My late father, Dr. Walter James Porter, had been a part of the Black Entertainment scene in Los Angeles, CA in the 1950’s and 1960’s. During this era, many entertainers performed in Black Night Clubs, as the Jim Crow Era was the political framework of the day. The Black Night clubs were located in the ghetto’s and the performers would perform not only in the clubs, but at parties, and other social gatherings. During this time there was no formal Comedian, Jazz, Entertainment circuit for African Americans.
My father opened for Jazz Artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton and other Big Name Comedians Such as Red Foxx. Wally would perform his famous act with Jody and would go everywhere with this little guy with a hat.
Wally Porter also had many other talents as he wrote lyrics and music (of which two songs are played by Jimmy Witherspoon-3rd Floor Blues) Third Floor Blues, played the Bongo Drums and was a wonderful Dancer. He and my mother could really cut the rug…
Photo of Myself holding picture of my dad by Tyree Griffith.
|Advertisement, March 14, 1957|
|Walter and Betty Porter dancing at Walter’s Retirement Party|
|Advertisement, March 3, 1960|
Just a little Trivia….My Father would scare the color off of us when he would hide behind the corner and pop out with Jody staring at us when we least expected it…. My Dad could throw his voice, which would amaze us…Growing up With Wally Porter and Jody was a blast…Interesting enough, when my father died in 2001, so did Jody…He began to fall apart….