He lives in Harlem, and plays underground seven nights a week. Geechee Dan is his stage name; he is one of countless regular performers on the subways. They all have back stories, some of them fascinating. But Geechee Dan’s voice is perhaps the most striking, and he has quite possibly taken the most singular journey: he picked cotton in South Carolina; met a young Michael Jackson, Frankie Lymon and David Ruffin; performed with famous musicians; and once held a regular gig at the world-famous Cotton Club in Harlem. He credits pretty girls with starting him on his journey. Now, he shares a stage with roaring trains.
When he was around 24, he moved to the Bronx, then Harlem, and stayed with his younger sister, hoping to become a singer. He eventually joined a string of R&B groups and found steady gigs on the road and at popular spots like Nell’s, Small’s Paradise and the Cotton Club. There, he performed as the Singing Dragon, dressed in a costume that included a Chinese robe and a braided mustache.
– Excerpt from NY Times article by Kia Gregory 1/25/13
Video Credit: Joshua Asen
Image Credit: youtube.com