January 10 – Happy Birthday Teresa Graves

Teresa Graves(January 10, 1949 – October 10, 2002)

Singer and actress, Teresa Graves was born in Houston on this date in 1949.

Graves started her career as a singer with the Doodletown Pipers, an easy listening vocal group.  Later she turned to acting full time.  Her first big television appearance was on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In program in 1969 and 1970.  Graves appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and on several Bob Hope television specials in 1970 and 1971; she had a feature role in The Funny Side, a short lived television series that ran in 1971.

Get Christie Love! posterShe was in several movies in the mid-1970s, including That Man Bolt, Black Eye, and Old Dracula.  Graves’s greatest role would also be her last. In 1974, she played the lead in a made-for-TV movie that built on the popularity of the blaxploitation genre. In Get Christie Love!, Graves played a fiesty cop who was the first Black woman hired by a big-city police department. Christie Love was so well received that it became a series – the show that would give Graves the opportunity to make history as the first Black woman to have her own hour-long dramatic TV series. But after just one season, the show was cancelled. Her final show business appearance was in a Bob Hope special in 1982.

Teresa Graves pic

Graves left acting to concentrate on her involvement with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. On October 10, 2002, Graves’ home caught fire believed to be triggered by a faulty heater.  She was found unconscious in a bedroom before being rushed to the hospital where she later died. Teresa Graves was 53 years old.

Filmography
Get Christie Love! (1974)
Old Drac (1974)
Black Eye (1974)
That Man Bolt (1973)
Keeping Up with the Joneses (1972)

 

Sources: New York Times; Legacy.com; African American Registry.
Photos Source:  Spottelevision.com.

Richard Maurice

Richard Danal Maurice was born in Matanzas, Cuba on June 14, 1893. In 1903, Maurice immigrated to the United States. He lived in Detroit, where he eventually owned and operated a tailor’s shop.

Nobody's Children

In July 1920, he founded The Maurice Film Company which released two feature films, made several years apart. Our Christianity a/k/a Nobody’s Children, the company’s first feature, premiered at E.B. Dudley’s Vaudette Theatre in Detroit on September 27, 1920. Very little is known about the release of Eleven P.M., Maurice’s second feature, which survives in a choppy, silent print. Like Oscar Micheaux, Maurice wrote, produced and directed the two films that bore his company’s name. He even starred in both productions, but did not meet with the success of the better known Micheaux.

It is believed that Maurice’s involvement in the motion picture industry lasted at least until the early 1930s because he’s listed as a motion picture producer in the 1930 U.S. Census.

In 1940, Maurice became involved in dining-car service as a waiter for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in New York City. Following his move three years later to the New York Central Railroad in the same capacity, he helped found the Dining Car and Railroad Food Workers union, local 370.

In 1946, Maurice began to have major disagreements with the union. His dissatisfaction culminated in an op-ed piece published in the Amsterdam News in which he accused the union leadership of being ineffective in representing the rights of rank-and-file workers.

It is believed that he was married to Vivian Maurice, who also appeared with him in the film Nobody’s Children.

There is no information available regarding Richard Maurice’s date and cause of death.

Filmography
Eleven P.M. (1928)
Nobody’s Children (1920)

Source(s): Wikipedia; American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929.  Photo Source:  The Digital Library of Georgia/The University of Georgia Libraries.

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson pic 1Jack Johnson, nicknamed “the Galveston Giant,” was the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion. John Arthur “Jack” Johnson was born on March 31, 1878, in Galveston, Texas. The son of ex-slaves and the third of nine children, Johnson possessed an air of confidence and drive to exceed beyond the impoverished life his parents had known. After a few years of school, Johnson went to work as a laborer to help support his family.

By the age of 16, Johnson was on his own, travelling to New York and later Boston before returning to his hometown. Johnson’s first fight came around this time. His opponent was a fellow longshoreman, and while the purse wasn’t much—just $1.50—Johnson jumped at the chance and won the fight. By the early 1900s, the 6’2″ Johnson, had made a name for himself in the black boxing circuit and had his sights set on the world heavyweight title, which was held by white boxer Jim Jeffries. But Jeffries refused to fight Johnson and he wasn’t alone for white boxers would not spar with their black counterparts.

