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Lew Leslie

b. Lewis Lessinsky, 1886, Orangeburg, NY, USA, d. 1953, USA. Leslie began his showbusiness profession in vaudeville, initial as an impressionist after that in a dual work with Belle Baker to whom he was wedded for some time. Becoming a realtor, he detailed among his customers Ben Bernie, Frank Fay and Bea Palmer. He placed on a revue starring Baker and Palmer on the Café de Paris, which afterwards became the Plantation Membership where Leslie staged Plantation Revue, the next edition which, in 1922, starred Florence Mills and her spouse, dancer Ulysses ‘Sluggish Child’ Thompson. Leslie also staged Dixie To Broadway (1924), once again starring Mills and Thompson, and arrived his Blackbirds revues, which started in 1926 having a display also starring Mills. Initially, these revues had been only moderately effective however they paved just how for Blackbirds Of 1928. This revue presented George Cooper, Adelaide Hall, Ruth Johnson, Mantan Moreland, Eloise Uggams, Aida Ward and Elisabeth Welch, all at first stages in their professions. After an uncertain begin, Leslie, who also aimed, brought in Expenses ‘Bojangles’ Robinson and cemented the revue’s, and Robinson’s, recognition. Starting on 9 May 1928, the display went until August the next year, a complete of 518 shows. The songs experienced music and lyrics by songwriters, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Areas, both of whom done revues in the Natural cotton Golf club. For Blackbirds Of 1928 they published ‘Baby!’, ‘Dixie’ and ‘Right here Shows up My Blackbird’, even though these had small life beyond your display the same can’t be said for others that became popular: ‘Diga Diga Doo’, ‘Doin’ THE BRAND NEW Low-Down’, ‘We WILL NEED TO HAVE That Guy’ and what became a perennial favorite, ‘I May’t OFFER YOU Anything But Like’. Leslie’s Broadway demonstrates followed included even more editions of Blackbirds : Ethel Waters made an appearance in the 1930 release, the 1934 display had Robinson, as well as the 1936 display, which also went in London, presented an appearance from the Nicholas Brothers. The final from the series, Blackbirds Of 1939, contained in its cast Lena Horne. Interspersed amidst these revues had been other Leslie endeavors, like the International Revue (1930) and Rhapsody In Dark (1931), starring Waters. While not among the best Broadway moguls from the 20s, Leslie helped make a significant contribution towards the integrating from the Broadway musical.

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