Eddie Brown

Eddie Brown (1915-1992) was a tap dancer known for his intricate rhythm tap style. Brown grew up in Omaha, Nebrask where he was discovered by Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson at a tap dance contest at age 16. Robinson invited him to come to New York, and when his parents refused, Brown hopped a train to the city with a couple of friends. As a minor he earned wages dancing in bars. At age 18 he joined Bill Robinson Revue at The Apollo Theater, and he continued to perform with the group from 1933 to 1939. Brown grew up learning the up-tempo flash style, but he began to adjust to the slower swing tempos of rhythm tap as it became more popular in the performing circuit. In the 1940’s he relocated to San Francisco where he enjoyed a long career dancing in trios, duets, and solos. He also collaborated with musicians such as drummer Dave Tough. In 1982, after being brought out of retirement, Brown moved to Los Angeles. From 1982 to 1992, Brown performed with Linda Sohl-Ellison’s group Rhapsody in Taps and guest performed with Lynn Dally’s Jazz Tap Ensemble. He choreographed several choreographies for RIT as well as solos for Sohl-Ellison, and he appeared in RIT’s annual National Tap Dance Day events. While in Los Angeles he taught Saturday tap classes at the Embassy Theatre in downtown Los Angeles to local tap dance artists. Eddie Brown passed away on December 28th, 1992. He continues to be considered on of America’s great tap treasures.

Further Reading:

Obituary: Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1992-12-30/local/me-2446_1_rhythm-tap-master >>

American Tap Dance Foundation. Biography by Constance Valis Hill:
http://www.atdf.org/bios/ebrownbio.html >>

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Brown_(dancer) >>

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