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Leonard Reed's Original Shim Sham Shimmy

Leonard Reed's Original Shim Sham Shimmy

(NTSC Format)
  • Release 07/07/2009
  • Film and TV Genre Jazz, Music Video (Concert/Performance)
  • Media Format DVD
  • Video Format NTSC
  • Please be advised. Unless otherwise stated, all BLU-RAY are REGION A and all DVD are REGION 1 encoding. Before purchasing, please ensure that your equipment can playback these regions. For more information on region encoding, please click the link below:
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Price: £37.08

Product Notes

In 1927, two song and dance men, Leonard Reed and Willie Bryant, took four popular steps of the 1920's, strung them together with a break and created the now legendary 'Shim Sham Shimmy.' At the time, Reed & Bryant were touring in the South with The Whitman Sisters show, and the dance was originally called 'Gofus.' The dance was designed to be so easy that members of the audience could be taught one step a night (getting them to come back to see the show three more times to learn the rest of it!). The dance travelled quickly up north and was renamed in the 1930s when it was performed in New York's Shim Sham Club and the chorus girls added the shimmying of the shoulders on the opening step. The second chorus, 'The Freeze,' is the same as the first, but dancers freeze in place of the break step. In February of 1994, at age 87, Leonard decided it was time to create another chorus -- 'The Shim Sham II.' Leonard Reed lived to be 97 years old, and, to his utter delight, he saw his dance become the official 'National Anthem of Tap.' If you've been tap dancing for years or are just putting on your first pair of tap shoes, you'll be able to learn the Shim Sham Shimmy. On this video, you will see a demonstration of the dance by a group of talented and ageless (7-75!) tappers and hear an introduction by Leonard Reed himself. Next, tap dancer and preservationist Rusty Frank breaks down the Shim Sham Shimmy, the Freeze Chorus, and the Shim Sham II, using the same accessible methods she's used in hundreds of tap classes. ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Rusty Frank -- As a tap dancer, and the author of the book 'TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories 1900-1955,' I have always had a great love and interest of the history of tap and especially those individuals who brought it all to life. The first interview I did for my book was with Leonard Reed, himself. I found him to be utterly amazing. He started in show business in 1922 as a Charleston dancer, began tap dancing in the mid 1920's, and then switched to producing and directing shows in the 1930s. He is the only living producer of the famous Cotton Club shows, and, believe it or not, continues to be active in show business to this day! At 93 (as of January 7, 2000), he is vibrant, full of an astounding wealth of information from his years in the business, and a genuine joy for anyone interested in the past of America's cultural history. It was really at a friend's urging (insistent nudging!) that I get together with Leonard Reed and record his version of the Shim Sham. It was my pleasure. So I gathered 60 of my nearest and dearest tap friends and fans for cast and crew, and the result is a delight for all. Not only did I 'recruit' some wonderful young children from Alred Desio's classes, but also got two show business legends themselves to participate, tap dancer and legomania dancer Glenn Turnbull, and tap dancer and choreographer Miriam Nelson. Enjoy. [Los Angeles 2003]


Title: Leonard Reed's Original Shim Sham Shimmy
Genre: Jazz, Music Video (Concert/Performance)
Studio: CD Baby
Attributes: NTSC Format
Release Date: 07/07/2009
Media Format: DVD
UPC: 634479030550
Video Format: NTSC
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