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Say Brother; Vaudeville

Part of Say Brother.


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Say Brother
Program Number


Series Description

Say Brother is WGBH's longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, and is now known as Basic Black. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Henry Hampton, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Series release date: 7/15/1968

Program Description

Host Tanya Hart provides a brief survey of the unique contributions African Americans have made to music, film, dance, and theater in the United States, and describes the vaudeville experience, which is the focus of the program. In an effort to recreate vaudeville shows, Say Brother arranged for in-studio performances by some of the popular entertainers of the 1920s-1950s in Boston (and elsewhere): vocalist Novella Crocket, tap dancers Willie Spencer and Winnie Brown, dancer Norman Wallace (famous for his backward dance up a wall with flip), comic/singer/dancer Bobby Underwood (performing "Mack the Knife" and "Bye Bye Blues"), the Jones Brothers (a musical group), and Sabby Lewis and Company (who accompany other program performers and perform individually). Program includes a conversation between Sabby Lewis and vocalist Mae Arnette, in which they discuss the popular clubs in Boston of the 1950s and the different performers they knew.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Vaudeville--United States
African American women
Wallace, Norman
Spencer, Willie
Crocket, Novella
Brown, Winnie
African American entertainers
Hart, Tanya
Lewis, Sabby
Underwood, Bobby
Sabby Lewis and Company (Musical group)
Arnette, Mae
Jones Brothers, The (Musical group)
African American musicians
Race and Ethnicity
Jones, Vickie (Associate Producer)
Barrow-Murray, Barbara (Associate Producer)
Marita Rivero (Producer)
White, Conrad (Director)
Spooner, Dighton (Researcher)
Wilson, Bob (Camera)
Coleman, Vern (Audio)
Lane, Frank (Camera)
Bundy, Kissette (Intern)
Kane, Pat (Video)
Hill, Rebecca (Make Up)
Cross, June (Production Assistant)
Mahard, Fran (Scenic Design)
Bordett, Bruce (Stage Manager)
Clarke, Brian (Intern)
Holden, Dick (Technical Production)
Smith, Kathy (Switcher)
Kramer, Sharon (Graphic Designer)
Plausse, John (Lighting Director)
Allen, Lydia (Intern)
Fairweather, Bill (Video)
Hart, Tanya (Host)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Vaudeville,” 03/16/1976, GBH Archives, accessed January 18, 2022,
MLA: “Say Brother; Vaudeville.” 03/16/1976. GBH Archives. Web. January 18, 2022. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Vaudeville. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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