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Mon, 05.23.1921

‘Shuffle Along’ Debuts on Broadway

Cast (1921)

On this date in 1921, "Shuffle Along" became one of the earliest Black Broadway Musicals. The show was an all-Black musical comedy by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle.

"Shuffle Along" was written, produced, directed, and performed by Blacks. This musical comedy was tried out in Harlem; Washington, DC; New Jersey; and Philadelphia before it opened in New York and set the pattern for Black musicals for many years after its premiere. "Shuffle Along" gave us such hit songs as: "Shuffle Along," "I’m Just Wild About Harry," "Gypsy Blues," and "Love Will Find A Way."

With the business savvy of Flournoy E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles, the show featured Florence Mills and a young Josephine Baker in the chorus while William Grant Still and Hall Johnson play in the orchestra.

Reference:
The Encyclopedia of African American Heritage
by Susan Altman
Copyright 1997, Facts on File, Inc. New York
ISBN 0-8160-3289-0

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