| addresses the Moke and Poke / Coke and Poke question. Listings for this team have varied during the year (c.1945.) Apparently, Leon (Poke) became ill in Dec/44 and Moke (Fletcher Rivers, not Al Minns) took on a new partner
and continued with the same name. Poke (Leon James) was left "out in the cold" until Leon took on Harold
Cromer and started performing
as 'Coke & Poke' but many continued to confuse the new name with the old Moke & Poke.
Al and Leon di d alot to help spread The Lindy Hop around the Globe. Thru Newspaper articles, Magazines, Books, Television, Performances and Film. Al helped fuel the Lindy revival in the early 1980s and was instruemental in it's growth as an original pioneer of the dance.
Al and Leon were approached by Johnny Carson to be part of the daily pre-show entertainment for his TV show. Very soon after, Leon had his first heart attack and plans were scrapped. Later Al was a guest on the show by himself (courtesy
of Mike Thibault).
During the 1960's Minns and James would do many exhibitions
in the Charleston, Shim Sham , Lindy Hop and other the dances together
trying to help keep the dances alive and by doing so caught the
attention of Marshall Stearns (book) and was interviewed heavily
by Stearns. Was instruemental in the early 1980's in bringing
back the popularity of the Lindy hop
in New York and Sweden.
Minns died of cancer on April 4th, 1985 at Queens Hospital Center. He was 65 years old.