Music: Ai'da Without Makeup

Aïda Without Makeup

In 1921, while eel-hipped, coffee-skinned Josephine Baker wriggled with abandon through the scenes of Shuffle Along, an obscure young Negress in the chorus named Catherine Yarborough was saving her subway nickels by trudging from the stage door on 63rd Street to her dingy $3.50-a-week room on 137th Street. Few years later, both women migrated from Broadway to Europe, the racy Josephine to gaudy fame in the Casino de Paris, Catherine Yarborough to drudge over the scores of Aïda and L'Africaine in France and Italy. Some day she meant to return, become...

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