Biographical Overview from FrankieManning.com
FRANKIE MANNING, AMBASSADOR OF LINDY HOP: 1914-2009
Legendary Lindy hopper Frankie Manning passed away on April 27, 2009, one month before his 95th birthday.
Swing dancer extraordinaire Frankie Manning was a leading dancer at Harlem’s legendary Savoy Ballroom where, in the mid-1930s, he revolutionized the course of the lindy hop with his innovations, including the lindy air step and synchronized ensemble lindy routine.
As a featured dancer and chief choreographer for the spectacular Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, he performed in numerous films (including Hellzapoppin’), and entertained on stages around the world with jazz greats Ethel Waters, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway.
Upon the demise of the Swing Era, Frankie took a job in the Post Office, where he worked for thirty years until his rediscovery by a new generation of swing dance enthusiasts in the mid-1980s. From that time until his passing, Frankie had been in constant demand and motion, teaching, choreographing, and performing globally. He won a 1989 Tony Award for his choreography in Black and Blue, and served as a consultant for and performed in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. Frankie’s activities have been chronicled in hundreds of articles (including features in GQ and People) and dozens of news programs (including a profile on ABC’s 20/20).
Considered the world’s leading authority on the lindy, he is highlighted in Ken Burns’s acclaimed documentary, Jazz. His autobiography, Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop, co-written by Cynthia R. Millman, was published by Temple University Press in spring 2007.
Autobiography of Frankie Manning – PAPERBACK OR HARDCOVER
Ambassador of Lindy Hop, the account of Frankie Manning’s many lives from 1914 until today, is a delight to the eye, the ear and the heart. The story is told in Manning’s own voice from his excellent recollection, and has been formed into a tight memoir with pruning and coaxing from his collaborator, Cynthia Millman.