Baby Esther Jones

Baby Esther Jones Sources:

Baby Esther Jones Betty Boop Helen Kane

All research on the real ‘Esther Jones” was conducted by this blog in conjunction with the BB Wikia by BM and released as of late 2018 and further and more into detail as of early 2019.

Most biased self-proclaimed historians have often tried to cover up Esther’s contributions by saying there is no proof that Esther influenced Helen Kane’s “baby-talk” singing style. But the case had nothing to do with that, it was actually the “scat-singing” style not the baby-talk that Kane copied from African-American singers, the main being Esther Jones.

Helen Kane was the actual model for Betty Boop as admitted by Grim Natwick.

Two to three years research shared worldwide and the story is viral, had I not bothered elaborate on the story, there would be no legit story today. The real ‘Esther Jones’ story came to light from my personal research. Thanks to everyone who cited this blog. I am happy to have helped you with your research. This blog here is the original source. This is where all of the research originated. 

While Helen Kane “indirectly” coined Esther Jones’ “scat-singing” technique. Kane didn’t actually use any of Esther’s interpolations. In Kane’s act, she seems to have changed the words making them not Esther’s.

Esther Jones did not comment on the Fleischer and Kane lawsuit, even when cited in newspapers or associate herself with the plump Helen Kane. The Fleischer Studios used footage of Jones to prove in court that Helen was not the original scat-singer, and that Jones, among several other singers had “scat-sang” before Kane.

The Fleischers also used vast evidence from a ‘galaxy of performers’ that the “baby-talk” singing style had been used by other performers long before Kane began singing in that style. 

Esther Lee Jones:

Valid sources of Baby Esther Lee Jones aka Little Esther Lee Jones cited in books and newspapers. This website here has everything listed about Esther from 1924 to 1934. This is being referenced for anyone who wants links and real genuine sources. Fabricated sources will not be added to the list. Esther’s age range in history is inaccurate. But nevertheless she was a child performer and was most popular when she was a little girl. In history Esther Lee Jones is better known as Little Esther,  but is not to be confused for Esther Mae Phillips. Esther Phillips originally was known as Little Esther Mae Jones. As you know there is a fabrication that has spread, and people have tried to hide who Esther Jones really was for years now and a lot of people are still confused to this day, basically the fabrication was used to whitewash history and to pretend that this performer in question never existed, when she really did. The truth came out and now those people who lied are all biting their tongues because they knew they were lying and thought that nobody would ever put two and two together. But now that we have all the leads, they cannot and will not hide who she really was and this is here to help anyone who want to learn more and share more about the real Esther Jones.

Cab Calloway and Baby Esther 1934.jpg

Who really was Esther Jones? A child prodigy! A singer, dancer and acrobat who could sing in several different languages. She was most popular in Europe and South America and that is where she is mainly referenced in history. She also toured the United States and Canada, but didn’t find much success there. What happened to Esther? Well in 1934, from July to September she was an acrobat, who often performed at black benefit stage shows and after that she most likely retired, as by then she would have lost her child-like appeal, which is what made her a star. Remember that old saying? “The older they get! The sweeter they ain’t” – that is what ended Esther’s career. Some child stars are unable to adapt when they get older in show business.


During the early 1900s and prior there were other “Baby” performers. The “Baby” or “Little” used before the names specify that these are child performers. Long before Baby Esther debuted, in 1909 Baby Helena Johnson was one of the first well known African-American child performers to tour Europe, in her act she would sing and dance. Baby Florence Mills would make her debut in 1900, Mills gained some recognition but wouldn’t find success until her later years.

Baby Esther Jones Was Formely With Cab Calloway 1934.jpg

Esther was also associated with Cab Calloway. Calloway is often considered to be Betty Boop’s male counterpart. Today stage star Esther Jones will always be remembered for inspiring many people.

Helen Kane Helen Sugar Kane Helen Schroeder Betty Boop

Specially Helen Kane, Esther most definitely inspired Miss Kane to “scat sing” way back in 1928. Esther’s ex-manager Louis Bolton, a white Russian-American, taught Esther Jones to scat sing in the early 1920s, because he wanted Esther Jones to emulate other notable African-American stars. When Helen Kane sued the Fleischer Studios and Paramount, he decided to speak out against Kane. Bolton was a lousy, stingy businessman but he made a lot of people stars, including Gene Kelly.

In her act Esther Jones would interpolate words such as “Boo-Boo-Boo“, “Wha-Da-Da“,”Doo-Doo-Doo” & “Do-Do-De-Do-Ho-De-Wa-Da-De-Da,” “Boo-Did-Do-Doo,” “Lo-Di-De-Do,” and would often finish off her routine with a “De-Do.”

Other scat sounds that Esther would use included “Roop-Woop-a-Woop,” “Ud-Up-Deo-Do,” “Skeet Scat,” “Bup-Bup,” “Poo-Poo-a-Doo” and Esther was even said to have used “Boop-Boop-a-Doop,” as it was very popular phrase in mid-1928. However Esther Jones’ contribution to the phrase originates in her original scat interpolations that Kane had adapted when she saw Esther perform on the stage in early 1928.

The actual scat rhythm links to the 1921 all-black Broadway musical Shuffle Along, the same musical that featured Gertrude Saunders the female originator of scat singing. Gertrude’s early experiments with scat singing is said to have inspired other female singers.

Other notable stars who appeared in the musical from 1921-1933 included Florence Mills, who replaced Gertrude Saunders, Josephine Baker, Mae Barnes, Cab Calloway’s sister Blanche Calloway, Fredi Washington, Adelaide Hall and Eva Taylor.

Though Esther Jones interpolated “scat rhythm” into her songs before Kane, she did not lay claim to “Boop-Boop-a-Doop,” as “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” was most associated with Helen Kane and had been since 1928.

They both shared Tony Shayne, a manager and booking agent in 1928, and it was him who took Helen Kane to the Everglades Club. In Helen’s first song releases you can hear that her “Boop” routine doesn’t sound legit in “Get Out and Get Under the Moon” and “That’s My Weakness Now” proving that she took direct inspiration from Esther Jones’ performance. However Kane never publicly admitted to this.

“Boop-Boop-a-Doop” was adapted and created from direct scat interpolations, in fact Helen Kane’s “Boop” routine was not “Boop” but “Poop.” Which is why Kane never really owned “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” because her original sound was actually “Poop Poop Padoop.”

Misinterpretation from the media is what actually created “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” not Kane. Kane created “Poop Poop Padoop.” After the media got mixed up, Kane decided to call herself “The Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl.”

Though Esther Jones may have done a “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” routine in mid-1928, it doesn’t hide the fact that she “scat sang” before Kane.

Kane started scat singing in 1928, Esther Jones began in 1925. Both their connection to Tony Shayne in 1928, proves that Kane saw Esther perform on the stage and not too long after, Kane started to experiment by putting scat sounds into her songs.

In court Helen Kane claimed she had no idea what “hot licks” / “scat singing” / “scat rhythm” was. Though everyone else in the music business did. Indicating that Helen Kane lied in court. Helen Kane also admitted that there were other “baby-singers” that had proceeded her on the stage, this is what also sealed her fate.

The Afro-American urged Esther Jones to sue Helen Kane. Esther however did not pursue Kane, she actually was not interested.

When asked about the Helen Kane lawsuit, Gertrude Saunders told a newspaper in late 1934 that she was the original.

Gertrude Saunders said that she was figured prominently at the $250,000 Infringement Lawsuit of Helen Kane and Betty Boop, who both claimed they originated the funny twist which was a radio rage. Gertrude declared that it was “she” who had created “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” long before Betty Boop and Helen Kane were known.

However Gertrude forgot to mention that she and other performers used complete different scat rhythms.

But Saunders most certainly was the original female scat singer who paved the way for others. Her early experiments with scat singing is said to have inspired other female singers, in which it did. It inspired a lot of African-American female singers.

A few African-American female singers to emulate Saunders after 1921, were Florence Mills, Eva Taylor, Esther Bigeou (she is not Esther Jones), Ethel Ridley, Ora Alexander, Nina Mae McKinney the black Clara Bow / Greta Garbo, Sally Gooding, Edith Wilson, Adelaide Hall, Mae Barnes, Baby Cox among numerous others.

According to the book Florence Mills: Harlem Jazz Queen, Mills also engaged in precisely this style of vocalizing, and was compared to various instruments. Her sister Maude Mills, who recorded several songs can also be heard using a similar scat technique in her songs.

Florence Mills would often use a “Tooty-Tooty-Too” in her song “Baby and Me,” in a higher pitch obbligato, kind of like a flute. 

Those who have taken notice, will understand that Baby Esther was a Florence Mills impersonator. Thus revealing the true origins of where the lineage of “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” lies, which is why Gertrude Saunders was known in African-American newspapers up until her death as the original “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” girl because she did it first in alternative form.

One of the main reasons as to why this is often brought up is because Helen Kane tried to lay claim to being the first person to interject “scat singing” into songs.

Gertrude Saunders from North Carolina and Esther Bigeou from New Orleans were not Esther Lee Jones. As they like Esther May Jones from Texas as cited above, have often been mistaken for Baby Esther. Baby Esther Lee Jones was from Chicago.

Louis Armstrong Boop Boop a DoopLouis Armstrong was as innovative with scatting, however scat singing was already a well known manner of singing by African-Americans. Armstrong scat sang in 1924 on “Everybody Loves  My Baby.” It has been observed that early scat singing was often performed by African-American women.

Baby Esther Cotton Club

Margie Hines, the original voice of Betty Boop even admitted to knowing what “hot licks” in music was. She indicated that her “Boop” routine was actual “hot licks” and she also claimed that even though she impersonated Helen Kane, it was not Helen Kane’s “baby-voice” but her own that was used in the Betty Boop cartoons.

