Noble Sissle was one of the nation's premier jazz composers and bandleaders, particularly in the early days of American popular song and theater. His early career was spent largely in vaudeville as a singer, but his talents as a songwriter gradually drew him to Broadway where, in collaboration with Eubie Blake, he achieved a major breakthrough. Before Sissle and Blake it was rare for Black entertainers to gain acceptance along the Great White Way, but the success of their 1921 show, Shuffle Along, changed all that. The show, starring Florence Mills, featured a trio of memorable tunes: "In Honeysuckle Time," "Love Will Find a Way," and the massive hit "I'm Just Wild About Harry." In this and succeeding shows, such as The Chocolate Dandies, the collaborators presented a succession of songs, dances, and sketches that were attuned to the new ...
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