Bricktop and Jim Haskins
ISBN 9781566491143 (paperback)
Published in August 1999
MSRP $14.00
"My greatest claim to fame is that I discovered Bricktop before Cole

- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Few people deserved to be called living legends, but Bricktop was the genuine article. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Waugh wrote about her in a poem, and Cole Porter wrote Miss Otis Regrets for her to sing. She gave Duke Ellington his first New York break and shepherded a young Josephine Baker. She taught the Black Bottom to the Prince of Wales and the Charleston to the Aga Khan. Everybody who was anybody haunted Bricktop club in the Paris of the 1920s and 1930s and the Mexico City and Rome of the three decades following. And she was friend, entertainer, confidante, mother hen, and sometimes banker to them all.

Hers is the colorful, candid, high-spirited story of a scrappy redhead colored girl from West Virginia and Chicago who combined her unerring eye for talent and chic with a uniquely American brashness and an eminently European sophistication to become the toast of two continents. Her book is crammed with anecdotes about the rich, powerful, and famous of several decades, from Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, Jelly Roll Morton, and Legs Diamond to Edward G. Robinson, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, John Steinbeck, Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra, and a dazzling array of kings and princes.

JIM HASKINS was professor of English at the University of Florida and lived in Gainesville, Florida and New York City. He received numerous industry awards for his books as well as the Washington Post / Children's Book Guild Award for his body of work in children's nonfiction. He served as guest curator for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) exhibition, The Jazz Age in Paris, which opened in Washington, DC in May 1997, and subsequently went on a national tour.