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Stage Name

Birth Name

Williams and Walker (and Overton)

George W. Walker

'Bon-Bon' Walker

Aida Reed(-Overton)

   "The Immortal Colored Team," African Americans George Walker and Bert Williams were part of the very successful 'Williams and Walker' comedy vaudeville act. They popularized the 'Cakewalk' by including the dance in many Broadway type plays. Although Black, they performed in Black face makeup which was not unusual for the times. Their first success came when they billed themselves as 'The Two Real Coons.'

   While still teenagers, Walker met Williams in the early 1890s in San Francisco, California. They decided to do something different in Minstrel shows and rebel against the stereotypical Minstrel Coon. With this idea in hand they put together an act titled "The Two Real Coons" which sounded like a normal Minstrel Parody at the time, but was actually based on a real African-Amercan DANCE-COMEDY act. In this show, Mr. Walker portrayed a

real, intelligent, richly dressed, natural high strutting "Darky," ( In blackface) rather than the 'Black face stuttering fool' that was usually portrayed. Alltho today these are still considered stereotypical of those times, they were not back then. Williams played a shiftless, shuffling 'darky' whose shoes pinched his feet.

   They were instrumental in bringing Black face Minstrel players who were actually African American to a major white audience and redefined the boundaries of legitimate Negro theater. W.C. Fields described Williams as " the funniest man I ever saw, and the saddest man I ever knew." One of Walker's trade marks was his pearl white teeth, when he would forget his lines, he would stop, and at the same time open his mouth in this great big smile showing his teeth, frozen there, until someone cued him his lines, and then he continue as if nothing happened... the audience loved it.

   George Walker married Aida Reed Who was already an accomplished actress and dancer. After her husband became too ill to perform in 1909, Out of respect for George, Aida often dressed up in his costumes and played George's role in 'Bandana Land,' which was the last production of the Williams and Walker Company. Overton later danced with the Black Patti Troubadours and on Broadway with the Smart Set Company.

For more info on Bert Williams go to his page Here!, for more info on Aida Overton go to her page Here!.


Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

Lawrence, Kansas 1873 - 1/8/1911 Aida Overton - Walker n/a

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Ballroom Aida Reed - Overton 1896 - Good Morning Carrie
Black Bottom Bert Williams 1904 - When The Moon Shines
Buck Dance Aida Overton's "Panama Girls" (1911) 1904 - Why Adam Sinned ( Aida)
Cakewalk Stella Wiley 1905 - Nobody
Comedy Dancers   1911 - Panama Rag ( Panama Girls)
Funky Butt   1911 - Woodman, Spare that Tree
Georgia Grind   Bon Bon Buddy
Mess Around   I May Be Crazy but I Ain't No Fool
Mime   I Wants to be a Actor Lady
Salome Dance (1910 Aida)   I'm a Jonah Man
Shuffle   Miss Hannah from Savannah
Strut, the   Porto Rico ( Aida Overton)
Vernacular Dances   Portrait Of Bert Williams ( Ellington)

Night Clubs

Theaters

Stage

Cotton Club Buckingham Palace ( Walker) 1898 - Clorindy: Origins of the Cakewalk
Hurtig & Seamon's Howard Theatre (Boston) 1899 - Policy Players, the
Jardin de Paris Hurtig & Seamon's 1899 - Senegambian Carnival ( Aida)
  Koster & Bials (1898) 1900 - Son's of Ham
      La Fayette Theater 1903 - In Dahomey
      Majestic Theater (1906) 1906 - Abyssinia
      New Colonial Theater (1925) 1906 - The Rich Mr. Hoggenheimer
      New York Theater (1903) 1908 - Bandanna Land
      Orpheum, the (12/24/1905) 1909 - Mr. Load of Coal ( Williams)
      Shaftesbury Theater 1910 - Ziegfeld Follies
      Victoria Theater ( Salome 1911) 1911 - His Honor the Barber ( Aida)
      Wallack's Theater (1906) 1920 - Broadway Brevities
            1921 - Shuffle Along
            1922 - Lucky Sambo
            1922 - Strut Miss Lizzie
            1922 - Under the Bamboo Tree
             

Films

Television

Publications

1910 - Actors' Fund Field Day 1984 - The Great Standup's 1909 - Boston Traveler
1914 - Darktown Jubilee 1993 - Mo Funny: Black TV in America 1912 - Green Book
1915 - Fish! 1997 - Vaudeville: American Masters 1914 - American Magazine  
1916 - A Natural Born Gambler 2000 - Bamboozled 1914 - New York Age Mag
1929 - Redskin ( Walker)       $ 1964 - Jazz Dance (Sterns)
        $ 1997 - Resistance, Parody, and Double Consciousness
       
        2002 - A Beautiful Pageants

NOTE: