Arthur Murray

* Born 4 April 1895, New York City, New York * Died 3 March 1991, Honolulu, Hawaii Arthur Murray may never have played a note in his life, but as America's premier dance teacher for over 3 decades, he was featured on two series of albums--one on Capitol in the early 1950s, one on RCA in the late 1950s and early 1960s--both of which hold a few hidden delights. Arthur Murray's Latin Dance SetMurray contributed the footprint map to the art of teaching popular dance steps. Starting out as a dance instructor in the pre-World War I dance craze started by Irene and Vernon Castle, he started a mail order business n the early 1920s that offered correspondence courses on how to dance. Subscribers received booklets that proposed to teach readers how to master just about any kind of ballroom dance step just by following a diagram showing a sequence of left and right footprints linked by arrows. He followed in 1938 with a best-selling book, How to Become a Good Dancer. It was actually a pretty crafty marketing technique, though, because the would-be Fred Astaires eventually gave up in frustration and clomped down to the nearest Arthur Murray franchise to learn in person with a professional instructor, the good old-fashioned expensive way. Capitol's series of Arthur Murray Favorites first came out on 10-inch EPs and were later reissued on 12-inch LPs. Each included a certificate for a free dance lesson, redeemable at any Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Les Baxter contributed the Modern...

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