Helen Kane tried to lay claim to a voice that she did not own. If the Fleischers and Paramount had used her actual voice, it would have been a complete different story. The “baby-talk” and “baby-singing” style was quite common. Helen Kane did not originate either style. Esther Jones was also said to have sang in a baby voice. But it was only natural because Jones was presumed to be seven-years-old in 1928.

Due to age fabrication it is hard to actually pinpoint Esther’s real age, as she was said to have been built very small and petite. A 1930 article from Berlin, Germany indicates that Esther was 14-years-old in 1930, if this is true, Esther Jones would have really been around 11-12 in 1928. Nevertheless Jones was still a girl, rather than that of a grown woman, in which she is often mistaken for today due to vast confusion and social media speculation.

Though the character Betty Boop being partially based on Kane, as admitted by the character’s initial creator Grim Natwick, is what made Helen Kane sue in the first place. Also the fact that people who entered her contests a few years prior, were hired to play the character. In law it is noted that parody is considered fair use and is often protected by the copyright act.

Helen Kane Boop Boop a Doop Net Website May Farrington Is a Fabricator

The truth about Helen Kane is that originally she herself like Esther Jones was a dancer, not a singer. Helen Kane started her career as a dancer, but Esther was doing it long before Helen was even on the scene, and Esther was younger than Kane. Once Helen Kane decided to use a “baby voice” in her act, which was originated by Irene Franklin, Kane became a star. Kane also decided to adapt “scat singing” sounds she heard in 1928 and decided to merge it with the “baby talk” singing style. It is said in history that Kane was said to have adapted Esther Jones’ scat singing techniques that she heard at the Everglades Nite Club. In court Kane was exposed as “unoriginal.” Helen tried to appeal her case many times but was denied and eventually gave up and retired from show business. Kane would later return in the 1950s as “The Original Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl,” Kane died in 1966. Mae Questel, the most famous voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl dubbed “Helen Kane’s Greatest Rival” outlived Kane and also outdid her and continued on as the “Boop-Oop-a-Doop” Betty Boop girl, up until her death in 1998.

Baby Esther Jones Florence Mills Impersonator 1928.jpg

Esther Jones based most of her act on other notable African-American stars such as Li’l Farina, which is why Esther was also known as Li’l Esther. Farina had a sister called Baby Jane, and the both of them did the Charleston in 1926, around the same time as Esther Jones. Farina was played by Allen Hoskins, and was also sometimes known as Little Farina, Esther Jones would later become Little Esther. Esther Jones used three stage names, which were; “Lil’ Esther, Baby Esther and Little Esther.”

Lil' Farina Allen Hoskins Our Gang Little Farina Baby Esther Jones African American

Little Esther’s male counterpart Little Farina was that popular during the 1920s that music writer Harrison Godwin Smith wrote the song “Lil’ Farina, Everybody Loves You” as tribute to him. Smith often wrote and worked with composer Ben Garrison.

When Esther Jones went on to tour Europe, Harrison Godwin Smith was the first to furnish her with several of the songs he wrote, which included “The Turtle Walk,” “My Little Dixie Home” and “I Need a Man (Around My House),” songs that Jelly Roll Morton stole from Harrison Smith, and renamed. When Jelly Roll plagiarized the songs, he renamed “The Turtle Walk” to “The Turtle Twist” and often took credit for other people’s work, because while they were writing the songs they were working for him, which allowed him to take full credit for their work.

Baby Esther Jones and Ernst Rolf

Esther Jones’ signature songs were Al Jolson’s hit songs “My Mammy” and “Sonny Boy,” in which she would sometimes sing some parts to the song, and most of the time act by sitting on the knee of the male singer in blackface opposite to her. Above is a photo of Ernst Ragnar Rolf and Esther Jones acting out a scene from their “Sonny Boy” routine.

Other songs Esther performed on the stage and in the lost MGM Movietone short were: “Don’t Be Like That,” “Is There Anything Wrong In That?,” “Wa-Da-Da,” “That’s My Weakness Now,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby,” “Ich hab kein Auto, ich hab kein Rittergut!,” and “Breakaway,” which was a hit song in 1929.

Footage of Esther Jones singing or dancing are lost to time. One recorded in 1931 is said to be archived in a São Paulo archive, and the MGM short recorded in 1928 called “Little Esther” or “Baby Esther” which is said to be a nameless film short that has no name which featured Jones, was last held by the Columbia Phonograph Company.

Baby Esther Jones Was A Florence Mills Impersonator (Betty Boop Wikia - 1928) Ginger Pauley and May Farrington Are Liars Who Have Lied A Lot On Social Media.jpg

In 1928, a year after Florence Mills’ death, Esther Jones began to impersonate her at the Everglades Club. There Esther was known as the “Young Florence Mills,” and the “Second Florence Mills.” Seven-year-old Esther is said to have been exploited by her stepfather William Jones and ex-manager Lou Bolton.

Baby Esther Betty Boop

Today when people think of Esther Jones, they automatically think of Betty Boop, but Esther really had no ties to Betty Boop or “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” whatsoever. Esther was more like the black version of Baby Rose Marie, only more talented. And for those who don’t know Rose Marie, Esther was more like the black Shirley Temple of her time. A 1937 Brazilian article states that Esther Jones was in a dancing troupe and she later got married to a South Carolina worker.

Baby Esther Jones 1929 - Copy

The Billboard (June 14, 1924)

Baby Esther Jones and another youngster about five years of age are the principals in WW reports to be a “branded percenter”.

The Gazette (April 21, 1925)

Baby Esther the child syncopater. Baby Esther, bye-lo-dollie. Juniors, peek-a-boo,
Guyla Mae, elf dance.

The Gazette (January 4, 1926)

The Palace Orchestra offered an overture “The Evolution of Jazz” and Baby Esther
demonstrated its dance interpretation.

Chicago Tribune (May 4, 1926)

New jests! “L’il Esther,” Farina’s sister.

Chicago Tribune (May 6, 1926)

New jests! “L’il Esther,” Farina’s sister.

Exhibitors Herald (May 8, 1926)

The symphonic stuff will be dealt by Walter Davidson. With Givot on the bill are Hazel Green, Li’l Esther, Covan and Ruffin, and Jason and Harrigan. In the ads the picture has a somewhat bigger play than pictures at McVickers have been given for the last half year.

Exhibitors Herald (May 15, 1926)

Li’l Esther, four-year-old colored girl Charleston dancer, stepping the house into a riot. Givot came back to finish with her and the show closed with the crowd screaming.

The Pittsburgh Courier (May 22, 1926)

Lil’ Esther, a five-year-old Charleston prodigy, was also a great sensation at the McVicker’s Theater, Chicago, last week. She was used as a closer for the bill which carried Covan and Ruffin.

Exhibitors Herald (June 12, 1926)

Esther Jones, pickaninny Charleston expert, dancing as no one else quite does.

The Gazette (August 14, 1926)

At the Palace Theatre. Harry Langdon in Comedy, “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp.” Harry Langdon is starring at the Palace next week in a seven reel comedy, “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp.” With this picture Langdon enters the class of Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin as one of the leading film comedians. One of the features of the production is a hundred mile and hour cyclone. Baby Esther, will appear with the child violinist, Ronald Duquette. Prof. Agostin; with his Palace Symphony will render an overture and “Zampa” and Andy Tipaldi’s Melody Kings will play.

The Gazette (September 27, 1926)

Baby Esther the child wonder.

The Gazette (September 27, 1926)

Baby Esther takes a prominent part in the revue, with her singing and irresistible dance steps, while Al Edwards contributes a catchy song especially written for the occasion.

The Gazette (September 28, 1926)

Baby Esther, singing and dancing, combines the poise of an
adult with the charm of a child.

The Gazette (October 16, 1926)

Music and dance offerings are to be particularly attractive. They include
The Melody Kings, Baby Esther, and Al Edwards.

The Gazette (October 16, 1926)

Al Edwards will sing snappy songs, and Baby Esther, who is a diminutive human concentration of pep, will also sing.

The Gazette (October 19, 1926)

The performers include the Melody Kings, Baby Esther, Al Edwards, the
five Pepper girls, Sonia Aylin, Viola Miller and Meagher and Sylvester, the
eccentric dancers. The film feature, “So This Is Paris,” also enters into
the spirit of celebration.

The Gazette (January 10, 1927)

A short film dealing with the antics of the famous Felix caused much merriment, while the house became boisterous over a Hal Roach comedy Introducing “Our Gang,” entitled “Shivering Spooks.” Baby Esther the juvenile dancer, performed in her usual winning manner, and Roland Duquette, the boy violinist, also a favorite in the city, gave two charming numbers.

The Gazette (April 18, 1927)

The Palace Symphony, under G. Agostini, plays excerpts from “The Tales of Hoffman,” with their usual skill, and Andy Tipaldi and his Melody Kings have a programme of snappy dance numbers. Baby Esther is quite delightful in a “song” and dance act.

The Gazette (June 13, 1927)

Baby Esther, Viola Miller and Sylvia Garber were the stars of the afternoon.
Baby Esther was most effective in a Russian number, while garbed in a tricky black
and white costume topped with a silk hat. Viola Miller gave an exhibition
of the Black Bottom that had a professional finish. In addition Baby Esther
offered a Black Bottom number that endeared her to the flapper members
of the audience.

The Billboard (October 22, 1927)

Fireworks for four nights were furnished by Iorlo. and the free acts offered included The Da Homas, featuring Baby Esther, Hunt’s Toney Ford, comedy supreme, Raymond and Una Mae Scheetz, in mystery acts, Little Miss Wiley, toe and acrobatic dancing.

Detroit Free Press (January 22, 1928)

Li’l Esther, six-year-old pickaninny in typical “hot” numbers.

Detroit Free Press (January 23, 1928)

Tyson and Van, tap dancers. Li’l Esther a diminutive pickaninny under the direction of Walter Bastlan, present an entertaining show.

