Friday, April 19, 2013

A Great Day in Lindy Hop

The "Great Day in Lindy Hop" photo was taken almost 10 years ago, Oct 9th, 2004, It was of course a recreation of a "Great Day in Harlem" from 1958. The location was Columbia University steps which was also Count Basie's 100 birthday celebration to held this weekend along with legendary musicians of the Basie Alumi.

A Great Day in Harlem 1958

All I can really remember was the intense undertaking to get so many people together, the focus being all the Dancers,Musicians,hostesses, Staff, and people who had ever gone to the Savoy Ballroom which operation from March 12, 1926 to July 10, 1958.

The Organizers did an amazing job of helping to shuttle many of the legends or "Old timers" around for the event. I recall there being a couple different photo's of the different generations, and then everyone together. One by one, crowd got larger, with reunions galore as these Old timers appeared for the photo shoot, with another shouting out their names, not having seen each other since "the Savoy days"!

Truly magical gathering... 

A Great Day In Lindy Hop

This Photo by Mike Thibault shows many of the Legends taking front and center.

This Photo by the Lindy Chef

Here is a partial list of some of the dancers included:
Frankie Manning ,Norma Miller ,Dawn Hampton ,Eleanor Watson (Whitey's Lindy Hopper, In Radio City Revels) ,Ruthie Rhinegold (Whitey's Lindy Hopper) ,
James Brown (Whitey's Lindy Hopper) , Midge Vercelli (Harvest Moon Ball Champion-One of only Four Non-Savoy dancers to win from 1935 to 1958) , Sugar Sullivan (Harvest Moon Ball Champion, Jivadeer, Rocket) , George Sullivan (Harvest Moon Ball Champion, Trained 10 Harvest Moon Ball Champions) , Sonny Allen (Harvest Moon Ball Champion, Founder of the Rockets) ,Gigi Brown (Harvest Moon Ball Champion, Mama Lou Parks Dancer, State Department Africa Tour) , David Butts (Harvest Moon Ball Champion, Mama Lou Parks Dancer, State Department Africa Tour) ,Gloria Thompson (Mama Lou Parks Dancer, State Department Africa Tour, Harvest Moon Ball Finalist, Savoy Dancer) ,
Coley Wallace (Last Living Savoy Ballroom Bouncer, Heavyweight Contender, starred in the movie the Joe Louis Story) , Helen Banks (Savoy Ballroom Dancer, Appeared in Soundies, Member of the Harlem Ski Team).

Thanks to hard work of Terry Monaghan, dance historian and activist, born 13 August 1943; died 26 June 2011.

Unfortunately,  The website for this CountBasie100 does not seem to exist anymore, so i don't have all the information to include on this more memorial day. One of the fun things i remember was between Frankie and Norma is Kermit the frog, to represent Lennart Westerlund in Sweden, one of the founders of Herrang dance camp, because he could not make the trip.

This is a 11.7mb copy thanks to Mark Tabladillo
and if your interested in a downloading massive hight res


As i find out more, I will keep updating this information. I'll try and find a complete list of who took part Along with all the hard working people that made this who event happen.
I know for a fact and the crew were the backbone, awesome dedicated bunch to keeping the Lindy Hop alive. Elliot D, as we know him, is simply the most incredible person work with, his energy and passion helps bring so many people together. Without him, events like these simply can't happen.

So Please feel free to contact me, and help me update this page, into a proper thanks to all that made it happen. Thanks, Peter

PS. I was working that weekend, doing lectures and teaching so my mind was elsewhere, after the photo i ran off...but maybe you can find me?


Update: Took this from :

A Great Day in Lindy is a project of Springboard Productions, LLC and

About this Site
On Saturday, October 9, 2004 over 400 Lindy Hoppers from around the world gathered on the steps of Columbia University's Earl Hall for a historic photo shoot. The results of this effort is a truly historic "family portrait" of the Lindy Hip featuring some of its most influential and important figures.

This website has been created to collect, organize and verify historical data for each person who was in the photo. The information housed and collected on this site will be used in an accompanying booklet that will be released with the photo. The booklet will serve as a key that will identify each person in the photo and provide a short description of who they are.