From the George Mann Archives: Josephine Baker live in Paris, 1931


Today On Bunker Hill is proud to present a bombshell from the archives of George Mann: never-before-seen footage of the legendary American dancer Josephine Baker on stage in Paris in 1931. This too-brief glimpse at the athletic and erotic antics of Miss Baker and company predate Mann’s astonishing color photographs of Bunker Hill by about thirty years.

Like Miss Baker, George Mann was headlining in Paris in spring 1931, as one half of the dance team Barto & Mann. His good friend Bob Vernon was a lead dancer in Miss Baker’s revue at the Casino de Paris, and it was this close association that allowed George Mann to set his movie camera up just on the edge of the stage and capture a scene that is sure to captivate. It seems Miss Baker was a bit captivated, too, if the name “Mann” in quotes on her autographed photograph is anything to go by.

Josephine Baker photograph autographed to George Mann

Author: Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons and forensic science seminars of LAVA- The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.