ED GORDON, host:
On a sad note, we learned late yesterday that dancer and entertainer Fayard Nicholas, one half of the famed Nicholas Brothers dancing duo, has died. He was born in 1914 and was the eldest of the duo. He and his younger brother Harold, who died in 2000, were one of the most beloved dance teams in history. The two displayed a graceful combination of jazz, tap, ballet and acrobatics, with an artistry that entertained audiences around the world. The duo's first big break was as the featured act at New York's Cotton Club in 1932, where they appeared with the orchestras of Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. From there, they worked their way to Hollywood and starred in more than 30 musicals where they showcased not only their dancing ability, but sang a little as well.
(Soundclip of musical)
NICHOLAS BROTHERS: (Singing) Lucky number. Oh, dreaming of lucky number. Hoping that those lucky number, yeah, will show for me. Numbers only show for you and me. Super...
GORDON: The Nicholas Brothers credited the vaudevillian acts they watched growing up while on tour with their musician parents for inspiring them to dance. As the story goes, Fayard taught himself to dance after observing the various acts on the road, then taught his little brother. Their choreographic brilliance and synchronicity has inspired generations of dancers, ranging from Fred Astaire to Gregory Hines to Savion Glover. Fayard Nicholas was 91.
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