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Josephine Baker

Stage Name

Birth Name

Joséphine Carson Baker Frida Josephine McDonald

    She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis for nickels and dimes. She began her dancing career as a 5'-7" tall chorus girl in a all colored revue in St. Louis called 'Shuffle Along' at the young age of sixteen. Baker was positioned at the end of the line and would do some crazy things that were funny during the choreography, while doing everything everyone else was doing, she would improvise, crossing her eyes, tripping, getting out of step etc. and the audience loved it.

    At the age of 15, she married a ( Pullman) porter named Baker, but left him two years later when she ran away from St. Louis at age 17 to become a star.

    She Went to Paris in 1924 and in 1925 appeared in her first revue titled "La Revue Nègre," danced in the Follies-Bergere and other various nightclubs. She remained in France except for occasional trips to the U.S., due to the poor treatment in the states to

 
Josephine Baker Autograph

African-American performers, she became a citizen of France. Baker was a civil rights pioneer and personally involved in racial equality throughout her life. Baker over the years adopted 11 children which she called the "Rainbow Tribe" to prove to the world they could live in racial harmony.

    Baker returned to the states in 1936 to star in the Ziegfeld Follies. She was to become famous along with her "Banana Dance" routine she first performed at the Follies Bergere in 1925.  During W.W.II, Baker stayed in North Africa. Baker studied Ballet with George Ballanchine and Felicia Sobel who later choreographed dances for her. Baker had been seen dancing at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, N.Y. doing the Lindy Hop, which she loved to do.

    The French Government bestowed a memorial to Baker at the same spot where she owned the 'Chez Josephine' Nightclub in the 1940's which now is a restaurant owned by Jean-Claude Baker which houses many memorabilia to the star. She became the first African-American woman to receive unprecedented honor from the French.


Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

St. Louis, MO 6/3/1906 - 4/12/1975 (Paris) ? Baker Adopted
    Count Pepito Abatino  
      Jean Lyon  
      Jo Buillon  
      Jean-Claude Brialy  

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles / CDs

Ballet Baby Laurence ( An eve. with jb) $1995 - Exotic CD (J. Baker)
Ballroom Charley Davis (Shuffle Along) $1995 - Breezin' Along CD (J. Baker)
Banana Dance (1925)       $1995 - The Fabulous J. Baker
Burlesque       $1996 - Etoiles De La Chanson [IMPORT]
Charleston       $1997 - Star of the Follies Bergere
Chorus       $1998 - Bonsoir My Love - Josephine Baker
Exotic       $1998 - Le Meilleur De... [IMPORT]
Fan Dance       $1999 - Complete Recorded Works 1926-27
Jazz       $2002 - 15 Archive Recordings (J. Baker)
Jitterbug / Lindy       $2000 - Cocktail Hour: J. Baker
Modern       $ J'ai Deux Amours CD (J. Baker)

Night Clubs

Theaters

Stage

Chez Josephine" nightclub (1926)
40 rue Fontaine, Montmartre, Fr.
Alcazar Theater (1960) 1921 - Shuffle Along
Champs de Elysees 1924/25 - Follies - Bergere
Chez Josephine" nightclub (1948)
15, Avenue Montaigne, Paris Fr.
Booker T. Washington Theater 1924 - La Revue Nègre ( Paris)
  1936 - Ziegfeld Follies
Follies-Bergere ( France)       An Evening with J Baker
Savoy Ballroom (11920's)        
Rue des Petit's Champs (1969)        

Films

Posters

Publications

1927 - Sirène des tropiques, La Bronze Venus 1927 - Essays - Arts of the thtr.
1927 - The Revue des Revues Josephine Baker (la Baker) 8/9/1927 - Filmjournalen
1931 - Gay Colored Star Steps Out in Paris Josephine Baker (la Grande) 2/10/1928 - Cinemagazine
$1934 - Zou Zou Josephine Baker (Pacific) 1930s - Por Vous mag
$1935 - Princess Tam-Tam Josephine Baker (sitting) 1/1935 - Stage Magazine
1944 - Moulin Rouge Josephine Baker (review) 8/13/1951 - Quick Mag
1952 - The French Way $ Josephine Baker Art Poster 10/1964 - Show Magazine
1954 - An Jedem finger zehn $ Baker: Casino de Paris 7/1975 - Ebony Magazine
1955 - Carosello del varietà Various J. Baker Posters 7/1975 - Ebony Magazine
1983 - Zelig - Archives       $2000 - J Baker Story (book)
$1991 - Josephine Baker Story [ DVD]    

$ J Baker: Black Americans of Achievment

$1999 - Intimate Portrait    
        $1995 - Josephine (book)

Television

     

$2001 - Josephine: The Hungry Heart

n/a      

$ Baker: La Revue Negre

           

$ Jazz Cleopatra (Rose)

           

$ Naked at the Feast

           

$ Remembering Josephine Baker

         

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