Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Leon Claxton, Tampa’s Black variety show producer, is featured in new documentary (Tampa Bay Times)

Leon Claxton and the great Joe Louis 

Tampa Bay Times - by Paul Guzzo - Published Feb. 24, 2022

TAMPA — Redd Foxx and Chuck Berry were two of the most famous Black entertainers of their time. Each got a big break in front of white audiences performing for a Black producer whose fame once eclipsed theirs. 

From the 1930s through 1960s, Leon Claxton’s Black variety shows were celebrated throughout the United States and Canada as part of the traveling carnival and state fair circuit. When Claxton took a break from the road, home was Tampa, where he was a businessman who might have been the city’s first Black millionaire. Read more.