ...

Article

Gaines, Will  

Howard Rye

[Royce Edward]

(b Baltimore, April 6, 1928; d Leigh-on-Sea, England, May 7, 2014). American tap-dancer. He grew up in Detroit, where in an amateur show he won a prize of a job at the Flame Club, which he held for 13 weeks. In the 1950s he worked with Lionel Hampton and Cab Calloway’s Cotton Club Show (1957), among others, and also undertook tours nationwide and with the USO; a later USO tour brought him to Europe in 1962. In 1963 Gaines traveled to London to perform at the Pigalle nightclub; he then settled in Britain and resided for many years in Rotherham, Yorkshire. Initially he worked alternately in Britain and in Germany. In Britain he was active both as a swing dancer with Alex Welsh and Humphrey Lyttelton and also in bop or free improvisation contexts with Ronnie Scott, Stan Tracey, Derek Bailey, John Stevens, and many others. In ...

Article

Slyde, Jimmy  

Howard Rye

[Godbolt, Jimmy ]

(b Atlanta, Oct 2, 1927; d Hanson, MA, May 16, 2008). American tap-dancer. His family moved to Boston while he was still a baby. He received dance tuition from 1939 and later studied violin at the New England Conservatory. In 1949 he made his professional début with the tap-dancer Jimmy Mitchell, known as Sir Slyde; they called themselves the Slyde Brothers, and it was at this point that he adopted the stage name Jimmy Slyde. In the 1950s he toured seaside resorts along the East Coast with various shows and worked in California with Teddy Edwards and Hampton Hawes. He visited Europe in 1966 and toured South America with the Legends of Jazz in the show 1000 Years of Jazz in the early 1970s. In 1972 he returned to Europe with Milt Buckner and Jo Jones and settled in France, where he recorded Just You, Just Me (...