Bubbles, John W.
- Existence: 1902 - 1986
John W. Bubbles (1902-1986) was an American vaudeville singer, performer, entertainer and dancer.
John W. Bubbles was born John William Sublett in Louisville, Kentucky on February 19, 1902. As a youth, he met and formed a partnership with Ford L. "Buck" Washington in Indianapolis and performed as "Buck and Bubbles." They had many important appearances such as being the first black artists to appear in the Radio City Music Hall and it may be said that they were the first black artists performing live on television.
Bubbles is known as the father of "rhythm tap", which is a style of tap dance that works with the improvisatory style of jazz because it allowed for more rhythmic freedom. In 1935 Bubbles was chosen the play the role of Sportin' Life in the opera Porgy and Bess, but he only occasionally played the role. Some later life appearances Bubbles had included touring the war zone during the Vietnam War and being a part of a few Hollywood films and on television. Bubbles died on May 18, 1986 in New York City.
Citation:Wikipedia.org, "John W. Bubbles." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bubbles, visited 17 Dec 2012. (all above information)
Ancestry.com, "John W. Bubbles," (b. 1902, d. 1986). Boards. http://boards.ancestry.com/topics.obits/109361/mb.ashx. Visited December 17, 2012. (all above information).
Chadbourne, Eugene. Billboard.com, "John W. Bubbles: Biography," (b. 1902, d. 1986). http://www.billboard.com/artist/john-w-sublett/bio/500727#/artist/john-w-sublett/bio/500727. Visited December 17, 2012. (born 1902; d. 1986; performed in "Cabin in the Sky," Sportin' Life in "Porgy and Bess," started working with Buck as a child in Indianapolis; father of rhythm tap; did television performances; did USO tour with Bob Hope.)
Wikipedia, August 18, 2015 (John W. Bubbles; born John William Sublett; b. Feb. 19, 1902 in Louisville, Kentucky; d. May 18, 1986 in New York City; formed partnership with Ford L. "Buck" Washington in Indianapolis and performed as "Buck and Bubbles"; first black artists to appear in the Radio City Music; may be said that they were first black artists to perform live on television; father of "rhythm tap"; "rhythm tap" allows for more rhythmic freedom and works with the improvisatory style of jazz; chosen in 1935 to play role of Sportin' Life in the opera Porgy and Bess and occasionally played role; toured Vietnam war zone; appeared in a few Hollywood films; appeared on television)
Found in 16 Collections and/or Records:
John W. Bubbles papers
John W. Bubbles address books and business cards, approximately 1930-1986
John W. Bubbles artifacts, approximately 1925-1986
Contains artifacts and personal effects of Bubbles. First, contains a briefcase, likely belonging to John Bubbles. Inside the briefcase are folders for holding music. Also contains gifts he received from people, including a decorative plate and a wooden carved elephant, as well as a transistor radio in the shape of a piano, more music folders, pens and badges, and other ephemera. Materials date from approximately 1925 to 1986.
John W. Bubbles clippings, approximately 1935-1980
John W. Bubbles clippings, film recordings, and audio recordings, approximately 1925-1985
John W. Bubbles correspondence, approximately 1935-1984
Contains correspondence of Bubbles. Includes several letters and telegrams from his associates in business, including William Redd Knight and the Gershwin brothers. Also includes holiday cards from admirers, friends, and family members. Also includes some correspondence from family members only, including Bubbles' sister, Carrie, his wives, and his nephew. Materials date from approximately 1935 to 1984.
John W. Bubbles music files, approximately 1894-1975
Contains music files of Bubbles. Includes a large collection of sheet music, some related to Porgy and Bess and Bubbles' career, but more often just music of other performers, such as Bing Crosby. Includes some composition sheets and practice sheets for learning the piano, such as cadence practice and other materials. Finally, contains songbooks collected by Bubbles presumably with hits from the 1930s and 1940s. Materials date from approximately 1894 to 1975.
John W. Bubbles performance contracts, approximately 1942-1980
Contains contract agreements for Bubbles as a performer. Includes information about pay and number of performances for corporations like CBS, the American Guild of Variety Artists, Nat Nazarro, and others. Includes letters, telegrams, and contracts. Materials date from approximately 1942 to 1980.
John W. Bubbles performance files, approximately 1937-1985
John W. Bubbles personal papers, approximately 1920-2000
- Archival Object 15
- Collection 1
- Entertainers -- United States 15
- Letters 6
- African Americans 5
- Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 5
- Media and Communication 5
- Performing Arts 5
- Social Life and Customs 5
- Notated music 3
- Photographs 3
- Address books 2
- Advertising fliers 2
- Artifacts 2
- Audiotapes 2
- Business cards 2
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.) 2
- Contracts 2
- Gershwin, George, 1898-1937. Porgy and Bess 2
- Phonograph records 2
- Songbooks 2
- Telegrams 2
- Video tapes 2
- Videocassettes 2
- Advertisements 1
- Articles 1
- Audiocassettes 1
- Autographs 1
- Black-and-white negatives 1
- Color negatives 1
- Entertainers -- United States -- Photographs 1
- Notes 1
- Oral histories 1
- Programs 1
- Scrapbooks 1
- Sound recordings 1
- Theater -- Reviews 1
- Video recordings 1 ∧ less