Jan. 30, 1937: Leroy Broomfield and Aurora Greeley perform at the Ubangi Club.
[Update: This is Aurora Greeley, and if you have never heard of her, you have lots of company.]
Here’s a Witzel photo that truly is a mystery….
I stumbled across this striking Witzel photo of Aurora Greeley and became curious when I couldn’t readily find much information about her. She was only mentioned once in The Times, which is not particularly surprising as the major newspapers devoted little coverage to African Americans.
Greeley and her dance partner Leroy Broomfield are mentioned in the 1999 book “Backbeat: Earl Palmer’s Story” by Tony Scherman.
Longtime Count Basie sax player Marshall Royal also remembers them in the 1996 book, written with Claire Gordon, “Marshall Royal: Jazz Survivor.”
And in the Nov. 26, 1932, issue we find Broomfield and Greeley at Frank Sebastian’s Cotton Club (d. 1950), 8781 W. Washington Blvd., in Los Angeles.
While a June 13, 1936, story says Broomfield and Greeley were back in New York at the Ubangi Club after six years on the West Coast and in China.
Nov. 4, 1939: Broomfield and Greeley are once again performing in Los Angeles.
A March 14, 1963, article in the California Eagle mentions Broomfield and says he’s been ill.
According to the Social Security Death Index, a woman named Aurora Greeley, born April 19, 1905, died in Los Angeles in March 1983. The index also lists a man named Leroy Broomfield, born Sept. 28, 1902, dying in Los Angeles in August 1971.