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StoryCorps: Henry Belcher and Major A. Mason III

From: StoryCorps
Series: StoryCorps
Length: 01:56

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91-year-old Henry Belcher tells his friend Major A. Mason III about tap dancing in the 1930s. Read the full description.

Belcher_small For Henry Belcher, learning to tap dance was a matter of osmosis. After a friend taught him the basics, he picked up steps from dancers at shows -- and on the streets where he earned money for "hoofing." Belcher joined with two friends to become the Six Sensational Sizzling Shoes and performed for years. Even at 91-years-old, he still dances, as he did recently at a senior citizens' home in Pittsburgh. In the end, Belcher didn't rise to fame, or make a million dollars. "But I had a million dollars' worth of experience," he says.

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Piece Description

For Henry Belcher, learning to tap dance was a matter of osmosis. After a friend taught him the basics, he picked up steps from dancers at shows -- and on the streets where he earned money for "hoofing." Belcher joined with two friends to become the Six Sensational Sizzling Shoes and performed for years. Even at 91-years-old, he still dances, as he did recently at a senior citizens' home in Pittsburgh. In the end, Belcher didn't rise to fame, or make a million dollars. "But I had a million dollars' worth of experience," he says.

Broadcast History

NPR's Morning Edition 8/4/06

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

Time now for StoryCorps Griot.

Each Tuesday we bring you a story from this project that's recording black American's across the country.

Henry Belcher and Major A. Mason the III are two friends who came to StoryCorps to talk about Henry's tap dancing days. He stared performing as a teen in Pittsburgh in the 1930's.

OUTRO:

Ninety-two-year-old Henry Belcher with his friend, Major A. Mason III. They were both at the StoryCorps booth in Pittsburgh. Henry used to dance to this Dizzie Gillespie tune, "Sunny Side Of The Street."

The next stop on the StoryCorps Griot tour is Oakland. All the Griot initiative recordings are archived at the Library Of Congress. A copy of each interview will also be sent to the National Museum Of African American History And Culture in Washington D.C.

Related Website

http://www.storycorps.net/listen