Music: Sugar Chile to the Rescue

Nothing like it had ever happened to a Sigmund Romberg operetta before. In Detroit, the Civic Light Opera Association decided that Romberg's My Maryland needed a bright boy to jive it up a little—and they knew just the right boy to do it. Frank ("Sugar Chile") Robinson, a young Negro (who is eight according to his father, eleven according to school records), is a piano-playing natural.

There was no suitable role for him in the operetta, based in part on the Barbara Frietchie story.* So the manager wrote in a speaking part for him. Sugar Chile, already a movie veteran (No Leave,...

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