Reference Entry

Sissle, Noble

in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, Second Edition

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195170559
Sissle, Noble

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Noble Sissle first sang in his father's Methodist Church, and he was a soloist in his Cleveland, Ohio, high school's glee club. After serving in World War I (1914–1918) as a drum major, Sissle had enormous success in the vaudeville theater, teaming up with “Eubie” Blake as the Dixie Duo. In 1921 they created Shuffle Along, starring Florence Mills. Shuffle Along changed Broadway musical theater by introducing a Jazz dancing chorus line and the vitality and style of African American music to a more “refined” mainstream theater. Sissle and Blake wrote songs, including the well-known “I'm Just Wild About Harry.” They also produced Runnin' Wild (1924) and Chocolate Dandies (1924). In 1937 Sissle was the cofounder and first president of the Negro Actors' Guild. In 1945 and 1946, Sissle toured Europe with a USO show, performing a re-staged Shuffle Along.

Reference Entry.  160 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History

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