Jack Johnson pic 2But Johnson’s talents and bravado were too hard to ignore. Finally, on December 26, 1908, the flamboyant Johnson, who often taunted his opponents as he beat them, got his shot at the title when champion Tommy Burns agreed to fight Johnson after promoters guaranteed him $30,000. The fight took place in Australia and lasted until the 14th round, when police stepped in and ended it. Johnson was named the winner. The victory came five years after Johnson had won the World Colored Heavyweight Championship.

From there, Johnson continued his calls for Jeffries to step into the ring with him. On July 4, 1910, Jeffries finally did. Dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” more than 22,000 eager fans turned out for the bout, held in Reno, Nevada. After 15 rounds, Johnson came away victorious, affirming his domain over boxing and further angering white boxing fans.

Jack Johnson pic 3For the fight, Johnson earned a purse of $117,000. After whipping Jeffries, Johnson didn’t fight for two years, but he made waves out of the ring. He married three white women and consorted with many others. Six months after the Jeffries fight, he married Etta Terry Duryea, a white divorced Brooklyn socialite whom it was alleged, he physically abused and who killed herself in a fit of depression.

It would be five years after fighting Jeffries before Johnson relinquished the heavyweight title, when he fell to Jess Willard in a 26-round bout in Havana, Cuba. “The Galveston Giant,” was among the greatest of heavyweights and had an astonishing career. The Ring Record Book lists his record as 79-8 with 46 knockouts, 12 draws and 14 no-decisions.

As Johnson became a bigger name in the sport of boxing, he also became a bigger target for a white America that longed to see him ruined. He had transformed himself from the docks of Galveston, Texas, into early 20th-century glitterati. He had his own jazz band, owned a Chicago nightclub, acted on stage and in movies (see filmography below), drove flashy sports cars, reputedly walked his pet leopard while sipping champagne, flaunted gold teeth that went with his gold-handled walking stick and boasted of his conquests of whites — both in and out of the ring. Johnson loved to brandish his wealth and his disdain for racial rules. Jack Johnson pic 4But trouble was always lurking. In 1912, he was convicted of violating the Mann Act for bringing his white girlfriend across state lines before their marriage. Sentenced to prison, he fled to Europe, remaining there as a fugitive for seven years. In Paris, he took on a series of matches against wrestlers and fought exhibitions in Buenos Aires for measly purses. Johnson returned to the United States in 1920 and ultimately served out his sentence.

If Johnson lived in the fast lane, he died there literally — in an automobile accident in Raleigh, N.C., on June 10, 1946. He was 68. Eight years later, he became a charter member of the Boxing Hall of Fame.

The play “The Great White Hope” and the subsequent film The Great White Hope (1970) are based on Johnson’s life and the brutal racism he faced as both the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion of the world and as a black man with a white wife.

Filmography
The Black Thunderbolt (1922)
For His Mother’s Sake (1922)
As the World Rolls On (1921)

Sources: Biography, ESPN.com, IMDB.  Photo Source(s): Biography; Documentary.org; sjgsports.com; 40acresandacubicle.

Clarence Brooks

(1896-1969)

Clarence Brooks 2

Clarence Brooks was born in San Antonio, Texas in December 1896. In 1915, Brooks along with actor Noble Johnson, Noble’s brother, George Johnson, Dr. James T. Smith, and Dudley A. Brooks formed The Lincoln Motion Picture Company, a company that sought to make films correcting distortions of African American images in motion pictures while also depicting the reality of African American life.  Brooks acted as secretary to the budding company, which quickly built a reputation for showcasing the talent of African American performers in three-dimensional roles. In 1916, Brooks made his acting debut in Lincoln’s short, The Realization of a Negro’s Ambition and in 1919, he played the lead in A Man’s Duty.

By 1921 The Lincoln Company had completed five films, but it proved to be a marginal operation. Noble Johnson, leading man and president of the company who helped support the studio by acting in other companies’ productions, was faced with an ultimatum from Hollywood studio Universal. They had found that when theaters showed a Lincoln film starring Johnson to Black audiences, the audience would not go to a nearby theater showing a Universal film featuring Johnson. He was forced to choose between working for Universal, with a promising career, or casting his lot with Lincoln, with slight chance for financial success. Johnson reluctantly resigned as an active member of the company, but retained his financial interest. Dr. James T. Smith then became president of Lincoln. Without Johnson at the helm, there was much uncertainty.  In addition the increased cost of movie making in the 1920s and the declining economy leading to the Great Depression forced most independent Black film producers out of business. The African American community did not have the financial resources, especially in hard times, to sustain independent Black film enterprises.  In 1923 operations of the Lincoln Motion Picture Company ended and the board of directors disbanded. But Brooks was determined to continue with his acting career as he was still interested in challenging racial stereotypes in film. In 1928, he played George Reed in Absent with Virgil Owens and Rosalie Lincoln.

