New York: mid 1950s-late 1960s.
Oblong quarto. Brown leather over paper boards with "Photographs" embossed on the front board. A collection of 132 black and white or color photographs affixed to stiff black paper as well as newspaper clippings and some postcards. Various sizes with most being 3.5" x 3.5". Boards are good only with tape replacing the spine, chips, tears, and a few present but detached pages, overall very good. The assemblage contains photographs and ephemera related to the dancing career of Joyce Pickens. Originally from New York, Pickens traveled the United States and Canada performing at clubs and supplementing her income by staying on in some cities to teach the newest dance crazes to hip citizens. In an offprint of an article from a May 1964 Toronto Daily is a discussion of how the Discotheque trend had arrived from Paris and Pickens had stayed on to teach the dances, dubbing her "Toronto's original discotheque girl." They quote her as saying, "We're headed into another era like the 'roaring twenties.' When the big bands died, people gave up going out to dance, except at private parties... Now with the discotheque, they can have all the variety and sounds they want... everything, at the flick of a turntable switch." The photos show Pickens posing in a variety of costumes, as a cowgirl, a flamenco dress, even a bikini, and in numerous clubs and venues including California's Moulin Rouge Club. Also tipped in are business cards for some of the backing bands that she danced with such as Alfredito and his Mambo Orchestra, Barry Del Rae, and Andrew Alvarez. There are also a handful of curious drawings, one of a hand-colored treasure map, another pencil drawing labeled "Holiday Inn." The end of the album has small newspaper clippings containing advertising for costumers and nightclubs. An interesting and plentiful collection of the earliest gestation phase of the disco area.