Edward Draper Jr.
Draper laid claim to 'having been the 'worst
Tap dancer in History' ( Having as in past tense.) Draper
was originally a ditch-digger, then went to college and worked
Murray, while at Murray's he was fired and re-hired and fired
again. Moving on he took Tap
from Tommy Nip, learned the 'Time Step' and thus started his career.
Draper made his solo debut at a London vaudeville
theater in 1932 and is credited with his innovation called Ballet-Tap,
( A mixture of tap and Ballet.) Draper would use many different
music styles from Classical to Blues in his routines. Draper became
so good he had a flash dance routine that would be done on a pedestal-table.
He would be known as the 'One Man Flash Act'. Would occasionally
perform with Harmonica player Larry Adler on tour.
Because Draper used Classical music in his
acts, the rhythm was not very Swingy thus it was pretty much a
flop. However he does get some credit at being innovative. The
dancing on Drpaers part was not really bad, just the music didn't
make it, however it might have taken off, it just didn't.
His father (Sr.) was a talented concert singer
and his aunt Muriel a noted author and lecturer. Married Helen
Vosseler who was a solist of the American Ballet Theater. Draper
has appeared in concerts, ballets, nightclubs, vaudeville and
movies, in the Europe, U.S. and South America. Draper was also
Black listed for a time by the House Un-American Activities Commission
for some reason.