Clarence Brooks 2In 1930 Brooks appeared in Georgia Rose with Irene Wilson, Evelyn Preer, and Spencer Williams and in 1931, he co-starred in Arrowsmith in which he portrayed a Howard University-educated doctor who Ronald Colman’s character encounters while testing a serum in an effort to find a cure for the bubonic plague. The film was nominated for Best Picture, and Brooks’s co-star was nominated for Best Actor, however Brooks was not nominated for his portrayal of an important supporting character vital to the story.  Afterwards, Brooks left acting behind until he was coaxed out of semi-retirement by director and independent film producer Oscar Micheaux. In 1935, he starred in Micheaux’s Murder In Harlem and found that he could continue his acting career in the films which gave him his start.  In race films he could at least play positive roles. In 1937, he played Larry Lee in Dark Manhattan and in 1938, he appeared in Spirit of Youth and Two-Gun Man from Harlem. In 1939, Brooks continued to work in independent films that supported his career philosophy with roles in The Bronze Buckaroo and Harlem Rides The Range.

Brooks continued working the race movie circuit, although the popularity of the genre was fading and the ability to challenge convention through film was becoming more difficult to achieve, as mainstream studios bought out the independent companies and made their own race films that appealed to prejudiced masses and sold out movie houses. In 1941, he appeared in one of the last race movies of the time, Up Jumped the Devil. Once the race movie era ended, Brooks did not work in films until 1946, when he reluctantly decided to turn back to acting to sustain himself and appeared as an uncredited valet in Blue Skies with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. In 1947, Brooks appeared as an uncredited Porter in Welcome Stranger.

The 1950s saw the end of Brooks’ film career. In 1951, he appeared in his last movie, portraying Sunga in Bowanga Bowanga. Brooks walked away from show business entirely after that and in March 1969 died of natural causes in Pasadena, California.

Filmography
Wild Women a/k/a Bowanga Bowanga (1951)
Rock Island Trail (1950)
Welcome Stranger (1947)
Blue Skies (1946)
Up Jumped the Devil (1941)
Broken Strings (1940)
Am I Guilty? (1940)
Bad Boy (1939)
Harlem Rides the Range (1939)
The Bronze Buckaroo (1939)
Two-Gun Man from Harlem (1938)
Spirit of Youth (1938)
Dark Manhattan (1937)
Murder in Harlem (1935)
Arrowsmith (1931)
Georgia Rose (1930)
Absent (1928)
By Right of Birth (1921)
A Man’s Duty (1919)
The Law of Nature (1917)

Source: TCM Classic Film Union Blog; Hollywood Heritage.  Photo source(s):  Hollywood Heritage, Modern Times.

Sidney P. Dones

(1888-1947)

Sidney P. Dones

Sidney Preston Dones was born in Marshall, Texas in 1888. After graduating from Wiley College in 1905 he moved to Los Angeles. In 1906, Dones moved to El Paso, Texas where he unsuccessfully tried to establish an African-American colony in Mexico.   Returning to California, he began to prosper by buying and selling real estate.  He was also a money lender, an insurance agent, a music dealer, and ultimately, a filmmaker and actor. His primary clientele was African American, but he was also able to win the confidence and respect of whites.

When W.E.B. Du Bois visited Los Angeles in 1913 he trumpeted the “snap and ambition” of the city’s “new blood.”  Dones had the most snap, and was largely responsible for solidifying Black enterprise on Central Avenue. In 1914, he organized the Sidney P. Dones Company and set up shop at 8th and Central, next door to the Black owned newspaper, The California Eagle. Dones’s company dealt mainly in real estate but also offered insurance and legal services, courtesy of the black attorney C.A. Jones.  In 1915 The New Age reported that Dones won the title of Los Angeles’ most popular young businessman and “[He] is enjoying the greatest real estate and insurance business of any race man in the West.”

