Ada Overton Walker was given birth to for the Valentines Day when you look at the 1880 inside The fresh new York’s Greenwich Community

Since a baby she received moving education of an excellent Mrs. Thorp from inside the midtown Manhattan. To 1897, shortly after graduating regarding Thorp’s moving college, she toured briefly which have Black colored Patti’s Troubadours. A good girlfriend allowed their particular to help you model having a promotion that have Bert Williams and George Walker, who’d merely obtained a bump within their vaudeville debut during the Koster and Bial’s Music Hallway. She wanted to model into the advertising and you may after that inserted the newest dudes in order to dance from the cakewalk finale. After signing up for John W. Isham’s Octoroon, an excellent critic on Indianapolis Freeman proclaimed, “I had merely seen the number one girl performer.” Having Elegance Halliday she molded the new brother dance act away from Overton and you can Halliday. They did due to the fact pair of Honolulu Belles about Williams and you may Walkers’ The insurance policy Members (1899), and you may after that, Overton began to make while the an excellent soloist with additional ample positions. From the audio comedy The latest Sons off Ham (1900) she carried out and you will danced “Miss Hannah from Savannah” and you can “Best Lady”; plus in its second release, “Society” and you may “Sparkling Ruby” which delivered their particular jubilant recognition. James Weldon Johnson authored you to definitely she “had a decreased-pitched voice that have a natural sob in order to they, and therefore she know making use of that have informing perception into the putting more than a song” (Johnson 1933). Tom Fletcher appreciated her due to the fact an artist who performed ragtime songs and you can ballads equally well; so when a performer “just who could carry out every little thing, with no count whether it was buck-and-wing, cakewalk, if not some type of grotesque dancing . . . she lent new efficiency a cool gracefulness of movement unparalleled of the anyone” (Fletcher 1954).

Within the 1910, she registered the fresh Wise Set, a black colored theatrical providers, and you can starred in Their Honor the brand new Hairdresser (1911)

To the June twenty two, 1899, adopting the closure out-of A happy Coon, the latest ragtime tunes demonstrated of the Ann Charters since the “a great hodge-podge of all things throughout the ‘coon’ line of money-dance and ragtime tunes in order to selections regarding the huge opera,” Overton partnered George Walker; the connection would change and escalate the new cakewalk of a core African-Western everyone dancing towards a black colored modernist term, a top ways well worth getting kaunis Latina naiset haluavat tavata sinut did just before royalty, for the white professional, and on the newest performance phase.

You to night if you find yourself onstage, George Walker, playing the new character out-of Bud Jenkins, turned sick

Williams and you can Walker’s Dahomey (1903) is among the first black musicals to locate the latest cakewalk’s conversion process. Involved, Aida (she changed brand new spelling away from their identity out-of Ada so you’re able to Aida, title of the Haitian lwa away from virility) played Rosetta Lightfoot that have a presented solamente, “I would like to Getting a genuine Lady,” while the “Cakewalk Finale,” married because of the their husband. “The fresh range, this new elegance, brand new in hopes euphoria ones performers, whom bent more than backward up until their thoughts almost handled the ground, a feat demanding an amazing number of electricity, their enthusiastic prancing, almost inside the slow-motion, have not become equaled in this particular revel, let-alone surpassed,” penned Carl Van Vechten (Van Vechten 1974). Dahomey is brought to London, in which it had been demonstrated in the a demand abilities ahead of Queen Edward VII from the Buckingham Palace. Uk high society accompanied the fresh new Regal Family members having a beneficial pouring passion to have cakewalking. The company gone back to Ny with a brand new types of the musical entitled When you look at the Dahomey, and this exposed at the Huge Opera (1904).

Into the Williams and you can Walker’s 2nd tell you, Abyssinia (1906), Overton Walker was both a performer and show’s choreographer. She try next seemed for the and you can staged the new songs wide variety to own Bandanna Land (1908). Their episodes were after detected as the syphilis. During the 1909 the guy kept the reveal, with his role are rewritten for Overton Walker, whom donned their showy outfits and performed his numbers, plus their significant song, “Bon bon Buddie.” Together with her partner’s reputation more sluggish wearing down, and you may confronted with in which their particular coming put, she selected not to ever replace her price having Williams and Walker and rather joined the new cast off Bob Cole and you will J. Rosamonde Johnson’s New Purple Moonlight (1909) in which she try looked in two audio number: “Pheobe Brown” and you can “Pickaninny Weeks,” moving dollar-and-wing on the chorus. She second unwrapped within The fresh York’s Western Theater that have good vaudeville operate presenting a separate moving, new “Kara Kara,” otherwise dance l’Afrique.