The Billboard (March 31, 1928)

Stage celebrities heard at Jewish guild benefit. Sophie Tucker, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, B. A Rolfe and His Orchestra, Eddie Mayo and His Harmonica Boys, Jack Osterman, Vincent Lopez, Fred Vadja, Lola Menzelli, Mary Nash, W. C. Kelly, Eva LeGalliene, Leon Errol, James Wolfe, Mitzi and an ensemble from Madcap. Milt Gross, Buck Jones, Will Mahoney, Norma Terris, Alexander Carr, Weber and Fields, Pat Rooney and Pat Rooney 3d, Helen Grobus, Lester Allen, Miller and Lyles, Louis Mann, Elliot Dexter, Clayton Jackson and Durante and Little Esther, colored prodigy.

The Times-Union (April 7, 1928)

A sad situation at that, these benefit shows. Performers wanting to do their share for charity must wait around for hours. Some never get on the stage after being invited many weeks ahead. A big name, arriving suddenly, is always pushed on before the lesser light, who may be bigger of heart. Doris Nurlinger’s mother broke into tears back stage because they manipulated Li’l Esther, Harlem’s miniature, to the fore.

Vaudeville (May 8, 1928)

Sherman Activities week of May. Loew Circuit. L’il Esther and Band – State, Newark.

Daily News (June 22, 1928)

For allowing Esther Jones, 7, colored, to give singing and dancing imitations of the late Florence Mills at the Everglades, a night club at 203 West 48th street, her father and manager yesterday were held in $500 bail by Magistrate Francis X. McQuade for a hearing Tuesday. The father is William Jones, 60, of 44 West 98th st., and the manager Louis Bolton, 34, of the Commodore Athletic club, 42nd st. and 9th ave.

Variety (July 4, 1928)

After listening to testimony of Tomas J. Kelly, Children’s Society
representative, Magistrate John V. Flood, in West Side Court, held Louis Bolton, 36,
Commodore Athletic Club, and William Jones, 50, 44 West 98th street, for trial
in Special Sessions on a charge of allowing a minor to give public performances
without a permit.

At the same time a similar charge against William Pearlman, 47, 366, Lincoln place,
Brooklyn, of the Everglades restaurant, was dismissed. Bail of $500 was fixed in the
cases of the other two.

On the morning of June 13, Kelly went to the Everglades and he
said he saw Esther Lee Jones, seven-year-old Negro child, who was announced
as the sensation of Broadway and impersonator of the late Florence Mills,
do several dances and sing some songs.

The manager denied that he or the child or the guardian had
received any remuneration for the performance. He said he merely allowed her
to dance because friends had requested him. Jones also denied receiving any salary.
Pearlman, who was brought to court because he is head of the club, proved
he was not present at the time.

Vaudeville (July 11, 1928)

Manager and booker of 7-year-old pleaded guilty. For permitting a seven-year-old girl to appear publicly in a dance and song act without obtaining a permit, Louis Bolton, theatrical manager and booking agent of 1576 Broadway, and William Jones, decorator, of 44 West 98th street, were each fined $100 in Special Sessions. The two pleaded guilty to the charge. Both men were arrested on the complaint of agents of the Children’s Society after the latter had witnessed Esther Jones, the minor daughter of one of the defendants, do an imitation of the late Florence Mills at the Everglades nite club, June 13. The officers told the Justices that the child did her act at the club at 9pm and again about midnight.

Afro-American (July 14, 1928)

Young “Flo Mills” father must face court in New York. The plea that they received no salary for the dancing of Esther Lee Jones, seven years old in the Everglades, failed to save the girl’s alleged father,William Jones and Louis Bolton, white, from being held for Special Sessions court when arraigned here Monday. The pair face charges of allowing a minor to give public performances without a permit. Considerable interest has been aroused in the case and the child, subbed a “second Florence Mills,” is in charge of the Children’s Society. Found dancing in the club at three a.m., the two sponsors of the child were arrested. Jones, who is said not to be her father, is reported to have exploited the girl in Chicago and fleeing the city when an investigation was begun into his activities.

Afro-American (October 13, 1928)

Little Esther, stopped the show with a song and dance act. The white press was very enthusiastic in their praise of this youngster, stating that in time she would be another Florence Mills.

Variety (October 31, 1928)

Lil’ Esther, child (colored) vaudeville performer, has been signed for a talking short by Movietone. Booked through William Morris.

Variety (January 9, 1929)

Harry Crull’s latest offers considerable entertainment, distinguished, however, only for the setting, a novelty in staking, and Lil’ Esther. Lil’ Esther, diminutive colored performer, only smash of the evening. She sings and dances.

The Morning Call (January 17, 1929)

Little Esther, the colored kid sensation a riot wherever appearing has been secured especially for this gala week. She is a veritable hit.

The Morning Call (January 19, 1929)

Little Esther, the colored kid sensation. Esther has Just turned eight years old and has already captured the plaudits of many theatergoers all over the West. This will mark her first appearance in the East and from all past performances she should be a welcome addition to the ranks of the eastern performers. Her method of singing songs and doing the newest dances in her own way.

The Herald-News (January 30, 1929)

Little Esther novelty offering.

The Daily News (February 1, 1929)

The other big attraction was Baby Esther, ace of all child entertainers, she’s a wonder.

The Daily News (February 1, 1929)

Five other big act! George Broadhurst & Co. Little Pipifax, The Clown,
Henry & Co., Li’l Esther. Silver nite tonight.

The Chat (February 2, 1929)

The greatest juvenile dancers in greater New York, Baby Alice, star in this past summer of Cafe Beaux Arts, Atlantic City, with Lil’ Esther, Theresa Green, Rene Edwards, Marilyn Gardner, Baby Chariots, Clara Harrsch, Shirley Rose, Murray Sisters and numerous others.

The Gazette (February 2, 1929)

Included in the programme are: “The Farmerette Scene,” evolved by Dorothy Fisher and Betty Thompson; song hits from the latest musical comedy, “New Moon,” by Marie Goyer, Dave Wiseman and Lita Moscovitch; Bertie Marcus, Doris Malles and William Slatkoff In “The Rehearsal”; ‘”Burlington Bertie,” “The Girl in the Moon and Harlequin,” “Mysterious Ottawa Tapley” and Baby Esther and Baby Viola, accompanied by Bluma Sands, in a modern version of “Soft Shoe Taps.”

Afro-American (February 15, 1929)

Believe it or not folks, but this is the sum of money “Lil’ Esther” Jones of Chicago will get for theatrical dates in London, Berlin and Paris. Esther, 7 years old, sailed Wednesday accompanied by her mother and her manger Lou Bolton. She has played many of the big picture houses and has just finished a tour headlining on the Keith Circuit. Esther recently made a Movietone for M.G.M, flanked by a 26-piece orchestra from the Capitol Theatre, New york City. Harrison Godwin Smith, of New York City, a business associate of Bolden, has furnished Esther with some great songs. “The Turtle Walk,” “My Little Dixie Home,” “I’ve Got the Blues for Dixieland,” and “Need a Man (Around My House).” Here’s hoping that Esther will be the riot abroad that she was in America.

Exhibitors Herald-World (March 2, 1929)

Lou Bolton, for several years, an independent theatrical agent in Chicago, has finally fallen into good luck. Lou has a protege called Li’l Esther, who is called “The Miniature Florence Mills.” The child has just finished four years’ training under Bolton’s management and recently won a European engagement through her New York success. Her eccentric dancing and her inimitable singing places her in a position as the most phenomenal juvenile in the profession.

Variety (March 6, 1929)

Little Esther red hot. Little Esther, who recently opened at the Empire (vaudeville), is doing exceptionally well for a red hot interpreter of the latest in jazz. She’s a little over the heads of the natives but is drawing considerable applause at each performance.

My Trip Abroad (1929)

Newspaper publisher Robert Sengstacke Abbott (founder of The Chicago Defender for African-Americans) stated that he met Esther, her mother, and her then manager Mr. Garner. And that Esther had a six week engagement at the Winter Garden, Berlin’s finest vaudeville house, and Esther was quite a success.

La Revue Mondiale (1929)

Carlos Gardel whose voice does not have the charm of many South Americans and Spaniards. A new black star flickers, Little Esther, a little girl of about eight years, delights everyone.

Sjunde Årgången (1929)

Sjunde Årgången (Händelserna 1929) by Svenska Dagbladets records the events of 1929, Esther is referenced on page 21. It states that the whole of Stockholm had spoken for days about the black star from Rolf’s Revy, who was denied service because of her skin color.

Variety (March 20, 1929)

Lou Bolton’s troubles. Lou Bolton, manager of Little Esther, left suddenly for New York on the America March 19. Partnership dissolved by mother of colored child. Understood
French Negro, Jacques Garnier, used as interpreter, stirred up trouble.

Afro-American (March 23, 1929)

“Baby Esther A Hit.” “Baby Esther” Jones, who sailed a few weeks ago for Europe, headlined last week at the Empire Theater in Paris. She has been heralded as the child wonder and is creating a sensation wherever she appears.

The Pittsburgh Courier (March 30, 1929)

“Baby Esther” Jones, who sailed to a few weeks ago to Europe, headlined last week at the Empire Theater in Paris. She ha s been heralded as the child wonder of Paris and is creating a sensation wherever she appears.

The Billboard (March 30, 1929)

Little Esther, Chicago dance prodigy, will probably be a feature of the new revue of the Casino de Paris, and directress of a new night club.

Uusi Aura (March 31, 1929)

New Josephine! Josephine Baker has got a successor. The name of this dark beauty is “Little Esther” and she has American Negro blood in her veins. She has already achieved great success at the Moulin Rouge and is predicted to have a great future. And this new Josephine is only 8-years-old.

Afro-American (April 6, 1929)

“Lil’ Esther Jones.” Baby Esther Jones, highest paid child dancer, who was taken abroad by the Dancer News Bureau, 1587 Broadway, Suite 308. Miss Jones receives a weekly salary of $750 per week.

