Voices of the Jazz Era Ballroom

Voices of the Jazz Era Ballroom is a grassroots, web-based oral history project devoted to preserving and passing on the memory of dance in the Jazz era through the lives and words of everyday people. This is your story—please contribute by talking with a parent or grandparent, neighbor, or friend and explore the archive to see how others have shared their stories.

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From the Ted Younger collection

Ted Younger playing mandolin with an unknown big band in 1947 or 1948, Springfield, Massachusetts. Younger grew up in the vaudeville circuits playing and dancing in a variety song and dance act involving his whole family. After the war he often…

From the Ted Younger collection

A photograph that was sent to Ted Younger's brother Barney Grant, a musician and comedian in the USO. It shows a war hospital set up for a USO show. Lining each balcony are patients and nurses looking down onto what appears to be a makeshift stage.…

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From the Ted Younger collection

Barney Grant (real name John Younger) was Ted Younger's brother and toured extensively with USO shows both domestically and in the European theater.

From the Ted Younger collection

Barney Grant (on stage with guitar) was Ted Younger's brother and toured extensively with USO shows both domestically and in the European theater.

From the Rose Marie Crow collection

Date of interview: April 11, 2010
Interviewee: Rose Marie Crow
Interviewer: Cheryl Crow (Rose Marie’s Granddaughter)
Birth year of interviewee: 1917
Permissions: Oral, given at beginning of interview.
Description: Below are excerpts about…

From the Agnus Pottage collection

1946, Agnus Pottage on Set of Duel in the Sun. She and another stenographer or as they called themselves a "script tease," sun bathe by the pool.

From the Agnus Pottage collection

Agnus and the boys at Hollywood's Bar of Music.

From the Agnus Pottage collection

A keepsake envelope containing the photos of Agnus and friends at the bar.

From the Lottie Brady collection

A portrait of Lottie Brady and her husband and favorite dance partner Chester, just after he was drafted into the army in WWII. The photo was hand-colorized by Lottie herself.

From the Lottie Brady collection

Lottie's sister Julie leaving their parents house on her wedding day. It was Polish tradition that the bride be paraded to the church by a band and her relatives. You can just make out the accordion player to the right of the frame. Lottie relates…

From the Lottie Brady collection

Lottie Brady's brother Wally and one of Lottie's friends dancing in the park, possibly on Belle Isle. Lottie relates her experiences dancing in the 1940's in Detroit in her oral history interview. The photo was hand-colorized by Lottie herself.

From the Lottie Brady collection

Lottie Brady's brother Wally and a friend dancing and "horsing around" in a park, possibly on Belle Isle. Lottie relates her experiences dancing in the 1940's in Detroit in her oral history interview. The photo was hand-colorized by Lottie herself.

From the Lottie Brady collection

Lottie Brady swing dancing with a friend in the early 1940's. This was taken near the Dance Pavilion at Warsaw Park, which was a center for the ethnic Polish community in Detroit and Hamtramck where Lottie grew up. Her parents were Polish immigrants,…

From the Lottie Brady collection

Lottie Brady pictured with her late husband and favorite dance partner Chester in the early 1940's on their way out to dance. This was taken when they were dating. Lottie relates her experiences dancing with her husband in her oral history interview.

From the Lottie Brady collection

Lottie Brady pictured with her husband and favorite dance partner Chester in the early 1940's. During high school and immediately afterward, Lottie worked in a portrait studio hand-colorizing prints. This, like any hand-colored photo in the…

From the Dorothy Porter collection

One of several photos from a small album shot at a house party in the late 40's or early 50's. A lot of close and informal dancing going on. The owner of the photo, Dorothy Porter, who attended the party was unsure whether this particular moment…

From the Dorothy Porter collection

One of several photos from a small album shot at a house party in the late 40's or early 50's. A lot of close and informal dancing going on. This is a photo of all of the party guests enjoying themselves, along with several drinks, and what appears…

From the Dorothy Porter collection

One of several photos from a small album shot at a house party in the late 40's or early 50's with a lot of close and informal dancing going on. This photo shows dancers/guests imbibing at "the world's shortest bar."

From the Dorothy Porter collection

One of several photos from a small album shot at a house party in the late 40's or early 50's. A lot of close and informal dancing going on. This looks like a party guest kicking up her heels. There is no way to tell if the gentleman to the left is a…

From the Dorothy Porter collection

One of several photos from a small album shot at a house party in the late 40's or early 50's. A lot of close and informal dancing going on. This looks like a party guest kicking up her heels alone.

From the Dorothy Porter collection

One of several photos from a small album shot at a house party in the late 40's or early 50's. A lot of close and informal dancing going on.

From the Dorothy Porter collection

Dorothy Porter and her sister Helen out on the town, and showing off their lovely . . . legs, for the camera. The fact that they are wearing stockings suggests that this is well after WWII.

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

Rosemary Taylor and Lee Covey relaxing in the ladies dorms of Pomona College during WWII.

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

A glass of something, that sure looks like it must have been good. Records, drinks and life in the Pomona College Dorms during WWII are described by Rosemary Taylor in her oral history.

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

Pomona College, 1944. Recreation in the women's dorms-- a bridge game, a few drinks, a little music, good friends.

From left to right: Nancy Harmon, Rosemary Taylor, Fran St. Clair, Lee Covey

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

Pomona College, 1944. Recreation in the women's dorms-- a bridge game, a few drinks, a little music, good friends.

From left to right: Lee Covey, Rosemary Taylor, Nancy Harmon, Fran St. Clair

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

Pomona College, 1944. Recreation in the women's dorms-- a bridge game, a few drinks, a little music, good friends.

From left to right: Lee Covey, Rosemary Taylor, Fran St. Clair

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

Charlotte Stearn was the owner of the record player in the Pomona College women's dorms described in Rosemary Taylor's oral history interview. Many listening and bridge parties were had on the floor of her room.

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

Transcript of Interview with Rosemary Taylor for
Voices of the Jazz Era Ballroom Project

Date: November 26, 2009, Seattle, WA
Interviewer: Kelly C. Porter
Interviewee: Rosemary Taylor of Manhattan Beach, CA
Others present: grandsons Joe and…