Category Archives: Personalities

Harry Cahill

Harry Cahill was a multi-talented American dancer, female impersonator, singer and composer who became a popular and well-known figure in Paris during the 1920s and because of his achievements was once described as ‘a type of product of the Jazz Age.’

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The Dancer Fay Harcourt

Fay Harcourt was a British dancer who made it big dancing in Paris in the Jazz Age of the 1920s  as part of three dancing teams – the first with the American Harry Cahill, the second with a Russian called Nicholas and the third wit hthe Argentinian  Peppy de Albreu. But, after a glittering career from 1922-1928 she simply vanished.

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The Costume Designer Zig

The costume designer Zig was the pen-name of one of the great artists  for the Paris music hall in the Jazz Age. Prolific as an illustrator, creating artwork for posters, programme covers and sheet music, Zig also created stunning sets and costumes with a tremendous flair and originality from the mid to late 1920s and early 1930s, before dying at an early age in 1936. He must not to be confused with another illustrator called Zig Brunner.

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Marie Woods in La Revue Negre, Paris, 1925

The enigmatic Afro-American dancer Marie Woods appeared in the original line up of the famous La Revue Negre in Paris in 1925. This unique photograph shows her in costume from the show.

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Erna Carise

Erna Carise

I particularly love an art deco sketch by Erna Carise from 1927 that I discovered in one of my Parisian magazines simply called ‘Jazz’. So I decided to do a little digging and discovered that she had been a rather glamorous dancer and songstress in Paris, Berlin and New York from the late 1920s through to the 1940s and also had a talent as a costume designer or artist.

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The Magnificent Renee Harris

Renée Harris (1876-1969), professionally known as Mrs. Henry B. Harris, escaped the Titanic disaster to become Broadway’s first woman producer during the Jazz Age. One of the best-known survivors of the 1912 sinking, her life and work have never been examined until now with the publication of Broadway Dame by Randy Bigham and Gregg Jasper.

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Frank Leveson

Frank Leveson

Frank Leveson (Frankie) was described as a ‘Dapper Dane’ by the entertainer Billy Milton and was part of the smart society set in Jazz Age London with the likes of Noel Coward, designer Gladys Caltrop, Gladys Cooper and Ivor Novello. He made a name for himself as an exhibition dancer in the 1920s but had another career as an interior designer eventually becoming manager for Syrie Maugham’s business in the late 1920s.
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Josephine Earle

Josephine Earle

Josephine Earle was an American actress who made a name for herself at Vitagraph in a series of Vamp movie roles from 1915. She then made herself thoroughly at home in England during the 1920s appearing in British silent films, legitimate stage shows and cabaret.

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The Incomparable Joe Zelli

The Incomparable Joe Zelli

Joe Zelli, sometimes called the Kings of Cabaret Keepers, was undoubtedly one of the best-known and most popular characters in Montmartre during the 1920s and his nightclub the Royal Box was a firm favourite not just with visiting Americans but all nationalities out for a good time.

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