One of the most inspiring facts to know is that several musicians were fond of hats and were them regularly to have a sense of style. The next few weeks will focus on that.
Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the “Black Pearl,” “Bronze Venus” and even the “Creole Goddess”. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St Louis, MO. Josephine later became a citizen of France in 1937. She was fluent in both English and French.
Baker was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker, who refused to perform for segregated audiences in America, is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
Ms. Baker dropped out of school at the age of 12 and began living on the street. To survive, she scavenged food in garbage cans and danced on street corners. This attracted her a lot of attention, and she ended up being recruited to the vaudeville stage at the age of 15. Later on, she moved to France, where she found fame as anexotic dancer.
The girl in the song, who is described as an unhappy, but talented, stripper, probably sees parallels between her own life and the life of Josephine Baker. She hopes to someday escape her current situation and move on to live a more glamorous lifestyle.
There are also several similarities between Josephine Baker and Penny from Good Times which gives us an ever greater picture of the girl in the song and her childhood. Both Penny and Baker grew up without father figures, and were abused as children. They were even abused in virtually the same way: Penny was burned by her mother with an iron simply out of aggression, and Baker was burned by the woman she was working for when she put too much soap in the laundry.
Josephine Baker is often credited as a source of inspiration for several writers, including Langston Hughes…
Read more here: at Wikipedia.