Allport's Eye

The Prince and the Tap Dancer


Prince Monolulu 1881 -1945 whose real name was Peter Carl McKay was a tipster and something of an institution on the British horse racing scene from the 1920s to the time of his death. He was particularly noticeable for his brightly coloured clothing, and his best known phrase was “I gotta Horse!”He was a regular at Doncaster races.

Will Gaines

Will Gaines was an African American tap dancer born 1923 in Baltimore. He began dancing on street corners for nickels and dimes eventually graduating to the Cotton Club appearing on the same bills as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis. When he arrived in the UK in the early sixties he found he liked it here and he settled in Rotherham because it reminded him of Detroit where he grew up. In the early seventies Geoff Sargeson of Mexborough theatre fame interviewed him on Radio Sheffield and invited him to dance for radio. What a challenge!

I met him when he did a show at Rotherham College. He was charming and very extrovert


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