Het Nieuws van den Dag voor Nederlandsch-Indië (April 12, 1929)

Josephine Baker’s youngest competitor. Little Esther has never heard of her. Coming from America, Little Esther, age 9 was already a celebrity. Everyone in the New World knows her as a dancer, who launched the Charleston. In America Little Esther has a jazz band that accompanies her everywhere she goes to perform. Lou Bolton discovered Esther when she was only four. “Little Esther” comes to Europe. She thinks Paris is the nicest city, she says, and she likes the Parisian public – that is, by the way reciprocal, the Parisian public thinks “Little Esther” is also very charming, very charming and a real female dancer. Her success in the City of Light is assured.

Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad (April 12, 1929)

Little Esther’s manager, Mr. Bolton, “discovered” the asterisk when she was only four and a half years old. He made her dance to her own idea and never put her under the direction of a dance master. She remained a natural child, also spiritually, for she had never attended school and never had any lessons. Nevertheless, in Paris she behaved like a little star. She knows how to receive the most friendly reporters, chat in a charming way and dust her black face with ochre powder.

Afro-American (April 13, 1929)

Acts in Paris. Among the acts now going over well in this city are Little Esther, who has recently been added to the Moulin Rouge, Betty Rowland, who is creating a sensation at the Bal Tabarin, and “Strappy” Jones, of Jones and the Keys, who is appearing in a single.

Variety (April 14, 1929)

The Moulin Rouge had for the basis of its entertainment, a consignment of American turns, including Hank the Mule, Little Esther and Abe Lyemans’ band, with the Three Pirates and Erne Dillon from England, a Spanish dancer, pair of Japanese jugglers, Argentine chanteuse and a male consignment from the Bosphorus. The show seemed to be thrown together rather than arranged, with apparently no reason for innumerable stage waits. House orchestra played a long succession of jazz and syncopation immediately preceding the appearance of the Lyman band. Abe should have known better, even if the house didn’t.

The Billboard (April 20, 1929)

Little Esther, colored child prodigy leaves for Spain at the close of her engagement at
the Moulin Rouge to appear at the Moulin Rouge to appear at the Eldorado in Barcelona.

Variety (April 24, 1929)

Lou Bolton, who managed “Lil Esther” in Paris, back because of Esther’s mama went for
one of those Sengalesians and made him manager.

The Indianapolis Recorder (April 27, 1929)

Little Esther, diminutive Chicago dancer, who is regarded as a child prodigy, leaves for Spain at the close of her engagement at the Moulin Rouge in Paris to appear at the Eldorado in Barcelona.

De Indische Courant (May 7, 1929)

The newest darling of Paris, a little Negro girl of eight springs from America, but from pure African blood. A black, graceful girl who is slowly emerging as a formidable competitor for Josephine Baker, who is currently making efforts to regain her engagement in Paris. Little Esther is a novelty in the artistic firmament of the Parisian music hall. Every evening she in the music hall, where she performs, stormy applause stars, otherwise there is no explanation for the interest that such a periodical show for this chorographical phenomenon. Little Esther is only at the beginning of her world glory, it is predicted that we will soon know Esther hairstyles, Esther socks, Esther earrings and other things, just as so many other predecessors of this new dancer have given her name to fashion creations, which maybe not the first. Perhaps it will not be long until the fame of Little Esther will also have reached India. These rules, dedicated to the rotating American-African-African child, and are therefore intended to introduce her to you.

The Sumatra Post (May 15, 1929)

Little Esther, the Negro girl who is currently attracting the attention of outgoing Paris, even though she is only ten years old (in some advertising articles has already has a salary of 1500 francs per performance. Little Esther is playing chess these days, not so much for her personal charms or for her money. Little Esther has a black mother, a black secretary and a black impresario. He according to the secretary, is a dangerous man and possesses hypnotic power. Through supernatural input, he has got Little Esther under his control. The Negro child was walking in the street, with her mother. Suddenly Little Esther tore herself away from her mother’s hand and walked on a trot to a black gentleman who was walking a little behind them. It was the impresario, who without the mother had sent his hypnotic power to Little Esther. Little Esther could not resist that. As soon as her mother saw to whom her daughter had turned so enthusiastically, she naturally wanted her child back. But the impresario had already disappeared in a taxi with Little Esther’s chess treasure. The mother’s despair. Violent indignation of the secretary. If that guy thinks that it goes like that, he is wrong! We are not here in America! He raged and since he is an energetic man, he did not leave, but immediately went to work himself. The same evening Little Esther played again – taken away from her chess player, this time by the secretary. Now it is the impresario’s turn to be furious. Of course Little Esther will be stormed by reporters. She finds it terrible that it said that her mother is not really her mother. “It is my mother!” she said indignantly, “and I love her very much.”

De Indische Courant (May 15, 1929)

A little black asterisk.

The Vaudeville News (June 1, 1929)

Little Esther, and Roth and Shay, both from Chicago, are in the lights.

The Pittsburgh Courier (June 22, 1929)

“Baby Esther” Jones, who was taken to Paris by Lou Bolton, is still all the rage at the Moulin Rouge, where she is appearing with Abe Lyman’s band, and will soon leave for an engagement in Madrid, Spain. After a fight with her mother about her contract, Bolton has returned to the States, leaving her under the management on a colored Parisian.

The Billboard (August 17, 1929)

The Wintergarten has booked the following bill for August, Babe Egan’s Hollywood Redheads, Jackie Hoo Ray, Medini Trio, Two Ristoris, Kurt Lilien and Hermann Feiner, Brown and La Harte, Reso and Reto, Mady and Company, Little Esther, Four Saphirs, Horam and Myrtill, adagio team, open August 1 at the Scala.

The Billboard (August 24, 1929)

The Wintergarten’s current bill includes Jackie Hoo Ray, who does a pitiful imitation
of Jackie Coogan, Little Esther, another kid act, which has some difficulty getting across.

Afro-American (October 5, 1929)

In this issue you’ll find Chicago’s Little Esther Jones, who was refused milk in a Swedish cafe and the then angry Swedes closed the place, also Esther’s dancing all over Europe on a salary of $750 a week.

Afro-American (October 5, 1929)

Little Esther, the ten-year-old dancing wonder, accompanied by her mother, Mrs. Jones of Chicago, and her manager Sidney Garner, passed through this city on her way to Nice and Monte Carlo to fill engagements there.

Mrs. Jones, a modest quiet little woman, is proud of her daughter. To her the astonishing success of her little girl seems more like a dream than reality. This leap from humble circumstances to wealth and popularity.

The white manager failed. Mrs. Jones told the writer that it is Mr. Garner to whom is due all the tanks for her present financial standing and said that the white manager who brought her from America treated her very badly. She further charges that he used to pass her off as the maid of her child when Little Esther gave performances in private homes.

At the home of M. Dreyfus, Paris banker, Mrs. Jones said that she was made to wait in the hall, and that when M. Dreyfus, himself came out and saw her, and learned who she was, he invited her in and introduced her to his guests. The white manager scolded her and asked if she did not know that that wasn’t done back home in America.

Mr. Garner, who comes from New York City, has been in Europe for fifteen years and has made a spen-bles as if caught by sudden fear, or else she places her hand on her stomach as if suffering from the most frightful pain, then suddenly she is all laughter again. The song finished did record with the American Red Cross with whom he served as an ambulance driver from the first year of the war. He has served as secretary for Johnny Hudgins and others. He says he finds increasing demand for colored acts everywhere. His address is: 17 Rue des Acacia, Paris, France, care of Pons.

The Birmingham Reporter (October 12, 1929)

Little Esther is only ten, but she is said to be the highest paid child artist in the world. She has just left Berlin, where she was playing at the Winter Garden at a salary of $1750 a week for six weeks. Her story reads like a fairy tale. Four years ago she was playing in the  streets of Chicago, dancing the Charleston just for fun. Her companions were poor like herself. Now she has jewels and her dresses are being made by some of the best designers. At ten Little Esther is already wealthy. She scored her first success when just a little over five.

Afro-American (October 12, 1929)

Branda Tomton, white, a restaurant-keeper in Stockholm, Sweden, once lived in the United States. He refused a glass of milk to ten-year-old Esther Jones of Chicago, and her mother. Tomton was so severely criticized that he left Sweden amid what the newspapers termed “the greatest scandal Stockholm has ever had.”

Algemeen Handelsblad (November 11, 1929)

Jack Smith the Whispering Baritone and Little Esther the most comical acrobat.

The Billboard (November 30, 1929)

Little Esther, the little Chicago entertainer, is at the Theater Mounumental in Madrid.

Afro-American (December 14, 1929)

Ten-year-old girl dancer also at fete honoring King of Portugal. Little Esther, the ten-year-old colored child, who has been astonishing Europe, was the principal attraction at a fete given by the King of Spain at the Teatro de la Exposicion, in honor of the president of Portugal. Queen Victoria and other members of the royal family of Spain were present. Later, the King and Queen received little Esther, together with her mother, Mrs. Jones, and her manager Sidney Garner, and complimented her.

Five years ago little Esther was dancing the Charleston on the streets of Chicago, just for fun. Today she is the highest paid child artist in the world, $750 a week.

After leaving Berlin, where she was the hit of the Wintergarten for six weeks, she left for the Riviera, playing at Monte Carlo, and Cannes. From there she went to the Casino Bellevue at Biarritz, where she played with Sam Wooding and his band. While here she appeared at a party given by the Maharajah of Kapurthala, and was later highly complimented by him.

Leaving for Spain, she played with Harry Fleming and his band at the Valenci Theatre where she scored another great hit. While in this city the school children of Valencia presented her with three baskets of flowers more than six feet tall.

Little Esther has been a great favorite with the children everywhere, and when she was leaving Stockholm, Sweden, the school children in thousands came to see her off, almost filling her compartment with flowers.

