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Edmund's Cellar is where Ethel Waters rose to fame.
Edmond’s Cellar was a cabaret located on 132nd Street and 5th Ave. It was owned by Edmond “Mule” Johnson. Ethel Waters said that it was “the last stop on the way down in show business” in
His Eye Is on the Sparrow,
her 1951 autobiography. Artificial flowers covered the low ceilings while the old photographs of previous entertainers hung on the walls. A 3-piece band performed there along with various entertainers nightly for the crowd composed of drug dealers, prostitutes, transvestites, and thieves. Ethel Waters rose to fame while Edna Wilson became well known for her “showing your laundry” comic dance routine in which she would show her underwear. Eleven or twelve-hour stints would begin at 9 pm. Starting then, one could listen to Ethel Waters’ “Shim Me Sha Wabble”, “Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night”, “Shake That Thing” and “St. Louis Blues”.
Listen to her song, "Shoo Shoo Boogie Boo" (1929)
The Harlem Renaissance : A Historical Dictionary for the Era
. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984.
. Greenwood Publishing Group. 6 May 2011.
Wintz, Cary D., and Paul Finkelman.
Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.
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