Ida “The Shoo Shoo Baby” James, Harlem, 1950’s (video)

82c227e2094d5aeb572195d4234a9b11Ida Mae James was born in 1921, in Providence, Rhode Island. Ida’s mother taught her how to sing, she travel the country doing amateur night shows until she was discovered on the Radio Kiddie Hour in Philadelphia, PA. Continue Reading →

Zane’s All Time Top 5 Books About Harlem Music

Jazz-Musicians-In-Front-of-Mintons-Playhouse-Untapped-CitiesThere are plenty of books about Harlem’s eclectic music scene that cover the Harlem Renaissance to present day. Continue Reading →

Francine Everett, “The Most Beautiful Girl in Harlem,” 1940s (video)


Francine Everett (April 13, 1915 – May 27, 1999) was an African-American actress and singer who is best known for her performances in race films, independently produced motion pictures with all-black casts that were created exclusively for distribution to cinemas that catered to African American audiences.

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Harlem’s Ellsworth Raymond “Bumpy” Johnson

640px-BumpyJohnsonAlcatrazPrisonCroppedEllsworth Raymond Johnson (October 31, 1905 – July 7, 1968) — known as “Bumpy” Johnson — was an American mob boss and bookmaker in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. Continue Reading →