In early 1916, Dones opened the Booker T. Washington Building at 10th Street and Central Avenue. The Washington Building was a handsome three-story affair, with shops on the sidewalk level and offices and apartments above. The Eagle, called it the “Largest and Best Appointed Edifice on Central Avenue” and added that it was “Procured for Colored Business Men.”

In 1924 Dones along with other prominent African Americans, including Norman O. Houston, Joe and Charlotta Bass, Hattie S. Baldwin, bought 1,000 acres in Santa Clarita Valley, forty miles north of Los Angeles, to build a vacation resort for African Americans. These investors, who called their proposed community Eureka Villa, envisioned a resort area of cabins located on half-acre lots, free from the prejudices and restrictions of the city. The resort featured a community house, tennis courts, baseball fields, hiking trails and a nine-hole golf course. It was an immediate success with buyers from nearby states, and as far away as Chicago and Cleveland. While Eureka Villa was never exclusively African American, they were the predominant owners of the restaurants, inns and stores in the area.

As an actor and director, Dones is known for the films Injustice (1919), Reformation (1920), and The Ten Thousand Dollar Trail (1921). He was married to Lavinia H. Relerford and later to Bessie Williams. Sidney P. Dones died on August 2, 1947 in Los Angeles, California.

Source(s): Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America; Blackpast.org; IMDB. Photo Source: Pragmatic Obots Unite.

Nina Mae McKinney

Nina Mae McKinney 4Born Nannie Mayme McKinney to Hal and Georgia McKinney on June 12, 1912 in Lancaster, South Carolina, McKinney was brought up by a great-aunt, Carrie Sanders, in Lancaster when her parents moved to New York in search of better opportunities. Stage struck at an early age, she appeared in plays at the black Lancaster Industrial School and taught herself to dance. At the age of 13, she joined her parents in New York and by the age of sixteen Nannie Mayme chose the stage name Nina Mae and managed to land a role in the chorus line of the hit Broadway show ‘Blackbirds’ starring Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson and Adelaide Hall. Her performance caught the attention of one of Hollywood’s leading directors, MGM’s King Vidor and he cast her as bad girl, Chick, in his film Hallelujah (1929). Hallelujah was billed as “a story of murder and redemption in the Deep South”, and was the first sound feature film with an all-black cast.

Nina Mae McKinney 2Critics heaped praise upon the young star, and Vidor described her as ‘beautiful and talented and glowing with personality’. However, McKinney soon realized that there was no place in Hollywood at that time for a black leading lady. Nina’s performance netted her a five-year contract with MGM. She was the first African-American actor to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio. The studio seemed reluctant to star her in feature films. She was a leading lady in an industry that had no leading roles for black women and fell into a round of minor support roles such as a specialty singer or dancer, a vamp or the domestic in films like They Learn About Women (1930), Safe in Hell (1931), and Reckless (1935) for which most of her scenes were cut. Frustrated with career limitations and unable to fulfil her potential in America, she followed in the footsteps of Josephine Baker and left the United States for Europe.

Nina Mae McKinneyMcKinney arrived in London with her accompanist, pianist Garland Wilson, to star in Chocolate and Cream, a revue at the Leicester Square Theatre. McKinney also participated in one of John Logie Baird’s experimental television programs, transmitted live on February 17, 1933 and became the first black artist to be seen on British television. Cabaret engagements followed and, in May 1933, a Pathe newsreel captured her on stage at the Trocadero restaurant in Charles B. Cochran’s revue Revels in Rhythm.

McKinney’s career in British cinema continued with a low-budget comedy, Kentucky Minstrels (1934), starring Harry Scott and Eddie Whaley, the African-American stars of the British variety stage and radio. McKinney made a guest appearance with Debroy Somers and his band. Film Weekly’s reviewer noted, “As the star of the final spectacular revue, [she] is the best thing in the picture” (Film Weekly, May 24, 1934). The following year, in a cast that also included H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw, she sang the jazz classic ‘Dinah’ during the broadcast of a radio show called Music Hall in BBC: the Voice of Britain, John Grierson and the GPO film unit’s ‘official’ documentary about the BBC. In Sanders of the River (1935), produced by Alexander Korda, she co-starred with Paul Robeson. As Robeson’s African ‘native’ wife, McKinney was suitably exotic and decorative, but Film Weekly (April 12, 1935) noted that she was miscast, “as much at home in the jungle as, say, a Harlem night-club entertainer”.

