Tapology Concert Performance featuring Mercedes Ellington

7:00 pm Sunday October 28th at The Whiting

2008 Harold Cromer

legend-harold-cromer“As a kid in the late 1920s in Hell’s Kitchen,” Harold Cromer recalls, “my twin sister and I used to go to the Chelsea Theatre on 8th Ave. where I saw the great Bill Robinson tap dancing. As kids, we were all playing hockey out in the street on roller skates. While I was roller skating and playing hockey, flashbacks of Robinson would c me to me, and there I was, trying to emulate him on roller skates—and not falling down, either!”

Cromer’s roller-skating routine became his trademark, bringing him steady exposure in theater, vaudeville and films during the 1930s and 40s. His period of greatest success came during the early 1950s, after he joined forces with another gifted dancer, James Cross, and became a member of the comedy team “Stump and Stumpy”. The pair worked steadily in theaters and nightclubs (often on bills with the likes of Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra), as well as on television programs such as The Milton Berle Show.

During these years, Stump and Stumpy inspired a generation of young comedians—including Jerry Lewis, who has publicly cited their influence.

They toured the “Black Vaudeville” circuit with the likes of the Nicholas Brothers, Buck and Bubbles, and Duke Ellington. The heart of the Stump and Stumpy routine was tap and comedy, often performed in theater. So good were the pair, that it’s said Mel Brooks, Jerry Lewis and others have “borrowed” the routines to perform in other venues. Harold “Stumpy” Cromer would later say that Mel Brooks stole from the act to create Brooks’ The Producers.

On the radio, Cross and Cromer appeared on The Steve Allen Show; on television they appeared on the Kate Smith Hour, and The Milton Berle Show; on stage they made appearances with the likes of Frank Sinatra. Continuing to experience success, they were featured in the movie This is the Army.

A long list of other appearances for Stump and Stumpy includes leading theaters and night clubs with Count Basie, and tours with Nat Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Stan Kenton, and Sophie Tucker.

Described as a dancer “with fleet-footed precision” by David Freeland of the New York Press, and “one of the last old fashioned song and dance men,” Harold Cromer represents more than 70 years of tap performance, tradition and history.

He continues to give back to the community and to youth and will be teaching tap and dance workshops at this year’s Tapology festival.

Having been a true pioneer of Tap dance, vaudeville, radio, stage, television and movies, we are proud to honor Harold “Stumpy” Cromer with the Tapology 2008 Living Legend Award, during the Living Legends Lunch held October 25, 2008 at Sarvis Food Center on the Flint Cultural Center Campus.


  • Mercedes Ellington, Broadway and television tap dancer, choreographer, director, and producer who has preserved and extended the musical legacy of her grandfather, Duke Ellington, and who has been hailed as "one of the brightest dancing stars this universe has ever known," was born to Ruth Silas and musician and bandleader
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  •   “The McFadden Brothers” are world-class entertainers whose career spans across many countries and venues. Their unique style and abilities have earned them the label as being a “triple threat,” in that they are both accomplished singers, tap dancers and musicians.  Their show encompasses their own unique style of entertainment
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  • At age 14, Wheeler met Maceo Anderson of "The Four Step Brothers". In short order young Ivery become a hoofer performing in Anderson's groups, "Four Steps and a Miss" and later "The Third Generation Steps". Wheeler has credits in monumental hit "The Cotton Club" and Broadway & Paris performances of
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  • Actor-Director-Filmmaker is a native of New Orleans who continues to cross-over varied artistic mediums, whether serving as the Co-Producer/Director/Writer on the award-winning short film "Tap Rap," starring Savion Glover, to starring on Broadway in the award-winning Cy Coleman musical "The Life," which garnered him an Outer Critics Circle nomination, as
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  • Professor Allen is currently Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology. Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, is the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was
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  • A unique Dancer, composer, comedian, actor, choreographer, stuntman, and bandleader who combines his talents to create surprising performances. He has been teaching at the Alvin Ailey dance school and lecturing at the renowned Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., among others. Chester Whitmore has his own well-reputed dance company, Black Ballet
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  • Celebrates 18 years as Founder and Artistic Director of New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble. This St. Louis, MO native is known throughout the New York area as a distinguished tap professional. She is the protégé of Leslie "Bubba" Gaines of the Copasetics and student of many tap masters including Broadway
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  • David Gilmore's recent performance credits include appearances in the American Festival of the Feet at Duke University and Tap Extravaganza in New York. A native of Charleston, S.C., he grew up immersed in the melodious soulful sounds of the South, finding his musical outlet in his hometown high school marching
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  • Tina Pratt is an extraordinary tap, ballet and modern dancer, producer, writer and lecturer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   Her performing experience is quite extensive, having performed with a number of fine entertainers, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Nancy Wilson, Flip Wilson, Redd Foxx, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Frank Fontaine and Shecky
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  •   Germaine Ingram of Philadelphia. Festival Honoree – Performer, Documentarian, Attorney and was Asst Superintendent for Philadelphia Schools. Ms. Ingram has taught tap in workshops in the U.S. and Europe and to dance and theater majors at Philadelphia's University of the Arts. She has choreographed for musical theater, as well as
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  • “As a kid in the late 1920s in Hell’s Kitchen,” Harold Cromer recalls, “my twin sister and I used to go to the Chelsea Theatre on 8th Ave. where I saw the great Bill Robinson tap dancing. As kids, we were all playing hockey out in the street on roller
    Read More
  • Dancer, singer, actor, mentor, legend. These are just a few of the titles that can be associated with the 2007 Tapology Tap Dance Festival Honoree. Having traveled the world from Cairo, to London, to Switzerland, even hosting his own variety show in Australia, Arthur Duncan is much more than a
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