Bill Bailey -The First Moonwalk – The Apollo Theater – New York – 1955

William Norton Bailey (December 8, 1912 – December 12, 1978), was known professionally as Bill Bailey.

Born in Newport News, Virginia, Bill Bailey was an African-American tap dancer. He was also the older brother of actress and singer Pearl Bailey. Pearl was the first African-American to receive the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on October 17, 1988.

Bill was one of the best rhythm dancers of his time and is thought to be first person to be recorded doing the Moonwalk. Interestingly, he referred to it as the “Backslide,” (it was 14 years until someone actually walked on the moon)

In this video, Bill taps to an instrumental version of the Larks’ hit “The World is Waiting for Sunrise”, being performed by the Paul Williams Quartet.

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