Research Catalog

Interview with Maurice Hines, Jr.

Title
Interview with Maurice Hines, Jr. , 2017
Author
Hines, Maurice
Publication
2017

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StatusFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
AudioSupervised use *MGZMT 3-3473Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance

Details

Additional Authors
Waag, Tony
Description
Online resource (2 streaming files (approximately 2 hr. and 39 min.)) : digital +
Alternative Title
  • Dance Oral History Project.
  • Dance Audio Archive.
  • Tap Oral History Project.
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Sound recordings.
  • Oral histories.
Note
  • Interview with Maurice Hines, Jr. conducted by Tony Waag on December 4, 2017, in New York City (N.Y.), for the Dance Oral History Project of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, New York, N.Y.
  • For transcript see *MGZMT 3-3473
  • As of August 2021, only the transcript of the audio recording of this interview is available. The audio files for this interview are undergoing processing and will be available for streaming in NYPL's Digital Collections in the near future.
  • Sound quality is excellent.
  • Title supplied by cataloger.
Access (note)
  • Transcripts may not be photographed or reproduced without permission.
Funding (note)
  • The creation and cataloging of this tap oral history was made possible by a bequest of Carl Schlesinger and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Call Number
*MGZMT 3-3473
OCLC
1263179967
Author
Hines, Maurice, Interviewee.
Title
Interview with Maurice Hines, Jr. , 2017
Imprint
2017
Playing Time
023900
Type of Content
spoken word
text
Type of Medium
unmediated
audio
Type of Carrier
online resource
volume
Restricted Access
Transcripts may not be photographed or reproduced without permission.
Event
Recorded for for the Dance Oral History Project of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 2017, December 4 New York (N.Y.).
Summary
Streaming file 1 (approximately 1 hour and 26 minutes). Maurice Hines, Jr. speaks with Tony Waag about his background beginning with his birth on December 13, 1943, in Harlem [to Maurice Hines, Sr. and Alma Iola (Lawless) Hines]; learning tap dancing at age 5 at Wally Wanger's Dance Studio and how this led to his performing as a duo with his younger brother Gregory (age 3); their taking class with Henry Le Tang at his school [Henry Le Tang Dance Studio]; Le Tang's recognition of the boys' talent; their first performance (around 1951) at the Apollo [Theater], at Dinah Washington's request, as the opening act for Ruth Brown; their continuing to perform at the Apollo, every other week for about a six-month period; some of the memorable performers they met including John Bubbles and Teddy Hale; their performances at the Apollo and on The Jackie Gleason Show as springboards for their career; reminiscences of great tap dancers including Bunny Briggs, Baby Laurence, and Sammy Davis, Jr.; their continuing to perform at the Apollo Theater even after rock and roll acts became the main attraction; developing their singing in their teenage years; their Broadway debut in The Girl in Pink Tights (in 1954), choreographed by Agnes de Mille and starring Zizi Jeanmaire; an anecdote about how his mother got De Mille to engage both Gregory and Maurice even though only one dancer was required; his very fond memories of Zizi Jeanmaire; their number with Jeanmaire, choreographed by Henry Le Tang; their performing as the Hines Kids in an all-Black review at the Moulin Rouge in the Black section of Las Vegas; their being "held over" to perform in the next show, with Lionel Hampton; his wife, Gladys Hampton; his paternal grandmother Ora Hines, and her past as a show girl including an anecdote about her and Gregory's visit to the set of the (1984) film The Cotton Club; Francis [Ford Coppola; director of The Cotton Club] and his restoration of some dance numbers that had been cut [the uncut version is known as The Cotton Club Encore]; The Hines Kids' appearance, with Jack Benny, on The Jackie Gleason Show including Maurice's memories of Jackie Gleason; the pleasure of working with artists like Gleason, Benny, Ella Fitzgerald, and Diahann Carrol; the transition from The Hines Kids to Hines, Hines, and Dad [in 1963], when their father joined their act as a musician; some of the cities where they performed including Las Vegas and Atlanta (Georgia); (briefly) Stanley Kay, who was their manager; their appearances on The Johnny Carson Show; his preference for performing live in a theater rather than on tape or film; his and Gregory's experience performing in Hartford (Connecticut) in The Judy Garland Show, including his impressions of Judy Garland; an anecdote about Lena Horne; his pride in himself and in being gay; racism as having been a far bigger bar in his career than being gay; one of their first experiences with racism, in Las Vegas when visiting a hotel swimming pool at the invitation of Tallulah Bankhead; other encounters with racism, in Indiana and in Miami (Florida); the almost complete absence today of Black choreographers, directors, set designers, and other production staff on Broadway; racism not lack of talent as the cause of this; his fatigue from the constant battle with racism; Harry Belafonte as a person and as a performer; performing with Chita Rivera; Louis Johnson and Billy Wilson including how their careers were affected by racism; at this point in his life doing only what makes him happy.
Streaming file 2 (approximately 1 hour and 13 minutes). Maurice Hines, Jr. speaks with Tony Waag about his and Mercedes Ellington's company Balletap USA; his relationship with his brother Gregory (who died in 2003); Mary Bruce and her dance school in Harlem [Mary Bruce School of Dance]; the all-Black production of Guys and dolls; the (1981) musical Bring back Birdie; the (1981) Broadway musical Sophisticated ladies, in which Gregory was an original cast member; the joy he felt when dancing with Gregory in The Cotton Club; Gregory's later difficulties in finding film roles and his return to live performance; his experience as the replacement for Gregory as the lead in Sophisticated ladies including differences in Gregory's and his performances; reasons he chose not to perform in the film of Sophisticated ladies; Maurice's suggested revisions for Gregory's role upon seeing a preview of Sophisticated ladies in Philadelphia; the show Uptown...it's hot! as his most rewarding experience as a choreographer; Harlem suite, which he conceived, choreographed and directed, as a tribute to his grandmother Ora Hines; Maurice Chevalier and Sophie Tucker as two of his favorite performers; more on The Cotton Club including his learning how to modulate his acting for the camera; (very briefly) the national tour of Jelly's last jam; meeting Savion Glover as a young student and introducing him to Gregory for mentorship; the 2006 musical Hot feet and its poor critical reception; his thoughts generally about critics and reviews; the show Satchmo, which he choreographed; Tappin' thru life [: An evening with Maurice Hines], his [2013] tribute to Gregory and his parents, which he hopes to perform again; the show, based on Yo Alice (produced in workshop) that he is developing for a production in China; Gregory's children, Zachary Hines and Daria Hines; his leisure activities: shopping at thrift stores and mentoring talent; an anecdote about immediately recognizing the extraordinary talent of Barbra Streisand, a then-unknown singer he saw on Mike Wallace's television show PM East/PM West; his personal life including the fact that he is happy; Maya Angelou's advice to him about people; his delight at running into Tony Waag at thrift shops; what his mother would have told him not to say had she known he was going to be interviewed.
Funding
The creation and cataloging of this tap oral history was made possible by a bequest of Carl Schlesinger and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Connect to:
Added Author
Waag, Tony, interviewer.
Added Title
Dance Oral History Project.
Dance Audio Archive.
Tap Oral History Project.
Research Call Number
*MGZMT 3-3473
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