Interview with Mable Lee. February 16, 2017
NamesLee, Mable (Interviewee)Bufalino, Brenda (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2017-02-16
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZMT 3-3360
TopicsLee, MableBlake, Eubie, 1887-1983Bradley, BuddyApollo Theater (New York, N.Y. : 125th Street)African American dancers -- BiographyAfrican American singersTap dancersSoundies (Motion pictures)
NotesContent: Interview with Mable Lee conducted by Brenda Bufalino, on February 16, 2017, at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division Oral History Project.Content: Sound quality is excellent.Venue: Recorded for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts February 16, 2017 New York (N.Y.)Funding: The creation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The support of the National Endowment for the Arts is also gratefully acknowledged.
Physical DescriptionBorn digitalExtent: 3 audio files (approximately approximately 93 minutes)
DescriptionStreaming audio file 1 (approximately 57 minutes). Mable Lee speaks with Brenda Bufalino about her background and parents; her first professional experience as a dancer, when she was four years old; putting on shows at her school; her birth, on August 2, 1921 in South Atlanta, Georgia; singing with Graham Jackson including their performing for Franklin Delano Roosevelt; early professional engagements including in nightclubs in Auburn (Georgia) and theaters; an anecdote about how being superstitious led to a black eye; moving to New York and performing as a singer and dancer; some of the people she worked with including a performance anecdote; [tap] dancing as a chorus girl at the Apollo Theater, including Frank Schiffman and how he helped her in her career; her experience with soundies; Eubie Blake; performing on tour in the United States for the USO [United Service Organizations]; her experience with the ill-fated revival of the musical Shuffle along; touring in Europe including at the [London] Palladium; Buddy Bradley.
Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 33 minutes). Mable Lee speaks with Brenda Bufalino about her experience working in the James E. Strates carnival show; returning from Europe to Atlanta and getting married; her solo acts in New York; her (mainly uncredited) choreography for nightclub acts and soundies; her moving back to New York and living with her mother; the musical Bubblin' brown sugar and Honi Coles; [Bufalino describes her memories of dancing with Lee]; Lee names some of the performers with whom she worked; [tap] dancing with Tony Waag; her solo show of some years ago; her age and fact that she still wears high heels.
Streaming audio file 3 (approximately 3 minutes). Brenda Bufalino speaks about Mable Lee's solo show at Cobi's Place; Lee names some of the people who helped her with the show; her love of teaching.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 1080189667NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b21713440Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 1f67ee00-c9c8-0138-26d6-4b5399b7b647
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