Tag Archives: Harry Pilcer

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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Les Acacias, Night-Club, Paris

The Acacias night-club was a hall at the rear of the Hotel Acacias sited at 47 Rue des Acacias near the Bois de Bologne with a garden utilized for the summer. It was one of the many night-resorts in Paris in the Jazz Age that became a favoured rendezvous of high society throughout the 1920s. The roster of performers who appeared at Les Acacias was astonishing, providing a veritable Who’s Who of glittering international stars of stage and cabaret.

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Fernando (Sonny) Jones

Fernando (Sonny) Jones was an intriguing, if somewhat elusive, black performer who made his life and career in Europe and especially in Paris in the 1920s.  He was an accomplished dancer and made it big headlining in the Palace Theatre show Paris Voyeur in Paris in the 1925-1926 season. Throughout his career he was closely linked to Louis Douglas, another high profile black artist.

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Favours and Carnival Novelties

Favours and Carnival Novelties

At special events throughout history there has always been the desire to augment festivities with novelties of all kinds, especially at special occasions like New Year and weddings. Toward the end of the 19th century as dances, balls, galas and the new concept of the smart restaurant proliferated on both sides of the Atlantic, special nights were introduced where a wide range of gifts or carnival novelties were given away as souvenirs to make the night special and stand out. Later, these ‘favours’ became indicative of the madcap nocturnal fun and frolics of the Jazz Age and the 1920s.

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The bizarre tale of Mrs Smith Wilkinson

The bizarre tale of Mrs Smith Wilkinson

Described variously as ‘The Countess of Monte Cristo’, ‘The Queen of Diamonds’ and ‘Madame Aladdin’, Mrs Smith Wilkinson can be seen as a society con-artist and one of the first wannabe celebrities. She made a rather big splash in Paris in the summer of 1921 causing much debate and gossip in the press thereafter. Whatever was all the fuss about?

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Nina Payne

Nina Payne

Nina Payne was an eccentric, futurist American dancer who, after long years in vaudeville travelling across the USA, made a trip to Europe and became an instant hit in Paris where she remained throughout the 1920s.

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Miss Florence

Miss Florence

The stunningly beautiful and dark haired ‘Miss Florence’ startled Parisian audiences as a member of the Gertrude Hoffman troupe in 1924 when she came on stage on an elephant as the Queen of Sheba. She became a popular celebrity in her own right, before teaming with Julio Avarez in a dancing partnership that proved highly successful mainly in New York and Miami cabarets in the 1930s.

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Gypsy Rhoumaje

Gypsy Rhoumaje

Shrouding herself with an exotic sounding name and persona, Gypsy Rhoumaje struck the big time in London and Paris from 1926 and delighted fashionable continental audiences with her exotic style of dancing and her own personal beauty. Of course nobody, least of all journalists, could spell her name right with several attempts that included Gypsy Rohoumage, Gypsy Roumahje, Gypsy Rhouma-je and Gypsy Rhouma (all with Gipsy variants).

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