The French, German, English and Spanish press have been lavish in praise of her. Juan de Mentaberry, one of the leading critics of Spain in El Mercantil of Valencia, recently devoted almost two columns to an interview with her, together with her picture, which appeared on the front page. He told of her visit to the bull-fight and the manner in which the youthful star was applauded by the public.

He said in part: “She is not one of those children with some forced quality or talent for imitating older people, but a very formidable, comical artist with unusual gifts. And in her life off the stage she is ingenuous and full of love and sympathy. Her steady manner of speaking, her interesting character, her large eyes, full of expressive force, shows a brain organized. I asked her how she liked Spain. She told me among other things that she is interested in bull-fight, wearing the other senoritas a small Spanish shawl. She says that she has a great admiration for Manuel Lalanda (the toreador) whom she thinks is the bravest man in the world. I had been talking with her for more than an hour but it was at that moment I saw in little Esther the eternal feminine. Though she is only ten, the woman in her is on the alert. She has more than fifty dresses and is frightened because she has gained a few pounds on a few grains of weight.”

El Tiempo said: “Little Esther sings with much grave and talent, adding now and then some comic gestures that are worthy of being flashed on the screen. The Public laughs, everybody laughs, and s does the small artist to whom all surrender themselves unconditionally. Now she dances, her feet rhythmically marketing the time of the number. She has finished and the theatre is ringing again with applause.

“Little Esther has triumphed, and with her, the whole company has triumphed. She has finished her acting and she returns to her dressing room. Again she is the child and pulls the tail of the small white dog sleeping near its owner – the wife of the leader of the orchestra. The dog does not bark. It turns its sleepy eyes to the small artist as if, it also was smiling in sympathy.”

She was recently filmed by a leading Movietone news agency while on a visit to the Ministry of War, where she met the Spanish dictator, Gen. Primp de Rivera. She is almost besieged with offers to appear on the stage and in the films. After a two-months’ tour of some of the leading cities of Spain, she will return to Berlin to fill contracts made while there. English managers want her too, but it will be at least four years before she will be able to comply with the English age limit.

The American Mercury – Volume 20 – Page 2 (1930)

In the American Mercury Magazine, Esther is cited as a 10-year-old black girl dancer who had great success in Europe, but was refused service in a restaurant. A Swedish man who was present while this racism was taking place, invited Esther and her family to his home, by the way of protest.

Afro-American (January 4, 1930)

In February 16, Seven-year-old Esther Jones began theatrical dates in London, Berlin and Paris, under a $750 per week contract.

The Billboard (April 5, 1930)

The UFA Palace in Hamburg, a recently opened sister house of the Universum,
is making great efforts to oppose the famous Hansa, Hamburg by booking exquisite foreign attractions. The Nathano Brothers, The Three Whirlwinds,Young China, Little Esther, Roth and Shay, Georgia Graves, Posh Twins, Larry Kemble and Baird and Thompeon are some of the acts that played there, and Chaz Chase is coming over now under a UFA contract for both houses.

The Billboard (April 12, 1930)

Little Esther doubles at the Atrium with the Kabaret der Komiker.

Afro-American (April 12, 1930)

Little Esther to London. Little Esther, the phenomenal child-artist, now playing in Berlin, is expected to go to London in the spring, accompanied by her manager, Sydney Garner, and her mother, Mrs. Jones of Chicago.

Today’s News (May 13, 1930)

Esther here again. The Stockholm public, the little black Little Esther, who last summer awakened such a sensation in Stockholm with her dance and her milk glass. Little Esther has come here on a French visit and only appears for a week.

Aftonbladet (May 13, 1930)

Little Esther again with Rolf from the scene last year’s many talked about Little Esther is now back in Stockholm and performs in Rolfrevyn for the next seven days.

Svenska Dagbladet (May 19, 1930)

From Hollywood and Buenos Aires, Little Esther world attraction.

Svenska Dagbladet (May 20, 1930)

Revy at 8. Ernst Rolf with Little Esther – Olympe Bradna – Tutta and Randi.

Svenska Dagbladet (May 23, 1930)

Foreign stars both little ones Little Esther and Olympe Bradna have already become real audience favorites.

Svenska Dagbladet (May 24, 1930)

Little Esther currently making great success in the exhibition edition of Rolf’s revue only stops two days. Little Esther returns to Berlin on Sunday.

Aftonbladet (May 25, 1930)

Little Esther the multifaceted singer and dancer is performing today.

De Telegraaf (June 12, 1930)

Little Esther, the singing dancing Negro child with all the grotesque and all the woe and all the brutal success hunter of her breed.

The Billboard (June 21, 1930)

Ernest Rolf is presenting an excellent revue at his China Theater in Stockholm. Among the features are the American comedians, Crabtree and Sturgess. Olympe Bradna, the young acrobatic dancer; Little Esther, the Negro dancer; Josephine Hall, the radio entertainer; the 10 Gordon Ray Girls and the 42 Rolfs Girls.

The Pittsburgh Courier (June 28, 1930)

Josephine Hall shared honors with Baby Esther Lee Jones, 10-year-old dancer of Chicago, who represented their race as well as the United States.

The Pittsburgh Courier (June 28, 1930)

Josephine Hall, well-known radio songbird, returned June 16 on the steamship Drottingholm of the Swedish-American Line, embarking from Gothenburg after completing three months’ engagement with Rolphs’ Revy of 1930 at the China Theater, Stockholm, Sweden. Miss Hall was chosen for this unusual engagement through the appreciation of her radio and night club presentations, having appeared with great success at the Cotton Club and Plantation. The production was a highly selected conglomeration of international stars representing a dozen European countries. She shared honors with Baby Esther Lee Jones, 10-year-old dancer of Chicago, who represented their race as well as the United States.

Afro-American (July 12, 1930)

Child star leaves Berlin for engagement at theatre in Oslo, Sweden. Unable to fill all engagements that are offered. Little Esther has been a sensation in Western Europe. In 1929 she played for six weeks at the Wintergarten, here, where she was the big hit, and returned here in Berlin for a short stay in May of this year.

In Stockholm recently she was the chief attraction at the China Theatre. The next day King Gustave of Sweden, for whom she had danced in 1929, recognized her and her mother, Mrs. Jones of Chicago, on the Exposition Grounds, and lifting his hat, the King said to her in English: “Here is Little Esther. I am very glad to see you back in Stockholm.”

Last year while Little Esther was in Stockholm, the proprietor of a leading restaurant, named Branda Tomton, who had been in America, refused to serve her, her mother and her manager, Syndey Garner. Without a single exception, the newspapers of the city condemned the proprietor, and a Swedish nobleman who was present, to show his disapproval, invited the whole party to his house.

Little Esther’s rise to stardom has been phenomenal. She is only eleven years of age, and six years ago she was dancing the Charleston with other children on the sidewalks of Chicago. Since then she has played in most of the leading theatres of Western Europe, including the Casino de Paris, and the Empire Theatre of Paris. Two weeks ago, the Paris-Midi carried a special article about her, with her picture. She earns $800 a week, and has so many offers that it is impossible for her to fill them. She has also been filmed.

In addition to her manager, Sydney Garner, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, of Chicago, travel with her. While in Stockholm, she and Miss Josephine Hall of Chicago, appeared on the same bill.

The Billboard (September 6, 1930)

Little Esther returns to the Kabaret der Komiker September 1 after a successful month in Oslo.

The Billboard (September 27, 1930)

Kabaret der Komiker has Little Esther, Karinaska and Ryiber, and Rio and Santos the current month, with the usual cabaret auditions.

Afro-American (September 28, 1930)

A Swedish restaurant refused to serve ten-year-old Esther Jones, brown-skinned dancing star and her ma and pa. Stockholm white people made so much fun of the restaurant owner that he had to close. Read of Little Esther’s triumphs abroad in next week’s Afro.

The Billboard (October 18, 1930)

Little Esther, famous colored Juvenile star, is now appearing at three houses in Berlin, the Wintergarten, the Kabaret der Komlker and the Plaza. A great little artiste and fast getting headline honors.

The Billboard (October 25, 1930)

Little Esther the rage of the European continents. Headlining everywhere! Manager: Sydney Garner.

Delftsche Courant (November 15, 1930)

Little Esther the little black revue star.

Voorwaarts: Sociaal Democratisch Dagblad (November 19, 1930)

The little revue star “Little Esther,” a descendant of some Negro tribe, soon won the hearts of those present, she dances and sings excellently.

Het Vaderland (November 20, 1930)

Little Esther the little Negro girl, is conquering hearts.

The Billboard (December 6, 1930)

Harry Fleming, another colored show, is at the Hansa in Hamburg. Little Esther returns in December to the Ufa Palace in Hamburg.

The Billboard (December 13, 1930)

Little Esther is in big type at the Arena, Rotterdam, and going very strong.
Jules Marx has signed this little colored star for all his houses, including the

Afro-American (January 24, 1931)

Child entertainer, who is a hit abroad singing not only American jazz numbers but the folk songs of the countries she visits. She masters many languages.

She has also appeared before the King and Queen of Norway, their Majesties of Sweden, the King and Queen of Spain and other notabilities.

Little Esther is versatile, and has picked up the popular songs of the countries in which she plays, and sings them in the language of the country for her audience.

When the royal family of Norway visited Victor Bernaus Theatre at which she was playing in Oslo, she sang a Norwegian love song in their honor. The King and Crowned Prince asked she be presented to them, which was done during the entr’acte.

The following week she was invited to the palace where she sang and danced for the whole royal family.

She has appeared in talkies for the Excelsior Film Co of Berlin. Her salary runs into four figures weekly, and she is booked for the next four years.

Mrs. Jones (Esther’s mother), who was on a visit to America has returned to Germany, while, the wife of Mr. Garner has presented him with a son.

Afro-American (March 28, 1931)

Little Esther, the dancing marvel of Chicago, continues to create a sensation in Germany, where she has been headlining in many of the leading theatres. She is now the big attraction at the Scala in Leipzig.

