"I wanted to be able to do everything, every kind of dance, which I've been very grateful that I studied all those various types of dancing. In the end of my life, when becoming a choreographer, it paid off for me."
About This Interview
In her three-hour-plus interview, June Taylor (1917-2004) talks about her start as a dancer in the 1930s on the nightclub circuit. She details her television debut, in the late 30s in London, dancing on her own short program. She describes her start in choreography, which became her permanent profession after she was diagnosed with TB and was hospitalized for several years. Her comeback as a choreographer was solidified when her "June Taylor Dancers" became a regular attraction on Ed Sullivan's The Toast of the Town from 1948-49. Ms. Taylor talks about the work that she did with them in this period of early television. Ms. Taylor then relates her long association with Jackie Gleason which began with her "June Taylor Dancers" as regulars on his Dumont variety show Cavalcade of Stars, highlighted by the introduction of the famous Christmas song "Sleigh Ride" with an ice-skating musical number. She describes her subsequent work with Gleason on The Jackie Gleason Show, discussing such highlights as her choreography of Gleason's original ballet "Tawny." She talks about her later work with Gleason on The American Scene Magazine, which led her to Tampa, Florida where the show would eventually originate, and finally The Jackie Gleason Show, which would include color musical "Honeymooners " shows. Michael Rosen conducted the interview in Hallandale, FL. on May 9, 2000.