"numbers king"

Published December 7, 1941


Numbers king from HARLEM as seen by hirschfeld. Lithograph, 1941



Taps on his feet
Hittin’ the pavement with a clean beat
Walkin’ bass thumpin’ in his chest
Tuxedo jacket in a grand piano hand

A trumpet blast flash of a smile
The sax section risin’ behind those eyes
A muted trombone slippery slides:
“Hey, Sweet Thang, you sho’ look fine!”

The Numbers King is with us once again
Walkin’ down the street
Like a Big Band.

-Brian Stokes Mitchell

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