Posted on 07/13/2015

Photo taken on August  1, 1922

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Chappelle and Stinnette
Juanita Stinnette Chappelle
Thomas Chappelle
Husband and wife act
C&S Phonograph Record Co.

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Photo replaced on July 13, 2015
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Chappelle and Stinnette

Chappelle and Stinnette
Thomas (Chappy) Chappelle and Juanita Stinnette, were a popular husband and wife dance team of the 1920s and 30s. They also included songs in their dance act and later performed as singing actors in musical comedies. They also formed their own record label in the early '20s.

Juanita Stinnette was a vaudeville performer, as well as co-producer of the Chappelle and Stinnette Revue and the Chappelle and Stinnette record label during the Harlem Renaissance Era. In 1912, Stinnette toured with Salem Tutt Whitney and Homer Tutt's Smart Set Company, a vaudeville and musical comedy act. She later married the man that convinced her to join the show, Thomas Chappelle. The couple toured together for several years and, by 1922, had their own revue, Chappelle and Stinnette Revue. The couple starred as a dancing team in such reviews as Yaller Gal (1924) and Kentucky Sue (1926).

Around 1926, the couple produced nine blues discs under their record label Chappelle and Stinnette, manufactured by C&S Phonography Record Company. The song "Decatur Street Blues," by Clarence Williams, is the only song recorded that was not sung by the duo. Chappelle also appeared in a few Broadway shows, including How Come? (1923), Deep Harlem (1929), and Sugar Hill(1931). Chappelle died of peritonitis following surgery a day before her thirty-third birthday in 1932.

Sometime after her death it appears her husband fell on hard times ..... an article in the Afro American (Aug. 11, 1942): "Chappie Chappelle of the old song and dance team of Chappelle and Stinnette was given a prison sentence of three years in New York the other day for pimping (compulsory prostitution was the charge).

After Chappie's jail term he was able to slip into a comfortable retirement -- NY Amsterdam News Dec. 13, 1958: "Senior Citizens Give Thanksgiving Play," where Chappie, along with former chorus girl Mary Newton ("versatile retired members of the professional stage") heading a cast of talented amateurs, put on a play at the Red Shield Senior Citizens Center in Harlem (224 W. 122nd St.) run by the Salvation Army -- the play was Gertrude McBrown's "Our Old-Fashion Thanksgiving Dinner," and told the story of an attempt to have a home-style Thanksgiving dinner, but all of the relatives show up and make a mess of things.

Chappie eventually suffered from dementia at the end of his life, and died at the old Pilgrim State Hospital in Long Island, NY in June of 1977. He was ninety-two.

[Bio: Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance Era, edited by Lean'tin L. Bracks, Jessie Carney Smith]

[Photo: Blacks in Blackface: A Sourcebook on Early Black Musical Shows by Henry T Sampson]

Here is a photo from their record label: www.popsike.com/pix/20090208/260359402590.jpg

And one of the songs from their label sung by Juanita Stinnette Chappelle:
2 years ago. Edited 2 years ago.