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 publicity still for the the Younger family, who traveled all over the country working several vaudeville circuits in the 1920's-1940's as "The Grant Family," an act that involved "hillbilly" acting, comedy, music and dancing. Joe and Ted younger…

From the Ted Younger collection

A publicity still for the the Younger family, who traveled all over the country working several vaudeville circuits in the 1920's-1940's as "The Grant Family," an act that involved "hillbilly" acting, comedy, music and dancing.

From left to right…

From the Ted Younger collection

The whole Younger family performing in a vaudeville song and dance number as "The Grant Family," an act that involved acting, comedy, music and tap and bone rattling. To the left are John Younger (Barney Grant) and Ted Younger tapping, to the left…

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 [Untitled] collection

Frankie Manning and Judy Pritchard's last dance together at George Gee's birthday party at Swing 46, NYC, March 31, 2009. It was an impromptu 60 second dance right next to the table where they were seated-- not a solo spotlight dance, but rather a…

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 Donald Russ collection

An ad for the "senior miss" line from a clothing boutique in Grand Rapids taken from Donald Russ' 1926 South High School Yearbook. For the collegiate who is at it "from early morn to charleston by-the-clock" they boast "just the smart, boyish or…

From the Donald Russ collection

A furniture company ad from the back of Donald Russ' 1926 South High School Yearbook. Clearly aimed at parents, the ad suggests that the only way to keep youth away from the dangers of "the silver flask and the jazz orchestra" is to furnish your home…

From the Donald Russ collection

A description of curious junk band, "Boon's Melody Bloodhounds" at the the Marema Dance Pavilion in the "favorite places" section of Donald Russ' 1926 South High School Yearbook. The names of several of the musicians can be paired with students…

From the Donald Russ collection

Two Students Dance the Charleston outside of South High School, Grand Rapids, MI. Photo taken from the 1926 yearbook of Donald Russ.

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…