Latest News & Developments

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Developments in the world of Florence Mills lore may not happen at the frenetic pace of the modern media but there are plenty of things happening from time to time so I hope to update this page regularly.
The previous editions of news can be seen still at Archive No. 1No. 2 , No.3 , No.4 , No.5 , No.6 , No.7No.8 , NO.9No.10No.11No.12No.13No.14, No.15  No.16 and No.17

New book with important Florence Mills connections

February being Black History Month I am pleased to announce that the final text of my new book on
the history of

African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: From First Fleet (1788) to Pearl Harbor (1941

is now in the hands of the publisher (
McFarland ) and will hopefully be available later this year.

 Although Florence Mills is not the subject, many of the people whose time in the region are covered were her friends, or associated with her.
 These include

Ø  Florence’s husband Ulysses ‘Slow Kid’ Thompson, who spent two years in Australia and New Zealand after her death

Eva Taylor, jazz singer and wife of composer/pianist Clarence Williams
 Eva recorded Florence’s theme song “I’m a Little Blackbird” with Louis Armstrong and Sydney Bechet in 1924
 and included it in her repertoire for the rest of her life

Ivie Anderson, the greatest of Duke Ellington’s vocalists, who was performing “I’m a Little Blackbird” in Australia in 1928, only months after Florence’s death

Willie Covan, tap dancer, who was in several of Florence’s shows including Shuffle Along

Nina Mae McKinney, beautiful film star, who got her showbiz start in Blackbirds of 1928 and was hailed as “the next Florence Mills”

Crescent Clinton Rosemond, who had a long film career after he played in Florence’s show Blackbirds of 1927

The comedy dance team of Williams and Taylor, who also featured in Blackbirds of 1927

The book also notes that ten years after Florence’s death Australian newspapers were still advertising “silk stockings in the Florence Mills shade”

Anyone who would like to be kept informed of the book's progress can e-mail me at Bill [at] to be put on the advice list.

  That's all for now, folks

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