From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Washington, Ford Lee "Buck"

(born: October 16, 1903  -  died: January 31, 1955) 

Born in Louisville, KY, Ford Lee Washington was a pianist, vaudeville dancer, and occasional singer. He was an orphan. As a teen, he teamed with dancer John W. Sublett. Known as "Buck and Bubbles," they broke the color barrier by performing in the white vaudeville circuit. In 1922 the team performed at the New York Palace Theatre, the top venue for vaudeville performers. Washington performed in movies and recorded with Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and Coleman Hawkins; he also recorded duets with Sublett. He performed for a short time with Jonah Jones. For more see Buck Washington, dancer extraordinaire! and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed., ed. by B. Kernfeld. 

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Sublett, John William "Bubbles"
NKAA Entry: Jones, Robert E. "Jonah"
NKAA Source: The new Grove dictionary of jazz 2nd ed.

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“Washington, Ford Lee "Buck",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-11-29 00:10:06