“Forgotten Hollywood”- Citizen Belafonte…

Posted on April 26, 2023 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Harry Belafonte was a Jamaican-American singer, actor and a resolute activist.  His activism was inspired through mentorship provided by Paul Robeson, and he later became a confidante of Martin Luther King Jr. Along the way, Belafonte popularized calypso music in the 1950s. His breakthrough album Calypso in 1956 was the first million-selling LP by a single artist. His best known tunes:  Day-O (The Banana Boat Song), Jump in the Line (Shake Senora) and Jamaica Farewell.


“`In the late 1940s, Belafonte attended acting classes at the famed Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York City.  His classmates included Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Bea Arthur, Walter Matthau and Sidney Poitier. For a time, Belafonte performed with the American Negro Theater.  He began his career in music as a club singer in New York to pay for acting classes. He was backed by the Charlie Parker’s band the initial time on stage, which also included Max Roach and Miles Davis, among others. He signed a contract with RCA Victor in 1953.

“`Belafonte was recruited by Frank Sinatra to perform at the inaugural gala of John F. Kennedy in 1961, and performed alongside Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson and others. He appeared on television in variety programs, including  The Ed Sullivan Show, The Nat King Cole Show, The Steve Allen ShowSmothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and  The Flip Wilson Show. During the week of February 5th, 1968, Belafonte was in for Johnny Carson on  The Tonight Show. Among his noted guests were the Reverend King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

“`Belafonte had a big screen career, appearing with Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Fontaine, Robert Ryan and James Mason. His co-starred in Bright Road, Carmen Jones, Island in the Sun, The World the Flesh and the Devil, Buck and the Preacher and Uptown Saturday Night.

“`Belafonte supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. President Kennedy later named Belafonte cultural advisor to the Peace Corps. Throughout his career, he was also an advocate for political and humanitarian causes, such as the Anti-Apartheid Movement and USA for Africa. From 1987 until his death, he was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.  He spent the latter part of his life as a fierce advocate for many progressive causes.

“`Harry Belafonte was ninety-six.

Until next time>                                  “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 26th, 2023 at 12:02 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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