Ada Overton Walker was created towards Valentines Go out during the 1880 into the The fresh York’s Greenwich Town

While the a baby she received dance knowledge of good Mrs. Thorp in the midtown New york. Up to 1897, immediately after graduating out of Thorp’s moving university, she toured temporarily with Black Patti’s Troubadours. A great girlfriend allowed their so you’re able to design getting a promotion with Bert Williams and George Walker, that has merely obtained a hit within their vaudeville introduction at Koster and you may Bial’s Tunes Hallway. She provided to model with the ad and you may then entered the fresh new men to dance on the cakewalk finale. Immediately following signing up for John W. Isham’s Octoroon, an excellent critic on the Indianapolis Freeman declared, “I had merely seen the very best girl performer.” That have Grace Halliday she designed the fresh new sis moving work regarding Overton and you will Halliday. It did since the collection of Honolulu Belles regarding Williams and you may Walkers’ The insurance policy Participants (1899), and you may following that, Overton began to develop because the an excellent soloist with an increase of nice opportunities. Regarding the songs comedy The fresh Sons from Ham (1900) she sang and danced “Miss Hannah of Savannah” and you may “Top Woman”; plus in its next model, “Society” and “Gleaming Ruby” and therefore produced their jubilant recognition. James Weldon Johnson penned one she “got a decreased-pitched voice with an organic sob so you’re able to they, which she knew strategies for which have telling effect in the getting more than a tune” (Johnson 1933). Tom Fletcher remembered their as the a musician just who performed ragtime songs and you may ballads as well; and as a performer “exactly who you will definitely carry out almost anything, no matter whether or not it try dollars-and-wing, cakewalk, otherwise some kind of grotesque moving . . . she lent the new efficiency a cool gracefulness of movement unsurpassed of the anyone” (Fletcher 1954).

Into the 1910, she joined the brand new Wise Place, a black colored theatrical business, and you can starred in Their Award the latest Hairdresser (1911)

On June twenty two, 1899, pursuing the closing off A lucky Coon, the fresh ragtime tunes discussed by the Ann Charters since “good hodge-podge of everything regarding ‘coon’ line off money-moving and you will ragtime melodies so you’re able to alternatives on huge opera,” Overton married George Walker; its relationship create transform and you can escalate the new cakewalk out-of a core African-Western men dance on the a black modernist phrase, a premier artwork well worth being did in advance of royalty, into the light professional, and on the latest concert phase.

One to nights if you’re onstage, George Walker, to try out the character off Bud Jenkins, turned into unwell

Williams and Walker’s Dahomey (1903) try one of the primary black musicals to locate the new cakewalk’s conversion. Inside, Aida (she changed the new spelling out-of their particular identity of Ada in order to Aida, title of the Haitian lwa out of virility) played Rosetta Lightfoot with a featured solamente, “I want to Be a genuine Woman,” and “Cakewalk Finale,” hitched by their own spouse. “The newest range, this new elegance, the brand new in hopes ecstasy of these performers, just who bent more than backward until the thoughts nearly handled the ground, a task requiring a great level of electricity, the enthusiastic prancing, nearly inside the slow-motion, have never come equaled in this particular revel, not to mention surpassed,” wrote Carl Van Vechten (Van Vechten 1974). Dahomey was taken to London, in which it had been Snap nettstedet showed in the an order performance prior to Queen Edward VII on Buckingham Castle. United kingdom high-society adopted the Royal Family members with an effective gushing passion to own cakewalking. The business gone back to New york with a new brand of the latest musical titled From inside the Dahomey, and therefore unwrapped from the Huge Opera (1904).

Within the Williams and Walker’s next reveal, Abyssinia (1906), Overton Walker was each other a dancer additionally the show’s choreographer. She was next appeared in the and you will staged brand new music numbers getting Bandanna Home (1908). His symptoms was in fact later detected just like the syphilis. From inside the 1909 the guy remaining the newest tell you, and his part are rewritten to possess Overton Walker, just who donned their flashy gowns and sang his wide variety, and additionally their significant tune, “Bon bon Buddie.” Together with her partner’s standing slowly extracting, and you will up against in which their upcoming lay, she chose to not ever replenish their own deal with Williams and Walker and you can as an alternative inserted the new cast regarding Bob Cole and you can J. Rosamonde Johnson’s The new Reddish Moonlight (1909) in which she was searched in two tunes numbers: “Pheobe Brownish” and “Pickaninny Months,” dance dollar-and-wing towards the chorus. She next exposed during the The brand new York’s Western Movie theater having an effective vaudeville operate featuring a separate dance, the fresh new “Kara Kara,” otherwise dance l’Afrique.