Bruce Guthrie Photos Home Page: [Click here] to go to Bruce Guthrie Photos home page.
Recognize anyone? If you recognize specific folks (or other stuff) and I haven't labeled them, please identify them for the world. Click the little pencil icon underneath the file name (just above the picture). Spammers need not apply.
Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
Spiders: The system has identified your IP as being a spider. I love well-behaved spiders! They are, in fact, how most people find my site. Unfortunately, my network has a limited bandwidth and pictures take up bandwidth. Spiders ask for lots and lots of pages and chew up lots and lots of bandwidth which slows things down considerably for regular folk. To counter this, you'll see all the text on the page but the images are being suppressed. Also, a number of options like merges are being blocked for you.
Note: Permission is NOT granted for spiders, robots, etc to use the site for AI-generation purposes. I'm excited for your ability to make revenue from my work but there's nothing in that for my human users or for me.
If you are in fact human, please email me at email@example.com and I can check if your designation was made in error. Given your number of hits, that's unlikely but what the hell.
Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
HOWARW_200509_01.JPG: The Howard Theatre Walk of Fame
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973)
Sister Rosetta Tharpe, known as the "Godmother of Rock and Roll", broke race and gender barriers with her genre-bending gospel music and guitar prowess. Initially drawing some criticism from churchgoers for the secular sound of her music, Tharpe would eventually pioneer a semblance of gospel, soul, and jazz that was the precursor to rock and roll -- her innovative style was often cited by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Chuck Berry.
Billy Eckstine (1914-1993)
Billy Eckstine spent his young adult years in the nearby Truxton Circle neighborhood before launching his career at Howard Theatre's Amateur Night talent competitions. His big band pioneered the bop jazz style, employing young, preeminent emerging artists as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Blakey. However, hits like "Cottage for Sale" (1945) and "Caravan" (1949, recording with Duke Ellington) in his solo career following his big band day would cement Eckstine's legacy as one of the country's most influential jazz vocalists.
Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)
Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song", got her start as a teenager at one of the Howard Theatre's first Amateur Night talent competitions before moving to Harlem and solidifying her electrifying career. With 13 Grammy Awards, and her and with The Chick Webb Orchestra hit "A-Tisket, A Tasket" (1938) selling over a million copies, Fitzgerald became internationally regarded as one of the most influential female singers of the twentieth century.
Cab Calloway (1907-1994)
Cab Calloway, a Baltimore native, led one of the most prominent swing-era big bands through the 1930s and 1940s. His top hit, "Minnie the Moocher" (1931), earned him the nickname "The Hi Di Ho Man" -- and ultimately served as the testament to his showmanship and signature scat-style singing.
Mamie Smith (1883-1946)
Mamie Smith, credited with being the first recorded blues singer, established a paradigm of recorded albums marketed primarily to Black Americans -- known as race records. Her hit, "Crazy Blues" (1920) singlehandedly broke color barriers in the recording industry, and propelled the blues and jazz genres into mainstream audiences of the 1920s.
Abbie Mitchell 1884-1964
Abbie Mitchell is largely known for her role of Clara in George Gershwin's 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess. She went to be the first to record "Summertime" (1935), a selection from the opera that is now considered to be a jazz standard. Fifteen years prior, Mitchell shared the bill with several vaudeville acts for the Howard Theatre's opening night on August 22, 1910.
HOWARW_200509_15.JPG: Cab Calloway
HOWARW_200509_19.JPG: Ella Fitzgerald
HOWARW_200509_24.JPG: Billy Eckstine
HOWARW_200509_29.JPG: Sister Rosetta Tharpe
HOWARW_200509_32.JPG: Billy Taylor
HOWARW_200509_35.JPG: James Brown
HOWARW_200509_38.JPG: Marvin Gaye
HOWARW_200509_41.JPG: The Howard Theatre Walk of Fame
Chuck Brown (1936-2012)
Chuck Brown, the "Godfather of Go-Go", launched his career in the 1960s as part of two groups, the Earls of Rhythm and Los Latinos. He started his own group, The Soul Searchers in 1966, with which he would define the go-go sound. A derivative of funk, R&B, and other influences -- and combined with his signature congas -- go-go quickly became sensation in the Washington metropolitan area. However, Brown's prowess on the guitar and gritty voice on the anthem "Bustin' Loose" (1978) thrust go-go into the national vernacular. He and other go-go bands performed at the Howard Theatre in the late 1970s when it reopened after the 1968 riots. Later, Brown remained a prominent figure in the Washington area, continuing to perform and make appearances on local television.
Marvin Gaye (1939-1984)
Marvin Gaye nurtured his talent in the church, playing piano as a child, before meeting doo-wop groups during his time at nearby Cardozo High School. His sound was decidedly soulful and gospel-inspired, yet innovative -- Gaye would prove to be influential in the pop genre while also shaping the sound of the Motown record label. Gaye rose to prominence with a series of 1967 duets with Tammi Terrell: "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing", "Your Precious Love", and "You're All I Need to Get By", which set the stage for his first No. 1 Billboard hit, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" (1968). After advocating for more creative control from Motown, Gaye released two projects titled after his most-known anthems: "What's Going On" (1970) and "Let's Get it On" (1973).
James Brown (1933-2006)
James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul" landed his first hit, "Please, Please, Please" (1956) with a group, The Famous Flames before embarking on a meteoric solo career that would span half a decade. Shifts in instrumentation and rhythmic philosophy, such as in Brown's first solo success "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (19650, would lay the foundation of funk, pop, disco, and -- a couple of decades later -- hip-hop. One of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Brown's energetic, dance-filled performances inspired the likes of Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, and Prince.
