2 3 Throwback Thursday and D. Ray White | Ballet Webb

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Throwback Thursday and D. Ray White

Throwback Thursday and D. Ray White

I’ve been watching Ken Burn’s fascinating series on country music and it made me wonder about dance in the mountains. While researching I ran across the subject of today’s blog: D. Ray White.

He was born Donald Ray White on April 17, 1927 In Bandytown, Boone County, West Virginia. He became a mountain dancer and entertainer who mixed tap and clogging and was soon a local celebrity. He became known as one of the greatest mountain dancers of his time.

D. Ray White has been featured in several documentaries about the colorful White family. The PBS special Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance - Flatfoot, Buck and Tap. His son Jesco White (one of thirteen children) carried on his style and is known as “The Dancing Outlaw”. Jesco was profiled in a 1991 PBS special The Dancing Outlaw. There was also a documentary called The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. In addition, Hank Williams III did a song titled D. Ray White (see the Quote of the Day below).

On July 2, 1985, after a quarrel between Steve Allen Rowe and White and his sons, D. Ray White was killed by a shotgun wound to the chest. He was 60 years old.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Secret #289:
“D. Ray White was a well-known Appalachian dancer and entertainer.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
"D Ray White
Way down in West Virginia
There are some people who are one of a kind
They don't need nothin' from nobody
'Cause they're already doin' fine…”
- Hank Williams III 

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