The German press praises her in the most enthusiastic language, calling her “a super-Josephine Baker,” “the little Negro girl with the nickelled voice, a million-dollar talent and the ability of her race,” and one “whose talent and gracefulness pockets a hundred big stars.”

She dominated a big theatre and her name was not even on the program, but she was announced as a “special attraction” in place of Claire Waldoff who is ill and all of a sudden she is there: Little Esther, this wonderful and highly talented Negro child actress. After having seen her in more than one cabaret stage in the Western district, it is quite surprising how she is able to master this enormous stage and big house of the Plaza. A great success. And only after she gave several encores she was permitted to leave the stage.

Little Esther, this delightfully cute and sweet little Negro child can do more than a hundred of her grown-up colleagues on the stage. She must have found all this great talent in her cradle, for she does it with a child-like happiness in a quite new, appealing, and fascinating way.

Though only twelve years old, she is one of the highest paid artists in Europe, her salary running into four figures weekly. With her mother, Mrs. Jones, and her manager, Sydney Garner, she leaves shortly for a six months’ tour of South America.

Afro-American (April 11, 1931)

Little Esther so now South America bound. Little Esther, whose dancing has captivated theater-goers of many large European cities, passed through here on her way to Marseilles, to take a ship for South America, where she is to make a six months tour.

Accompanying her is her sister Miss Jones of Chicago, and her manager Sydney Garner, of New York. While in Paris, Little Esther, who is 12 years of age, was received on the stage of the Casino de Paris by Josephine Baker, and presented with a box of candy. The little star was heartily applauded by the audience.

Afro-American (July 11, 1931)

Little Esther, the twelve-year-old dancing marvel of Chicago, they also say, is making a big hit. South America, they think, is the ideal colored man’s dream.

L´Impartial (January 16, 1932)

It is interesting to note in this regard that the little Negress Little Esther, age 8, who imitates Josephine Baker perfectly.

De Sumatra (July 22, 1932)

For those who saw Josephine Baker and Little Esther dancing or attended pagan dances with inseparable throne guidance. Must the shape of the Negro dances inevitably appears to be like a jack-of-all-trades, and so there is no greater contradiction between the hefty leg and arm movements and the torso twists that the Bosnian dancers showed me, between the dances of the two mentioned dance phenomenons or the typical ones that are seen in Harlem, see the Negro Quarter of New York on one side and the slow shuffle passes, with which one sees a pair of European dance halls dressed in fashion dancing the jazz dances derived from the Negro dances, and it is certainly not surprising that Josephine Baker has not been able to let go of her innate ridicule.

Afro-American (June 3, 1933)

Baby Esther, clever stage star, who drew thousands a week in Europe, but is not good enough to play a Topsy here. She is telling a blood hound to leave Liza alone.

The Indianapolis Star (October 22, 1933)

Nightly 8, 10:30, 12:30 with “Little Esther” international juvenile star.

The Indianapolis News (December 16, 1933)

Curly Brooks is a colored singer and dancer, whose dancing in particular
has the rhythmic qualities for which his race is famous. With him is “Little Esther,” as she is called, a young girl you may have seen dancing hereabouts.

The Indianapolis Star (December 22, 1933)

From Cafe de Pare and Lennox Club, X.Y. City. Little Esther, international star.

The Indianapolis Star (December 24, 1933)

As a special extra attraction, “Little Esther,” diminutive dancing star, who recently returned from Europe.

The Tennessean (March 9, 1934)

Little Esther “Hot Cha In Black.”

Muncie Evening Press (April 14, 1934)

Little Esther the fastest colored dancer you ever saw and how she can sing! Formerly with Cab Calloway Orchestra.

Muncie Evening Press (April 14, 1934)

Little Esther, one of the cleverest singing and dancing colored girls in vaudeville, heads this portion of the stage attractions. She has been featured in vaudeville for many years, with her routines of tap and acrobatic dances and her ability as a blues singer. In the article, they misspelled her name and dubbed her “Little Lester.” But the name “Little Esther” can be seen in the banner.

The Star Press (April 15, 1934)

Little Esther the peer of all colored singers and dancers formerly with Cab Calloway.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (April 18, 1934)

Lou Bolton is in New York to appear as the principal witness for Paramount-Publix and Max Fleischer in Helen Kane’s $100,000 suit against them for using the “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” expression in the Betty Boop cartoons. It seems Bolton’s colored prodigy, “Little Esther,” was “Boop-Boop-a-Dooping” it long before Paul Ash discovered Miss Kane.

The Evening Sun (May 1, 1934)

Witness in Helen Kane’s $250,000 Betty Boop suit says actress Helen Kane took cue from “Baby Esther” Jones in 1928.

The Evening News (May 2, 1934)

Negro girl of night club is a real dooper. Helen Kane’s title to claim disputed in court. Helen Kane’s “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” trial today went “Booping” back to the night clubs of 1928 and a little Negro girl, proclaimed as the original dooper. Baby Esther delivered many a “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” in New York months before , according to the testimony of Lou Bolton, the child’s manager. Bolton stated that Helen Kane had a ringside seat at the Everglades Club on Broadway one Winter’s night when Baby Esther was “Booping” that was before Helen’s first “Boop,” too.

Democrat and Chronicle (May 2, 1934)

Court stenographers who struggled to record in shorthand the “Boop-Oop-Doops” of Helen Kane were on the verge of hysterics tonight. Supreme Court Judge Edward J. McGoldrick ordered them to set down “Do-Do-De-Do-Ho-De-Wa-Da-De-Da.” The “Boop-Oop-a-Doop” trial, in which Helen Kane seeks $250,000 damages from the animated cartoon creators of “Betty Boop,” became this complicated when Lou Bolton testified, for the defense, Bolton testified that nine years ago in Chicago he taught Baby Esther, a Negro child to interpolate “Do-Do-De-Do-Ho-De-Wa-Da-De-Da” between the bars of music in popular songs. Bolton said Miss Kane heard Baby Esther’s song treatment here in 1928 and shortly afterward began her famous “Booping.” Testimony also was heard today from Bonnie Poe and Margie Hines, two petite piping-voiced misses who said they were hired by the Max Fleischer studios as voices for Betty Boop after winning Helen Kane contests. Miss Hines said she won a preliminary contest before she ever heard Miss Kane.

The Spokesman-Review (May 2, 1934)

Testifying for the defense, Lou Bolton, theatrical manager, said that one of his stage proteges, Esther Jones, a Negro woman, had interpolated songs with syllables similar to Miss Kane’s as long ago as 1925. In April, 1928, Bolton continued, Miss Kane and her manager attended a performance of Miss Jones, whose stage name was Baby Esther in a New York night club. Just a few weeks later, he testified, Miss Kane began to “Boop” at a theatre here. Then followed an exhaustive retracting of the history of “Boop-Boop-a-Doopery.” Baby Esther made funny expressions and interpolated meaningless sounds at the end of each bar of music in her songs.

Afro-American (May 3, 1934)

Witnesses tell of “Boops” heard before Helen Kane’s. Miss Kane insists that she was the originator of the singing technique which she has claimed hers since 1928, and that the technique was stolen by Max Fleischer, Fleischer Studios, Inc., and Paramount-Public corporation in the promotion of Betty Boop animated cartoons.

The first witness today was Alfred Evans, who said that in 1927, a year before Helen Kane first offered a “Boop,” he heard Edith Griffith, who affected a baby voice in her stage performances.

Marion Luber, a dancer told the court that in early 1928, she heard Baby Esther a Negro child performer, employ the “Boop” style of singing.

Muncie Evening Press (May 4, 1934)

Stage attractions – Little Esther, a red-hot dancer.

Muncie Evening Press (May 4, 1934)

Little Esther a red-hot dancer.

Afro-American (May 6, 1934)

Baby Esther originated the “Boop-a-Doop” style of singing, and Helen Kane, white movie and radio star, barefacedly swiped it and made a fortune from it, a court trial reveals, as
Miss Kane sues imitators of the “Boop” style. T’would be logical now for Baby Esther to sue Miss Kane, to make the thing even all around.

The Courier-Journal (May 10, 1934)

The stage show is to be presented by Helena Justa and her “Harlem Maniacs” in a Harlem Night Club revue. Helena Justa was formerly with Lew Leslie’s “Blackbirds” and is heralded as the “female Bill Robinson.” As an added attraction of the stage show
The National has booked Little Esther, billed as “The Sepia Dancing Doll.”

The Courier-Journal (May 10, 1934)

As an added attraction of the stage show The National has booked Little Esther, billed as “The Sepia Dancing Doll.”

The Courier-Journal (May 13, 1934)

Little Esther, a sepia dancing girl appears as an added attraction with the stage show, and is said to be one of the youngest vaudeville artists to have achieved success on three continents. She has appeared in practically every theater of consequence in the United States and Canada. Remained four months at the Empire Theater in Paris, then played lengthy engagements in Berlin.

Journal and Courier (June 2, 1934)

Williams and Walker, sons of the old stage favorites of the same names, do
some intricate tap steps as does “Little Esther,” very young and very small,
who also taps as only those of her race can.

Afro-American (July 21, 1934)

Big midnight crowd enjoys NAACP benefit. Another outstanding number among the juvenile satellites was the song and dance number of that jazz Baby Hilda, who it was recalled, “stopped the show” at the Alpha Formal several years ago. She was good then, she is best now. Little Esther, on the other hand had a bit too much art and finesse, born of her extensive travel and contacts, not to mention expert tutelage, to bring for her the spontaneous applause which usually follows the more abandoned type of expression. But she had charm and grace and form. The acrobatic dance number was very good.

Afro-American (July 28, 1934)

A bouquet of roses: Ethel Waters, Baby Edwards, Cora Green, the Pope Sisters and Little Esther for their splendid efforts put forth on last Sunday evening at the benefit bill at the Lincoln Theatre.

