R.I.P. ARTHUR DUNCAN, TAP-DANCE MAESTRO

When I was a young’un I took great pleasure in watching ‘The Lawrence Welk Show’ on Sunday evenings. My parents and their contemporaries found this strange since Welk was way to square for them. (I can’t imagine what people my age thought of my devotion to the show). There were three main reasons that I religiously tuned in: Bobby & Cissy (the dance duo who I also watched on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ re-runs in which they were twenty years younger); a fine Goodman-esque clarinet player named Henry Questa; and the tap-dancer Arthur Duncan. I read in this mornings New York Times Obit section that Duncan passed away the other day, age 97. He was apparently still dancing up to a few years ago. The above clip is from the Welk show–he can be seen to better effect in other clips but I decided to go with the show on which I originally saw this marvelously talented exponent of a form of dance that was all but dead when he was doing it in the 1970s, but which found a revival twenty years later–one in which he participated.

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