Billy Taylor (1921-2010)
Billy Taylor, one of the most visible advocates for jazz, spent the early days of his youth jamming with friends in the lunchroom of nearby Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. The Howard Theatre and U Street corridor served as incubators for swing and jazz, and Taylor took full advantage of the talent in the neighborhood before moving to New York to pursue his career. The next couple of decades would see major success, including the Civil Rights Movement anthem "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" (1952). Taylor then pivoted his career to focus on music education and jazz appreciation, forming Jazzmobile in 1961, a program dedicated to this cause, and worked for CBS to conduct hundreds of interviews of musicians.
About the Howard Theatre Walk of Fame
The Howard Theatre Walk of Fame celebrates the District of Columbia's rich musical history and is homage to the iconic artists that played the legendary venue.
The Walk of fame was conceived by the neighboring Shaw and LeDroit Park communities, stemming from a desire to preserve and honor the rich history of the historic Howard Theatre.
In 2008, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development teamed with Cultural Tourism DC to research, collect, and prepare relevant historic information related to the Howard Theatre. From this extensive research fifteen (15) artists who had performed at the Howard Theatre were selected to be honored on the Walk of Fame. The selected artist-honorees represent a wide variety of musical genres, made important contributions to the cultural life of the District and achieved a national reputation for artistic excellence. Together, these honorees represent a diverse and dynamic selection of performing artists since the Theatre's founding in 1910.
In 2016, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities issued a request for proposals for the design of the Walk of Fame. Washington, DC-based design firm Hackreative was selected to develop, design, and install the project.
Hackreative project team members included:
Curry Hackett (Principal, urban design)
Jay Coleman (Artist, sculpture)
Joanna Blake (Artist, sculpture)
Harry G. Robinson, III, FAIA (Consultant, urban design)
HOWARW_200509_54.JPG: The Howard Theatre Walk of Fame
Moms Mabley (1918-1990)
Moms Mabley was a legendary personality in comedy and became a staple of what became known as the "chitlin' circuit" -- a chain of performance venues that primarily booked Black acts through the 1960s. When she came out as a lesbian, her career went on to critiqued normative perceptions of race and sexuality in comedy. Mabley's gritty humor and grandmotherly personality charmed audiences from the Howard Theatre to Carnegie Hall, while giving her the platform to comment on the most pertinent social issues.
Pearl Bailey (1907-1994)
Pearl Bailey spent her early singing days in Washington, often opening for other burgeoning contemporaries like Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. Eventually becoming a mainstay of "Black Broadway" herself. Bailey's voluminous voice went on to perform in a wildly successful, all-Black production of Hello, Dolly! This, along with her performance in Porgy and Bess, would solidify her career in musical theatre, earning her a Tony Award.
Lionel Hampton (1908-2002)
Lionel Hampton, a prominent force in the swing area, demonstrated unparalleled dexterity of the vibraphone. In addition to popularizing the instrument, his association with Benny Goodman, a white jazz clarinetist, would serve as an important example of integration -- at a time when Jim Crowe-era oppression left many Black artists struggling to appeal to mainstream audiences. Hampton's own band would go on to set the state for rhythm and blues with jumping hits like "Flying Home" (1939).
Ruth Brown (1928-2006)
Ruth Brown was discovered at Crystal Caverns -- Bohemian Caverns' predecessor -- when Cab Calloway's sister, Blanche, arranged the gig. She was later discovered by Atlantic Records. After signing to the emergent label in 1949, Brown pivoted from ballads to rhythm and blues (R&B), and garnered her first hit "So Long" (1949). This would be the first of many of her R&B successes, earning the fitting nickname "Miss Rhythm". Brown's cadence slowed slightly during the 1960s before becoming a vehement advocate for artist royalties in the 1970s; she was instrumental in the founding of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which continues to support the civil rights of musicians.
The Clovers (1946- )
The Clovers could first be heard wooing their classmates at nearby Truxton Circle's Armstrong High School. The original trio, Harold Lucas, Billy Shelton, and Thomas Woods, became a quartet with the addition of lead singer John "Buddy" Bailey -- and the "Four Clovers" were born. Matthew McQuater and Harold Winley would eventually replace Shelton and Woods; with Bill Harris onboard as their signature guitarist, the group was primed for their first hit "Don't You Know I Love You" (1951). The Clovers' anthem "Love Potion No. 9" (1959) culminated a decade of doo-wop and R&B chart-topping dominance during the 1950s.
HOWARW_200509_67.JPG: Chuck Brown
HOWARW_200509_69.JPG: Howard Theatre Walk of Fame
HOWARW_200509_73.JPG: Moms Mabley
HOWARW_200509_76.JPG: Pearl Bailey
HOWARW_200509_82.JPG: Lionel Hampton
HOWARW_200509_85.JPG: Ruth Brown
HOWARW_200509_88.JPG: The Clovers
Bigger photos? To save server space, the full-sized versions of these images have either not been loaded to the server or have been removed from the server. (Only some pages are loaded with full-sized images and those usually get removed after three months.)
I still have them though. If you want me to email them to you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and I can email them to you, or, depending on the number of images, just repost the page again will the full-sized images.
Connection Not Secure messages? Those warnings you get from your browser about this site not having secure connections worry some people. This means this site does not have SSL installed (the link is http:, not https:). That's bad if you're entering credit card numbers, passwords, or other personal information. But this site doesn't collect any personal information so SSL is not necessary. Life's good!