Afro-American (September 8, 1934)

Racket benefits are rapped by Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Little Esther, Blanche Saunders and Anise Short were next in line and scored heavily. Miss Brock, an amateur acrobat got a big hand and was followed by a revue from the Dreamland Cafe. The Kiddie Radio group, under the direction of Lou Garcia, featured Baby Hilda, and Dorothy Saulters and others.

Bed and World (1932/1967/2008)

Dutch writer Jo Otten explains how fascinated he was with Esther Jones and also how he met Esther. He also says that Esther was 13-years-old in Paris, and 14-years-old in Berlin. And that he named his daughter (Ayla/Alja) Alexandra Esther, after Esther Lee Jones.

Afro-American (November 2, 1946)

One of Gordon Stretton’s most interesting stories is of the time he took a show to Rio De Janerio, “Little Esta.” After the show, he visited the Presidential Palace with President Vargas and later the home of a family he had met earlier.

Afro-American (November 2, 1946)

Former Harlemite advised Carmen Miranda to come to America. Sidney Garner was touring with Little Esther when her first heard Carmen Miranda sing. Carmen Miranda, Hollywood actress, as being one of the highest paid women in America.

In Paris, Sidney Garner, formerly of New York’s Harlem, confirms his statement with old Brazilian newspaper clippings and photos, that he was instrumental in starting Carmen Miranda up the “stairway to the stars.”

The story goes back to a day in June, 1931: Garner, then manager of the wonder girl, “Little Ester,” 8-year-old dancer, comedienne and singer, arrived in Rio de Janero from Europe with his child prodigy who opened at the Cine Theatre Eldorado and scored such a success that Generosa Pence, co-owner of the establishment, honored Little Esther with a party in his luxurious apartment.

Miss Miranda, then 19, who was born in Marco Canavezes, Portugal, but had been living in Brazil for some years, was among the invited guests and met Garner fr the first time.

After dinner, Miss Miranda asked Little Ester to sing a song she had enjoyed hearing the child star sing on the stage. But Little Ester refused. “Well,” said Miss Miranda (quoting Garner), “If you won’t sing for me, then I’ll sing for you.”

Miss Miranda began to sing and Garner admits that he was overwhelmed by her voice, talent and personality. On Sunday, Oct. 25, 1931, Rio’s principal newspaper, “A Patria,” gave considerable space to Garner’s “find,” whom he termed as a “a revelation of Brazilian talent,” and his prediction of her un-questionable rise to stardom should she go to Hollywood. Miss Miranda’s success was spontaneous and inspiring.

During World War II, he was interned by the Germans. He became manager of Little Esther in Feb., 1929, following her arrival here on a tour, built a show around her and toured Europe, Brazil and Argentine.

Returning from South America in 1931, Garner fell ill in Portugal. Little Esther, who was born in Chicago, and her aunt, Miss Ruth Jones, her accompanist, were both tired and homesick, so they returned to the United States.

Sex and Race: The Old World by J.A Rogers (1970)

The most popular vaudeville artist in Berlin in 1929 was a coal-black Aframerican girl of six, named Little Esther. I saw her play to vast, applauding crowds in Berlin and elsewhere.

Solen och sjön (1979)

While touring Stockholm in a revue, Esther enchanted the audience singing “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby.” Sparre was born in 1903 and died in 1984, writing and publishing 33 books between the ages of 22 and 73.

The Times-Tribune (November 30, 1983)

Helen Kane a popular vaudeville star, claimed violation of the “Boop-Boop-a-Doop.” But she lost her suit when it was shown that not only did Grim Natwick completely reconstruct the animated character, but the basic characteristics that Kane charged Fleischer with stealing from her were, in fact stolen by her from another vaudevillian, Baby Esther.

The Life, Music and Times of Carlos Gardel (1986)

In Simon Collier’s book, Esther is referenced on page 115. Gardel shared a bill with Little Esther, “a Josephine Baker in miniature,” the roller-skating acrobats Van Horn and Inez and a chimpanzee called Djibo, who did a trapeze routine.

Talking Animals and Other People (1986)

In animator Shamus Culhane’s book, Baby Esther is cited as the original “Boop-Boop-a-Dooper.”

Incredibly Strange Music, Vol. 1 (1993)

In V. Vale’s book, it states that “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” didn’t originate with Kane,
but with a black artist named Baby Esther.

The Rise and Fall of Popular Music (1995)

In historian Donald Clark’s book it states that Helen Kane’s flapper persona was soon passe, and that her “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” had earlier been practised by a black singer, Baby Esther.

Crosscurrents: African Americans, Africa, and Germany in the Modern World (1998)

African-Americans abroad such as Sydney Garner who lived in Germany,
Leslie Hutchinson or Harold Browning of the Four Harmony Kings – both
based in London started managing careers in Europe.

Garner, for example, managed one of the most successful African American child stars of the 1920s, Little Esther, and was secretary to the comedian Johnny Hudgins.

It goes without saying that Hudgins and Little
Esther performed in Weimar Germany.

Masters of Animation (2001)

Baby Esther is referenced John Grant’s book Masters of Animation.

The Middling Sorts (2001)

In Burton J. Bledstein book The Middling Sorts: Explorations in the History of the American Middle Class originally published in 2001, it says that in Jack L. Cooper’s essay “The Negro Runs Riot With The Stage,” that dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s record run at the Palace Theatre, as well as those local performers such as the Byron brothers and Little Esther Jones. The book was given a digital release in 2013.

Swing It: An Annotated History of Jive (1954/2001/2003)

In biographer Bill Milkowski’s book, Baby Esther is cited as an obscure singer, who’s catchphrase was coined by Helen Kane.

Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (2004)

In professor Robert O’Meally’s book it states that footage of black cabaret artist “Baby Esther,” performed a song that contained the heavily debated phrase “Boop-Boop-a-Doop.” The lawyers further surprised the court with testimony from Baby Esther’s manager Lou Bolton, that Helen Kane and her manager Tony Shayne had heard Baby Esther sing in a cabaret in 1928. The point of course was that even if the Fleischers’ singers (Margie Hines, Little Ann Little, Catherine Wright, Bonnie Poe, Mae Questel) had copied Kane to create Betty Boop, Kane herself, if the evidence was believed, was “an imitation of an imitation” and had, as it were, a black grandmother in her background.

Moderna Människor : Folkhemmet Och Jazzen (2004)

In professor Johan Fornäs‘ 2004 book it says: “Ernst Rolf sjöng med svartmålat ansikte och den svarta barnsångerskan Little Esther i famnen “Pojken min” (“Sonny Boy”) på
China 1929, på Barnens Dag.”

The translation to this by Baby Esther Jones official website here is: “Ernst Rolf sang with a black painted face and the black child singer Little Esther in the arms of “My Boy” (“Sonny Boy”) on the China Theatre 1929, on Children’s Day.”

Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution by Richard Fleischer (2005)

A piece of sound film made in 1928 was dredged up proving that a black nightclub entertainer named Baby Esther was singing “Boop-Oop-a-Doop” long before Helen Kane. The judge ruled that Kane had failed to prove that the defendants wrongfully appropriated her technique and ruled against her.

Kalle Lind (2008)

Esther was referenced on Kalle Lind’s official website by Johnny Högberg in 2011. He stated that Esther was refused service while touring in Rolf’s Revy because she was Negro. This was long before anyone knew that Baby Esther Lee Jones and Little Esther Lee Jones were the same person.

De Doodskabouters Van Een Puddingliterator (2008)

Esther is referenced as the “Godly” dancing Negro girl in a 2008 article by writer Arnold Heumakers.

Gardel: El Cantor Del Tango (2010)

Esther is referenced in the Tango Singer, that was released in 2010.

Sex and Race, Volume 1: Negro-Caucasian Mixing in All Ages and All (2014)

On page 298, Esther is cited as a popular vaudeville artist in Berlin in 1929. It states in 1929, she was a coal-black African-American girl of six, named Little Esther. She played to vast, applauding crowds in Berlin and elsewhere. Around that time, Adolf Hitler’s first act in power was to drive all the black musicians and entertainers from Germany – Esther was one of them. According to data, the black performers were making the Germans laugh and it prevented them from reaching murderous grimness necessary for war.

Paris Blues (2014)

Esther is referenced on page 49 in Paris Blues: African American Music and French Popular Culture, 1920-1960 by Andy Fry.

Selling the Silver Bullet: The Lone Ranger Transmedia Brand Licensing (2015)

The Fleischer Studios successfully defended its origination claims to the Betty Boop character against actress Helen Kane, who claimed the character’s likeness and singing style were based on her own (the court found that Kane’s look and sound were derivatives of Clara Bow’s and Baby Esther’s and that therefore she had no claim to being
the inspiration for Betty Boop.

Moving Performances: Divas, Iconicity, and Remembering the Modern Stage (2016)

Betty Boop was based on the white performer Helen Kane’s appropriation of the African-American performer Esther Jones’ “Baby Esther” persona.

Diario de Sevilla (2016)

Esther is referenced in an article about Harry Flemming.

Charmören (2017)

Esther is referenced in Kar De Mumma aka Erik Harald Zetterström’s memoirs, in which she is referenced as Little Ester. According to information at Rolf’s Revue he saw a little colored girl called Little Ester in Summer of 1929. He stated that it was stated that she was the darkest from Africa, and that one day she was denied milk at a restaurant without justification.

Tropical Travels (2018)

Little Esther is referenced on page 24 in Tropical Travels: Brazilian Popular Performance, Transnational Encounters, and the Construction of Race which was released by Lisa Shaw in 2018. The book states that in June 1931 Gordon Stretton, who was accompanied by his jazz band teamed up with the Afro-American child star Little Esther, an acrobatic dancer, who was billed by the press as “Josephine Baker’s legitimate successor.” Stretton would impersonate Al Jolson at Rio’s Eldorado Theatre, singing “Sonny Boy” and “My Mammy,” the latter in duet with Little Esther. Preempting Josephine Baker’s adoption of this Afro-Brazilian persona in Rio in 1939. Little Esther also performed in the city as a baiana during the tour.

