From the MSR Legacy Archives
As part of our celebration over the next several months of our 80 years of continuous publication, the MSR will be republishing notable stories from our extensive archives of more than 4,000 weekly issues of African American news in Minnesota. Many of our readers will be sure to recognize friends, family and neighbors from the distant and not-so-distant past — such as the “famous” entertainers featured below in the May 21, 1937 edition of the St. Paul Recorder.
Two of the Twin Cities’ most famous theatrical folk returned home to Minneapolis last week. Johnson and Dean, dancers and entertainers known the stage world over and known to their Minneapolis neighbors as Charlie Johnson and Dora Dean, who are actually Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, are home after the greatest season in their 50 odd years of trouping.
During their stay in New York during the past 10 months they were featured at Connie’s Inn, The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, The Commodore, Hotel Pierre and the Concourse Plaza Hotel.
At a huge benefit held toward the end of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 25, they were among the stars who included Bill Tilden, Babe Ruth, Edgar Bergen, Bill Gaxton, Estelle Taylor, Ed Sullivan, N.T.G. Duke Ellington, Ivy Anderson, Pat Rooney, Barto and Mann, Dan Healy, Bill Bailey, George Dewey Washington and others.
Several New York newspaper columnists including Ed Sullivan have praised the Johnson and Dean turn which features the old time “cakewalk” that captivated the folks during Tony Pastor’s day. In 1910 the team toured Europe and the British Isles. Mr. Johnson said negotiations are under way for another engagement in Europe.