Who was Snow Ball?
Snowball (Boule de Neige) gained a fabulous entre into the Parisian music hall by appearing with the glamorous Dolly Sisters in their 1927 revue at the Casino de Paris, Paris-New York. He appeared in several numbers including one where he partnered the Dolly Sisters and in another playing the banjo. He was described as an artist aged nine years old. A few years later Snowball re-surfaces in C.B Cochran’s show Wake Up and Dream at the London Pavilion in 1929.
Who was he and how, at the tender age of nine did he become a featured player in one of the biggest shows in Paris and then London?
In early April 1927 agents of the children’s society charged the legendary band leader Paul Whiteman with permitting a minor to perform on the stage with him during the Charles Dillingham’s musical comedy Lucky at the New Amsterdam Theatre, New York. The child was Edwin Harris (Snowball) and he was described as being a 10 year-old negro dancer and banjo player from St Louis who had been earning $100 per week in the show.
Clearly, immediately after this court case, Snowball (and his father) were snapped up by an enterprising overseas agent who got the contract at the Casino de Paris starting at the end of May 1927.
All images and text © copyright Gary Chapman / Jazz Age Club and must not be re-used without prior consent
A signed photo of Snowball