Nina Mae McKinney 6

McKinney’s appeal to the British public broadened as she undertook several lengthy and successful variety tours. Known by now as ‘the Black Garbo’, from 1933 to 1937 she topped the bill in many of the country’s popular music halls in variety shows. At the Belfast Ritz in 1936 she was featured on the bill with Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson and his Jamaican Emperors of Jazz. She was among the first African-Americans to perform at the London Palladium and was part of a Royal Command Performance for King George V.

Shortly after the BBC launched its regular high-definition television service from Alexandra Palace on November 2, 1936, McKinney was contracted to star in her own variety shows, Ebony and Dark Laughter (both 1937). She also appeared on the BBC’s Television Demonstration Film (1937), a survey of BBC television during its first six months of operation (and one of the few surviving records of pre-war television).
In her private life McKinney led a troubled, self-destructive existence. In 1936 an opportunity to star opposite Paul Robeson in another film, Song of Freedom, fell through. The actress who replaced her was another African-American expatriate, Elisabeth Welch, who said, “Nina thought that being a star meant that you must be temperamental. She made herself unpopular and ruined her career.”

Nina Mae McKinney 3When WWII broke out in Europe McKinney returned to the United States to join bandleader Pancho Diggs and his orchestra on tour. Some sources state that in 1940 she married the jazz musician Jimmy Monroe, with whom she put together a band and toured the USA (other sources state they married in 1935 and divorced in 1938). She later returned to Hollywood and tried to resurrect her film career, but the only roles that were available to her were stereotypical maids to stars like Irene Dunne, Merle Oberon, and Hedy Lamarr. However, while Hollywood could not accept a young, beautiful black actress, she did appear in a number of all-Black-themed or race films, Gang Smashers/Gun Moll (1938), The Devil’s Daughter (1939), and Mantan Messes Up (1946). In 1949 she appeared in what many considered her finest film role, as Rozelia in director Elia Kazan’s Pinky. The film revolved around a light-skinned southern Black woman passing for white in the North, in which McKinney was ironically cast in the supporting role, with the lead going to a white actress.

Her last film appearance was an uncredited bit part in the 1950 western, Copper Canyon. In 1951, McKinney made her last stage appearance, playing Sadie Thompson in a summer stock production of Rain. McKinney returned to Europe in the 1950s, living in Athens, Greece where she reprised her role as the ‘Queen of the Night Life’ performing in cabarets.

Nina Mae McKinney 7Nina Mae McKinney returned to New York in 1960. Sadly, when she succumbed to a heart attack on May 3, 1967 at the age of 54, her death went unnoticed in the entertainment industry and by the media, except for a small notice in a local paper. Trade papers such as Variety and Black publications such as Jet and Ebony didn’t even print an obituary. On her death certificate she was described as a widow and her occupation recorded as “domestic for private families.” There was no mention that she had been an actress and singer. Nevertheless her contribution to cinema was recognized in 1978 with a posthumous award from America’s Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

Filmography
Hallelujah! (1929)
They Learned About Women – Uncredited (1930)
Safe in Hell Leonie (1931)
Pie, Pie Blackbird (1932)
Passing the Buck (1932)
Kentucky Minstrels – Uncredited (1932)
Sanders of the River (1935)
Reckless (1935)
The Lonely Trail Dancer – Uncredited (1936)
Gang Smashers (1938)
The Devil’s Daughter (1939)
Straight to Heaven (1939)
Dark Waters (1944)
Together Again (1944)
The Power of the Whistler – Uncredited (1945)
Mantan Messes Up (1946)
Night Train to Memphis (1946)
Danger Street (1947)
Pinky (1949)
Copper Canyon (1950)

Source(s): Find a Grave, Brit Movie, Black History Now, Screenonline, IMDB.

Herb Jeffries

a/k/a Herbert Jeffery
a/k/a The Bronze Buckaroo

Herb Jeffries 1

Update:  On May 26, 2014, Variety reported that a pioneer in African American-targeted Western movies and jazz singer Herb Jeffries, a/k/a the “Bronze Buckaroo,” died. He was 100.  Jeffries died of heart failure in West Hills, California on Sunday, May 25, 2014, according to the LA Times.  His health had been declining for some time.  His survivors include his wife Savannah and his five children.

