An American Story: Black And White Images Captured By ‘Teenie’ Harris That Tell The Musical History Of Black America In The 20th Century

1 Posted by - March 17, 2015 - LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today, Photo Gallery

He was known as ‘One Shot Harris’. Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris earned the nickname because he often captured his most moving images in his first take.

The late photographer’s archive of nearly 80,000 is said to be the most expansive record of African American urban culture known today.

Now, fourteen years after his death, Mr Harris’ work is being lauded in a retrospective exhibit, featuring rarely-seen images of Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong and other enduring names.

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Cutting up: Duke Ellington at the piano, with dancer Charles ‘Honi’ Coles and Billy Strayhorn looking on, in the Stanley Theatre, c 1942-1943

Side-by-side: An undated photo of Louis Armstrong and Ann Baker in a booth at Crawford Grill No 1 restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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Icons: Eartha Kitt leaping though poster to launch a Citizens Committee on Hill District Renewal program, left, and Nina Simone holding cigarette and seated in chair c 1965, right

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Star: Josephine Baker accepting a Hill City membership card from Leslie Powell, with George Fairley holding police badges honouring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and Howard McKinney. Unknown man in background, c 1951

Charming: Lena Horne standing next to cake inscribed ‘Greetings Lena Horne’, with Bill Nunn Sr on right, in Loendi Club, October 1944


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Fanfare: Duke Ellington signing autographs in a crowd, including Isabella Marble, Marverine and Blanche Cathcart, c 1946-1947

Backstage: Singer and actor Ethel Waters in costume before she takes the stage, c 1940

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All smiles: Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson seated with child on his knee, and surrounded by three other children, in Hill City, c 1940

All the right notes: Cozy Harris playing piano sheet music for ‘Mother of Mine,’ with cigar in his mouth, next to an unknown woman, c 1950-1955

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Happy together: Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines, Erroll Garner, Billy Eckstine, Maxine Sullivan and Mary Lou Williams gather around a piano in Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh for Night of Stars, August 7, 1946

Blow man, blow! Musicians gathered around Roy Eldridge playing trumpet, backstage of the Stanley Theatre, July 1941

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