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Buckner, Conrad, 1974 - 1976

 Item — Multiple Containers

Scope and Contents

Master tap dancer Conrad "Little Buck" Buckner spoke to the Black Experience in the Arts course twice. The first time was 9/24/1974 (2015-0002/RR1) and the 2nd was 2/3/1976 (2015-0002/RR113). Master tap dancer Conrad "Little Buck" Buckner introduced himself to students at the University of Connecticut in his 1974 appearance by performing several dance routines. He told students about growing up in Kansas City, Missouri and how his father, a singer, taught him to tap dance at age 5.

RR 1 Buckner discussed his childhood and early dancing career in his presentation. He closed by discussing how he was the 1st American tap dancer to dance behind the Iron Curtin as part of a 1959 US-Soviet cultural exchance. He felt pride in being able to introduce Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to the Moscow people.

Audio note: the volume falls very low at 10:40 and improves slightly after 11:11; returns fully at 14:20.

RR 113 Hale Smith introduces Mr. Buckner who spoke about his personal history and philosophies. His father worked in radio and Buckner was exposed to music, especially Swing, from a young age.


  • 1974 - 1976


Conditions Governing Access

Links to digitized content are included in the finding aid.

Biographical / Historical

Little biographical information is known about Master tap dancer Conrad "Little Buck" Buckner. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and his father, a singer, taught him to tap dance at age 5. As a child, he performed alongside many future famous entertainers such as Jane Wyman, Patricia Wymore, Joan Crawford, and Marlon Brando. Even as a young man he recognized that he was the only black performer on stage or in a program. Buckner performed on television throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including a September 27, 1959 performance on the nationally televised Ed Sullivan show. He is most recognized for his performances on the Ed Sullivan Show, appearing at least six times, most notably in 1965 and his challenge performance with Peg Leg Bates.

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2 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recordings ) : RR 1 1 reel, 1:05:23; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 113 1 reel, 0:58:18; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester.

Language of Materials

From the Series: English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US