Tag Archives: Lucille Hall

VIC DICKENSON by MACEO BRUCE SHEFFIELD

Sharp-eyed reader, long-time friend, and diligent collector Rob Rothberg noticed that the photograph of Lucille Hall and Vic Dickenson showsn in an earlier post was credited to the Sheffield studios.  with typical generosity, he offers his Sheffield portrait study of a handsome Vic. 

Rob wants to know if the “Maceo B. Sheffield” credited here is also the pioneering African-American actor, 1897-1959.

I also would like to know more about Maceo Bruce Sheffield (or Scheffield), who appeared as “Chief of Wazini” in the 1921 silent THE ADVENTURES OF TARZAN.  He also acted in and produced films between 1939 and 1947. 

Patt Morrison, writing in the Los Angeles Times in 1999, confirms that he was multi-talented: “movie serial stuntman, the West’s first Negro aviator, LAPD cop and opera impresario.”  I read elsewhere that Sheffield was a police officer before he became an actor. 

A man who knew something of photography, backgrounds, and poses might have opened his own portrait studio.  In the University of Massachusetts at Amherst W.E.B. DuBois archive, there’s a photograph of DuBois and others credited to Sheffield in 1951.  I found that Vera Jackson (a pioneering Black woman photojournalist) first worked in Sheffield’s studios.  But does anyone know more?

For now, I’ll just gaze happily at Vic.  Thanks, Rob!

 

IT COULD ONLY BE VIC DICKENSON

Spending too much time at the computer results in a stiff neck and eyestrain.

But these long obsessive hours in front of the monitor or laptop bring rewards I wouldn’t have imagined.  An eBay seller has found and is offering for sale ($400.00) the scrapbook or photograph album of a singer, Lucille Hall (or Lucille Halle) who worked on the West Coast with, among others, Leon Herriford, Charlie Echols and his Dixie Rhythm Kings, appeared alongside the Mills Brothers.  I had never heard of her, and doubt that many people have.

But the first picture in her scrapbook is a beautiful publicity shot of her playing trombone (which I can’t know for sure if she did) to the right of a wholly recognizable trombonist, one of my heroes, who spent some years in California, perhaps 1944-7.

It was worth the stiff neck and eyestrain to see this:

The little statuettes (jazz Oscars, more or less) are Vic’s Esquire Awards. 

The link to the eBay site is http://cgi.ebay.com/African-American-Photo-Album-Jazz-night-club-singer_W0QQitemZ320474157913QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4a9dbf9359