Robinson, Bill

Robinson, Bill,

1878–1949, African-American tap dancer popularly known as "Bojangles," b. Richmond, Va., as Luther Robinson. An influential virtuoso tap dancer, he was a tap innovator and reputedly the first to dance on the balls of his feet instead of in the earlier flat-footed style. For many years he performed on the black entertainment circuit, joining (1886) a touring musical troupe, beginning (1906) a successful stage and nightclub career, and dancing for years in vaudeville. Robinson achieved wide acclaim for his appearance on Broadway in Blackbirds of 1928 and later starred in the musical The Hot Mikado (1939). He was in 14 Hollywood features in the 1930s and 40s, including In Old Kentucky (1935) and Stormy Weather (1943), and made four movies with Shirley Temple, including The Little Colonel (1935), in which he performed his famous "stair" dance with the child star, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938).


See biography by J. Haskins and N. R. Mitgang (1988, repr. 1999).

Robinson, Bill “Bojangles” (b. Luther Robinson)

(1878–1949) tap dancer; born in Richmond, Va. He began dancing professionally at age eight in Louisville, Ky., then moved to New York City in 1891 to dance in the popular musical, The South Before the War. He performed in vaudeville and later was one of the few black dancers to star on the Keith circuit. He first performed on Broadway in 1928, becoming the first African-American to star in a Ziegfield Follies. He danced in the first movie to have its own original musical score, Dixiana (1930), and during the 1930s and 1940s he danced in black revues and musicals. He appeared in four films with Shirley Temple, including The Little Colonel (1935); although extremely popular in their day, these films would later be criticized for forcing this superb dancer into the role of a shuffling servant. He starred in the movie Stormy Weather (1943). Known as "the King of Tapology," he was one of the first performers to tap dance on his toes (as opposed to flat-footed), he led in using tap dance to create rhythmic sound, and is credited with originating the routine of tapping up and down stairs.
References in periodicals archive ?
It describes Jackie Robinson, Althea Gibson, and the recognition of the African American athlete during the centennial celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation; the efforts of white allies with black athletes and the black press in integrating bowling, baseball, football, and college sports, such as Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, and Paul Brown; black resistance in the press and the community to address racial barriers in baseball, football, and golf; the fight against segregation in Southern sports; black Olympians who represented their country abroad but were second-class citizens at home; the transition of athletes to activists, such as Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, and Jim Brown; and those who publicly challenged integration and democracy, such as Muhammad Ali.
Others stars giving their support are Paul O'Grady, Tony Robinson, Bill Oddie and Ricky Gervais.
Ducharme of Millbury; 8 grandchildren, Diane Robinson, Bill Boss, David Goyette, Eric Boss, Jill Goyette, Sharon Gregoire, Theresa Boss and Gail Brown; 23 great grandchildren, Ashley, Justin, Peter, Ryan, D.
When sports came all along, all of a sudden White America saw Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, Jim Brown and Arthur Ashe sitting down and talking intelligently and radiating an image quite different than a lot of Americans had for Blacks," Hill says.
Putting aside the question of why Bart Starr, the Packers' star quarterback, doesn't appear in this play, the team is well represented by Robert Christopher Riley as outside linebacker Dave Robinson, Bill Dawes as running back Paul Hornung, and husky Chris Sullivan as fullback Jim Taylor, the only player with "grievances.
Back row, left to right: Jack Robinson, Bill Overy, Jack Milner, Charlie Foster, Arther (as sent in) Leggott, Douglas Lee.
Coventry and Warwickshire MPs (clockwise, from left) Geoffrey Robinson, Bill Olner, John Maples, Jim Cunningham, Caroline Spelman and Jeremy Wright
In The Frame: Graham Gooch (pictured), Tim Robinson, Bill Athey, Mike Gatting, Allan Lamb, Paul Downton, John Emburey, Phil de Freitas, Neil Foster, Gladstone Small, Eddie Hemmings.
This development explains the vehement and intolerant language of out-of-the-closet MPs Svend Robinson, Bill Siksay, and Guy Menard during presentations to the parliamentary hearings on SSM, and from others in letters to the editor, and in cartoons.
But unlike the bitter, eventually lionized black superstars of the generation just previous-Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, Jim Brown--Allen had the financial clout to do something besides swallow his anger and smolder.
NIGHT OF EMOTION: Peter Thompson (above, left), and former Anfield team-mates Chris Lawler (left), Ian Callaghan, Gordon Milne and Brian Hall, while Pauline Robinson, Bill Shankly's grand-daughter, sits in front of a picture of her legendary grandfather Pictures: COLIN LANE
The Dodgers and Angels still haven't swung a major deal since the seven-player swap that sent Frank Robinson, Bill Singer and a young outfielder named Bobby Valentine to Anaheim and brought Andy Messersmith and Ken McMullen to Los Angeles - in 1972.