was so good at many of the dances that he unknowingly helped pioneer
a few as well as his innovations in dance steps such as the Slap
Step and his use of the upper body. Some of his best dances were
the Charleston, Sand Dance, Soft-Shoe, Tap, Buck and Wing, Cakewalk
and many others. Rector was originally a soft shoe performer "he
developed his own style of elegance and grace" which he mixed
with a fluid and more integrated motion than the previous stereotypical
'Darky' vaudeville acts that were dominating the Stages in the
One of his great specialties was the " Waltz Clog," done
to the tune called "Bambalina" which Rector is said
to have performed it with an unequaled, great style and grace.
His contribution to Tap dance was his use of arm movements while
traveling around the floor which was much different than the taper's
before him. By 1921 ( Shuffle Along,) many Black tap dancers
would incorporate his style of tapping. When
it came to the Soft-Shoe and Sand Dance, Rector had no competition.
He is said to have been the greatest soloist of all time who could
and at times did dance better drunk than sober.
Billed as "The Boy in
Grey," because one of his costumes was a Pearl Grey Top Hat,
Tails, and a cape, even the spats were pearl grey. In 1931, Rector
was dancing at the Cotton
Club in New York to Cab Calloway's music for a live radio
show called "LIVE from the Cotton Club." from RCA and
also played the Trumpet at Sebastian's
Cotton Club in Los Angeles.
Rector was institutionalized
sometime in 1933 for a number of years and the reason has been
a mystery that no one knows for sure why. One of the rumors is
his drinking lead to a nervous breakdown as he couldn't handle
the stress anymore. However after his recovery he teamed up again
with his good friend and partner Ralph Cooper during the late
1940's. Unfortunately they were at the tale end of the Class Act
routines on Stage and were not well received by this newer audience.
Cooper became a disc-Jockey and Rector became a night watchman
as with many other dancers who started as children in those times,
was uneducated and couldn't read or write. Eddy died not knowing
how important he was to dance and what he created.