Honors and legacy[ edit ] Today Jeffries is respected and remembered as a pioneer who broke down rusted-shut racial doors in Hollywood and ultimately displayed a positive image as a black actor on celluloid.
Suddenly I decided to fill in the blank the way I look and feel. Tate signed the year-old Jeffries to a contract with his Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago. One of his first gigs was in a club allegedly owned by Al Capone.
InJeffries appeared in the long-running western TV series The Virginian playing a gunslinger who intimidated the town. How in the hell can I identify myself as one race or another? Jeffries went on to star in another three musical westerns over the next two years.
Jet reported that Jeffries identified as White and stated his "real" name as "Herbert Jeffrey Ball" on an application in order to marry Tempest Storm in What color do you see?
Jeffries himself, late in life, said that Howard Jeffrey was his stepfather, and his biological father was Domenico Balentino, a Sicilian who died in World War I. This benefit concert was his second the previous concert was in Bob Blake was the good guy, with a thin mustache, who wore a white Stetson and rode a white horse named Stardusk.
In those films, Jeffries starred as cowboy Bob Blake, sang and performed his own stunts. When Buell wanted to know of a likely candidate for the lead role, Jeffries nominated himself.
In the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash ofhe dropped out of high school to earn a living as a singer. His recording of "Flamingo" with Ellington, released insold more than 14 million copies in its day. Jeffries made his debut as a crooning cowboy with Harlem on the Prairiewhich was considered the first black western following the inauguration of the talkies  and the first sound Western with an all-black cast.
Jeffries, having obtained finances, wrote his own songs for the film  and hired Spencer Williams to appear with him. His first recordings were with Hines inincluding "Just to be in Carolina".
His father, whom he never knew, was of mixed SicilianFrenchItalian and Moorish roots. Playing a singing cowboy in low-budget films, Jeffries became known as the "Bronze Buckaroo" by his fans. Jeffries became a "silken, lusty baritone ," according to music critic Jonny Whiteside.
His name had been Herbert Jeffrey, but the credits on the record mistakenly called him Jeffries, so he renamed himself to match the typo. In marked contrast, Jeffries used make-up to darken his skin in order to pursue a career in jazz and to be seen as employable by the leading all-black musical ensembles of the day.
Though the silent era had seen a number of films starring only black actors, they had all but disappeared with the economic downturn and the arrival of the talkieswhich proved too expensive for many of the "white independents" funding such projects.
Watching young boys fill theatres to watch the latest western, Jeffries resolved to create a cowboy hero geared specifically for such an audience. Knowing that Tate fronted an all-black band, Jeffries claimed to be a Creoleand was offered a position as a featured singer three nights a week.
Look at my blue eyes, look at my brown hair, look at my color. In a time of American racial segregationsuch " race movies " played mostly in theaters catering to African-American audiences.
He appeared at jazz festivals and events benefiting autism and other developmental problems and lectured at colleges and universities. To fund his project, Jeffries approached a veteran B-movie producer named Jed Buell. Inwhile assembling material for the producers of a documentary film about him A Colored LifeJeffries found his birth certificate; this reminded him that he actually was born in and that he had misrepresented his age after he left home to look for a job.Herb Jeffries (born Umberto Alexander Valentino; September 24, – May 25, ) was an American actor of film and television and popular music and jazz singer-songwriter, known of his baritone voice.
In the s and s Jeffries recorded for a number of labels, including RCA Victor, Exclusive, Coral, Decca, Bethlehem. Duke Ellington: A Spiritual Biography (Lives & Legacies) [Janna Tull Steed] on ultimedescente.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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