Well, I started off my career in Buffalo, New York
where I was raised as a, as a singer that developed into a, uh, tap dancer.
Uh, I worked with another young by the name of Bill Porter for some years.
And uh, I eventually wound up in Hollywood for about three years. Did a lot
of extra work in film and working nightclubs up and down the, the West
Coast. And eventually went back to Buffalo and worked a lot of the
nightclubs in the Midwest. That was during the '30s. And uh, in '39 I went
back to New York and uh, I had a little problem with my, my former partner,
and uh, he went into business with his wife so I had to look for another
partner. And I wound up in a Broadway show called "A Hot McCarter" which
eventually moved to the World's Fair, starring Bill Robinson, Bojangles they
called him. And uh, I was working with six other boys, five other boys, it
was called the Six Cotton Club Boys. They had been, uh, chorus boys in the
Cotton Club. And uh, I worked with them for a couple of years and then I,
uh, started doing some production stuff, and I met my second wife. We did,
uh, some stuff in Atlantic City with Honi Coles who eventually wound up
being my last major partner. Uh, and uh, I did an act with my wife, Dotty
Sauntis who was quite a little singer and dancer out of Philadelphia. And we
toured with Cab Calloway until around '43 I was inducted into the service.
Did my hitch in the Army and I come out, Honi Coles and I were very good
friends and uh, we decided to do an act together to raise some money to open
up a dancing school, which never happened. Because the act was so successful
that we, uh, continued to do the act. And that continued until uh, we went
into uh -- well, we did a lot of good things. We had a, had a European tour
and right after the war, '48, '49, we come back and we auditioned for a
Broadway show, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", and we made it. And we worked in
the "Blondes" until '52. Then tap dancing started to sort of like fade out,
you know. And there wasn't as many good jobs as we were looking for. And uh,
it was, we, we were just working spasmodically. Uh, we did some things with,
uh, Tony Martin in Las Vegas. Then we went on tour with a Pearl Bailey unit.
And around about '60, 1960, we decided that, uh, that we would try to do
some other things. Honey had an offer to go into the Apollo as production
manager, and I was doing a lot of vocal choreography at that time. I started
about '53 in order to make ends meet, you know, in between engagements, I
would do some vocal choreography.