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Young Frankie Manning Pic

Stage Name

Birth Name

Frankie "Musclehead" Manning

Frank Benjamin Manning


Frankie was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1914 and moved to Harlem New York in 1917. He was introduced to dancing thru his mother at the age of nine with the Black Bottom, Charleston etc. and by age fourteen was practicing many dances of the day. Manning started dancing at the Alhambra and Renaissance Ballrooms and later at age nineteen the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York. Frankie was part of a dance troupe called the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers ( Aka Whyte's Hopping Maniacs) from 1933 to the 1940's. In 1937 Frankie was part of the Lindy Hoppers who went on a European tour with the Cotton Club Revue and gave King George VI a command performance.

    Frankie led the the Hoppers in many of its routines as well as the Congeroo's which were really a back up team for the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers. Manning and the troupe danced in many films such as 'Killer Diller, Hellzapoppin' (1941) and A Day At The Races'.

    In 1940 Morgan Smith captured the famous Lindy Hop Photo of Frankie and Ann Johnson for Life Magazine and later again appeared in

Frankie Manning Autograph

Life Magazine in 1941 and in the same year went to Rio for a Brazilian Tour. By 1943 Frankie entered the US Army and was honorably discharged in 1947. Whitey's Lindy Hoppers was now a thing of the past, but Frankie continued with a group called the Congeroo's untill the rock and roll craze and the twist sealed its fate.

   Frankie would later marry (1954,) have a son ( Chaz) and work as a postal employee till his retirement in 1984. By 1986, Frankie was back in the Swing community teaching his original style of Lindy Hop to thousands thanks to Erin Stevens and Steven Mitchell who sought him out and coaxed him out of retirement. Frankie currently resides in New York and is involved in many Swing dance Events across the country. He is one of the true, original masters of the Lindy Hop.

    Manning is considered one of the founding fathers of the Lindy Hop. Frankie has received a few prestigious awards such as a Tony Award for Choreography of the 1989 Broadway show Black 'n Blue, The National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Choreography in 1994 and 1995 plus the National Heritage Fellowship Award in 2000. A resident of Corona, Queens, He is surivived by four children, a half-brother, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Manning died in Manhattan on April 24, 2009. He is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY.

... More Photos

Birth Place

Birth Date



Jacksonville, Florida 5/26/1914-4/27/2009 Gloria Holloway (1954) Chazz Young ('chaz')
            ( Divorced) Frank Manning Jr., Marion Price

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Big Apple Frieda Washington $ Really Swingin'- Frankie Manning ( CD)
Black Bottom Lucille Middleton $1934/39 - Stomping at the Savoy ( CD)
Charleston Wila Mae Ricker      
Savoy Style Lindy Hop            
Shim Sham            

Night Clubs

Theaters etc


Alhambra Ballroom 1935 - Apollo Theater (1st)   Hellzapoppin'
Cotton Club (Revue) 1936 - Harvest Moon Ball (3rd)? Hot Mikado
Renaissance Ballroom ?1937 - Harvest Moon Ball ?(2nd)? New York Worlds Fair (Expo)
Savoy Ballroom Alhambra Theatre ( Cotton Club Revue) 1989 - Black and Blue ( Chor)
      Radio City Music Hall 1997 - Play On ( Consultant)
        Pardon My French (Follies Bergere)
        Swingin' the Dream




$1937 - Manhattan Merry Go Round 1989 - Back Into Swing (Doc) 1989 - Ebony Magazine
1937 - A Day At The Races 1991 - Natl. Geographic - Jitterbug (PBS) 1940 - Life Magazine
1938 - Jittering Jitterbugs 2001 - Jazz (TV Special) 6/16/1941 (Johnson/Manning/Congeroo's)
1930s - Radio City Revels (w/Ann Miller) Cant Top The Lindy Hop (Doc) $ Swinging At The Savoy ( Book)
1941 - Hellzapoppin' Stomping at the Savoy (Doc)
1941 - Hot Chocolates Milton Bearle Show      
1943 - The Big Apple 2005 - Swingen anfaller    
1948 - Killer Diller            
1948 - The Sensational Congeroo (Short)        
1950 - The Spirit Moves (Dehn)            
$ Malcolm X (VHS) - (Chor)            
1995 - Swingin' at the Savoy ( Video)            
Everybody Sings? (Garland)            
Purchase Swingin' At The Savoy at Today
$ Swinging At The Savoy (Book)
Purchase Malcolm X at
$ Malcolm X (VHS)
See Frankie dance in This Video
$ A Day At The Races

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