Herb Jeffries (billed as Herbert Jeffrey) was born Umberto Alejandro Ballentino in Detroit, Michigan in 1913 (some modern sources cite the year as 1911) to an Irish mother and mixed-race father. He grew up watching silent screen cowboys at local movie theatres and learning to ride on his grandfather’s dairy farm in Northern Michigan. Herb fell in love with music at a young age, and sang in a church choir, but he was especially attracted to jazz and blues. He attended school during the Depression and since money was scarce, decided to quit high school and go to work. Years later, he would go back, graduate, and even get several degrees, but at that time, the goal was to earn enough money to help his family. Blessed with an excellent singing voice, he began performing locally in Detroit.

Herb Jeffries 2One night in 1933, Jeffries was singing in a small nightclub when jazz icon Louis Armstrong walked through the door. In an interview by amateur jazz historian Tad Calcara, Jeffries says Armstrong heard him sing, pulled him aside, and changed his life. Jeffries took the Armstrong’s advice and headed for Chicago where he joined a band led by Erskine Tate and was soon spotted by Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines. Hines featured Jeffries in concerts and recordings, and on a national radio broadcast from the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933 that brought him national attention.

While in his twenties, Jeffries pitched the idea for an all-black Western to producer Jed Buell, leading to one of the most enduring genres of the race movie movement. Jeffries traveled to Buell’s offices in Gower Gulch, California, and convinced him to take a chance on Harlem on the Prairie (1937), the first sound Western with an all-black cast. Harlem on the Prairie was a rarity in that it also secured bookings in white theatres on both East and West Coasts, thanks largely to Gene Autry, who helped Jeffries and Buell get a distribution deal with Sack Amusement.

With the film’s success, producer Richard C. Kahn approached Jeffries about making follow-up films. With Two-Gun Man from Harlem (1938), Jeffries introduced the character of Bob Blake, whom he would play in two other films, The Bronze Buckaroo (1939) and Harlem Rides the Range (1939). With his long frame, rakish mustache and exotic good looks, Jeffries was able to capitalize on two unique styles of films at the time race films and singing cowboy pictures. And although he only made four films in that era, he helped to change the way African-Americans were portrayed in the movies.Herb Jeffries 4

Because of his mixed racial heritage, Jeffries had to use make-up to darken his complexion. He rarely took off his white Stetson, which he wore with an otherwise all-black outfit, so as not to reveal his lighter brown hair. The success of Jeffries’ Westerns did not escape Hollywood’s notice, but he turned down offers to join the major studios, not wanting to play stereotyped domestic roles.

Other films were in the planning stages, but never made because any chances to continue the series ended when Jeffries decided to accept a prestigious singing engagement with Duke Ellington. This led to his greatest recording success. In 1941, when another singer was unavailable, Jeffries stepped into the studio at the last minute to record “Flamingo,” which would become his signature song.

In the ’50s, Jeffries headlined in Europe and ran his own nightclub in Paris. He also starred in one more film, Calypso Joe (1957). He made several television guest appearances, including playing a black cowboy on The Virginian and had multiple guest roles on “Hawaii Five-O” as well as a run on the animated sitcom “Where’s Huddles?”  Jeffries also wrote and directed the nudie classic Mundo Depravados (1967), starring his wife at the time, stripper Tempest Storm.

Herb Jeffries 3Through the years Herb remained active on the lecture circuit and performed benefits for autism and music education. In 1995, he recorded an album of Western songs entitled “The Bronze Buckaroo Rides Again,” which was well received by critics.  In 1999, at 88, he released The Duke and I, a CD of songs he performed with Ellington in tribute to Ellington’s 100th birthday. Jeffries was a recipient of a Golden Boot award in 1996 and was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2003.


 

Herb Jeffries Filmography
Calypso Joe (1957)
Harlem Rides the Range (1939)
The Bronze Buckaroo (1939)
Rhythm Rodeo (1938)
Two-Gun Man from Harlem (1938)
Harlem on the Prairie (1937)

Source(s): Turner Classic Movies, B-Westerns.com, Voice of America, classicimages.com, IMDB, Variety.