Greenwood Press / ISBN 0313295344 (2001)
A very scholarly book, this has the usual foreword and acknowledgments, also a list
of abbreviations (biographical, other biographical and general) and a list of symbols.
What it does not have is a table of contents, which I find irritating. To find out
what performers are listed, you flip through the book (names are in alphabetical order)
or go to the index (if you are searching for a particular name). And although the title
suggests earlier names from minstrelry and vaudeville, the fact is many of the
names are modern and already familiar to most readers.
Is it nit-picking to say these are the former are the ones the book should have been devoted to,
and not names like Josephine Baker, Sidney Poitior, W.E.B. Du Bois? (How did he get in here?!)
whose names are known to all and where there is information available ad nauseum on? As much of a
fan as I am of Pearl Bailey, I doubt her name will soon be forgotten. The full page she is given
here would have given extra space to George Bailey and "Peg-Leg" Bates. Too little is known of
them these days and too little attention is paid to them in this book.