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

Washington, Ford Lee "Buck"

(born: 1903  -  died: 1955) 

Born in Louisville, KY, Washington was a pianist, vaudeville dancer, and occasional singer. As a teen, he teamed with dancer John W. Sublett (both were orphans). 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. 


Cited in this Entry

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

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Washington, Ford Lee "Buck",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 2, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-08-21 23:11:05