“Baby Esther” single by Kyle Dion (2017)

Esther Jones is referenced in a tribute song by singer Kyle Dion. The song references plagiarism, which is directed towards Helen Kane, who adapted her “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” scat singing routine from Esther Jones in 1928.

Gordon Stretton, Black British Transoceanic Jazz Pioneer (2018)

Esther is referenced in Gordon Stretton, Black British Transoceanic Jazz Pioneer: A New Jazz Chronicle. It states what we already know. In 1932, Gordon was in Brazil playing with the popular American child performer Esther Jones on her South American tour. They appeared at the El Dorado Theater in Rio, where both of their names were up in lights. Gordon taught a stage struck nameless Carmen Miranda how to dance, and they all met up at a function. At that function Miranda asked Esther to sing for her, Esther refused, so Miranda sang for Esther.

Underneath It All: A History of Women’s Underwear (2018)

Max Fleischer, based Betty Boop on white singer and actress Helen Kane. He modeled the
character’s appearance, “Boop-Oop-a-Doop” catchphrase, and famous song “I Wanna Be Loved By You” on Kane’s stage performances. What he didn’t realize was that Kane had stolen the style, look, and unique riff from 1920s black jazz singer Esther Jones, known as Baby Esther. The truth came out when Kane sued Fleischer for exploiting her image.During the trial, a 1928 audio recording of Baby Esther singing the famous
“Boop-Oop-a-Doop” phrase confirmed that Kane had taken Baby Esther’s work
and called it her own. The suit against Fleischer was dismissed, and Betty Boop
claimed her place in the pantheon of iconic female images.

And I BOOPS!! Baby Esther you are the one!! (2020)

A podcast about Baby Esther by You Heard That.

BET Awards (2021)

For the Black Entertainment Television awards of 2021 Taraji Penda Henson dressed up as Betty Boop to pay homage to Baby Esther Jones.  

Betty Boop 2021 Homage to Baby Esther Jones

Swedish Wikipedia

Esther Jones aka Little Esther happens to be listed on the Swedish Wikipedia. She is cited as part of the major events that had taken place in May of 1929.

Baby Peggy and Baby Esther (1929)


  1. Esther Jones appeared in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer short known as “Little Esther” or “Baby Esther” which was recorded on the 6th of December in 1928. The last known master copy of the 1928 film short was at the Columbia Phonograph Company, Bridgeport, 1064 Connecticut. In São Paulo cinematógrafos, Esther Jones appears in Little Esther, no “Para Todos” which was recorded 02 jul. 1931.

2. Esther Jones had been scat singing since 1925, and dancing since 1923.

3. While touring she was accompanied and shared the stage with artists such as Carlos Gardel, Sam Wooding, Ernst Rolf, Little Olympe Bradna, Cotton Club singer Josephine Hall, Gordon Stretton Jazz, Harry Flemming, Abe Lyeman and Ascendino Lisboa.

4. Her mother was Gertrude Jones, and her father was William Jones a photographer and decorator, who was 60-years-old in 1928. In some articles William is cited as not being her real father. Esther had a aunt by the name of Ruth Jones, and several siblings. Lou Bolton was Esther’s first manager, up until he was fired in Paris. Black Parisian Sydney Garner became Esther’s new official manager and lead her to success in Europe and South America.

5. In the United States was known as “Farina’s Kid Sister,” “Young Flo Mills,” “Second Florence Mills” and “Miniature Florence Mills,” but in Europe she was known as “Miniature Josephine Baker” and “Josephine Baker’s Rival.” Jones was dubbed “The Black Baby” in Paris. Later to be known as “The Dancing Doll” and “The Sepia Dancing Doll.”

6.  At the age of four Esther, in dances entirely of her own invention, was the star turn at the infant school. And grown-ups came to see her as she whirled and pirouetted to the accompaniment of a rudimentary orchestra supplied by her ten-year-old brother with the help of an old kettle and a drum.

7. When she met Mistinguett, she was dubbed “The Black Mistinguett.”  While dancing on the lid of a grand piano with faultless precision, Mistinguett got up from her seat and kissed her, exclaiming, “You will be one day the black Mistinguett of the stage.”

8. Esther Lee Jones went by the names and titles: Ester Jones, Little Ester, Baby Ester, Esther Jones, Baby Esther, Bay Esther, Little Esther, Little Esta, Little Hester, Little Lester, Child Wonder, Child Prodigy. The apostrophe in her “LIL ESTHER” name would often change, so it would be L’il Esther, Li’l Esther, Lil’ Esther, L’il Ester, Li’l Ester and Lil’ Ester.

9. Esther met Josephine Baker at the Casino de Paris. Esther Jones actually had no idea who Josephine Baker was and cited as saying when asked about the great Josephine: “Who? Josephine Baker? I do not know.”

10. Baby Esther’s fake death was created as a hoax by a woman by the name of May Farrington, who runs a Helen Kane fan website. As she was unhappy that the Esther Jones story came to light in 2014. May later asked an actress by the name of Ginger Pauley (a well known character impersonator) to fabricate the story on social media to deflect what really happened during the $250,000 Helen Kane and Betty Boop lawsuit, and that is where Esther’s fake death originates. Both women are or were known modern day Helen Kane impersonators, and most likely created the hoax to protect Helen’s legacy, which is what fans normally do when their heroes or heroines are outed as not being original. One of the modern day voices of Betty Boop randomly also got involved and also spewed anger and rage in “secret shade” over Esther Jones being the original “scat singing” sensation due to the fact that she also was a member of the Helen Kane fan club which was run by Farrington. They all failed miserably, and the truth was shared worldwide. Racist behavior is not acceptable in this decade and most people will not stand for it. We will speak up against it. Throwing false narratives around, because you didn’t get to hide a vital part of history is quite how you say, blasée?

11. During the three-way “$250,000 Infringement Lawsuit” between Helen Kane, The Fleischer Studios and their Betty Boop character, including Paramount Pictures the corporation Kane used to work for prior to the lawsuit, in court Helen Kane’s attorney Samuel Weltz claimed that the footage of Baby Esther singing was “irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial,” and stated that Esther Jones was a Helen Kane impersonator. He was denied by the court. After vast research it proves that Esther was actually a Florence Mills impersonator at the Everglades in 1928. People today who like to “whitewash” history have tried to cover this up, but the truth has been set free as of 2018.

Recently as of 2020 a “White” man from Australia by the name of “David Lee Down Under” stole many photos from my blog here, and my images and did not credit a single source.

Pretended that they were “his” photos for unknown reasons. Possibly racist motives. Probably because I called out specific “White” women who he “idolizes” as being openly racist and that is the only thing I can think of. But karma has its way of returning the favor.

Which is weird because when “White” people band together and do these things, it only proves my point. My point was, why try to cover up the real Esther Jones’ story? By trying to make me seem as if I am a liar when I clearly am not?

I have had to deal with “current” day voices or impersonators of Betty Boop, Sandy Fox and Ginger Pauley, two known KKKaren-types attack me for defending Esther Jones with KKK racist followers. They have done a lot of vicious things. Sandy Fox the voice of Betty Boop recently as of 2020 contacted a website to have them “scold” me for talking about her “RACISM” on my other blogs. Over what!? People claiming Betty Boop is Black!? Or me calling out her obvious downlow racism?

Since “researching” Esther Jones I had a lot of racist people trying to undermine me. That is what I noticed. But the hardcore truth eventually silenced them.

But the man in question “Dave Lee” who is clearly Autistic didn’t say anything negative, he actually promoted Esther Jones and the truth, so there is no beef there.

The only beef is him stealing images from this blog here which I took the time to obtain and not crediting the source. And also “removing” watermarks pretending that they were his photos. He could have been given copyright strikes. But I’m not that kind of person. So I let it slide. He goes by the name @daveleedwnundr on Twitter. I personally think that if you steal content, it is only right that people are aware. That is why I am making it be known.

I released all of Esther Jones photos to the public because of what that man did. And anyone can use them now. Feel free to remove the links too if you want to crop them.

This “Dave Lee” only covered the story because he was lurking and following my posts and then the “real” Esther Jones story blew up after I released a video in 2018.

Then trying to “subject” me to ridicule like the other racists for my personal opinions on ‘online perverts’ who openly stalk people, who I have called out in the past. Who this Dave seems to side with. Must be the Autism. Obviously.

I don’t care. At the end of the day this person in question from Australia is bypassing copyright to get famous and known. When in reality he has a thief-like mentality. That is why Warner Bros. ensured that they copyright and or DCMA him.

He basically uses other people’s content and pulls it off as his own. And doesn’t give credit where credit is due. So any research done, he will swipe. But that is what most people do. But this is for anyone wondering if he has “plagiarized” them to be wary of him.

As of 2021, a lot of people have since covered the story. And are calling out “racists” who try to hide the truth. It is only racist people who are getting upset when people talk about the truth. Nobody else does that. Normal people accept and embrace truth and facts. But racists often get upset and often decide to lie. Which doesn’t really work in their favor. 

Thank you to everyone who spoke up against this kind of behavior. Personally I won’t be getting involved. The research is over and done with. People can continue where “I” left off. I have moved onto bigger things. 

Anyway a big thank you to all those “Black” content creators out there who referenced this blog. I am ever so happy this blog helped you with your research.

Baby Esther and Harry Flemming 1929


  1. “Of all of the countries I know, Spain has the richest cooking. It is making me fat and I am worried.” (Madrid, 1929)

2. “I like sharks a lot.” (Nederland, 1929)

3. “I love the Parisians.” (Nederland, 1929)

4. “It’s my mother! And I love her very much.” (Nederland, 1929)

5. “I had so far escaped their wrath by staying out of the South.” (Brazil, 1932)


Alternative Website:

Baby Esther Gallery:

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 2

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 6

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 7

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 8

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 3

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 4

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 1

Baby Esther Jones by BabyEstherWordPress 5