Preview performance of Alice’s play!


Hidden in Plain Sight

Remember the YouTube video of the 102-year-old dancer seeing her younger self on film for the first time? Her video has over 18 million views to date, and was featured on CBS Nightly News, NBC News, The Washington Post, Time, Good Morning America, & BuzzFeed. Alice even received a letter from former President Barack Obama.

Before Alice Barker became famous for this Youtube video, she was seen as just an old woman in a nursing home. But she had stories to tell and a history to share.

Alice Barker was a well-known African American dancer during the 1940s. A house dancer at the legendary Cafe Zanzibar, Alice also performed in all of the exclusive Manhattan nightclubs with musicians including, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and all the greats! She made her television debut in the 60s dancing with Frank Sinatra on his show, making her one of the first African American dancers to perform on television.

Hidden in Plain Sight, is a mini-production of a work-in-progress play that will tell the story of Alice’s life in the nursing home, her most memorable experiences and her strong belief in embracing what you love; to always “let it be”. Alice’s story will be brought to life by the residents, staff, and family members that knew of her.

Hidden in Plain Sight premieres during Nursing Home Week on Monday, May 14TH at 2:30pm at Brooklyn Nursing & Rehabilitation Rehab Facility in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

If interested in attending or for further information, please RSVP to

A new soundie with Alice is found!

Alice appears at 0:18 (far right), and 1:11 (front and center, then moving to the right)

Thanks to writer Susan Delson for bringing this to our attention!

Notes by jazz historian Mark Cantor:

This soundie is titled ‘Sugar Hill Masquerade’, although it is actually the standard ‘After You’ve Gone’. It was recorded on December 18, 1941 by Gene Krupa and his orchestra, the familiar arrangement from the period featuring trumpet star Roy Eldridge.

The soundtrack was put on the shelf, and the “action” was not filmed until September 18, 1942 — not an altogether rare soundie practice. The small band you see on screen at the beginning, led by trumpet Walter Fuller, has nothing to do with the music we hear on screen.

The sideline performers include the following; note the way Alice’s name appears on the sideline contract:
Edna Mae Harris, Slim Thomas, Ray Harris, Carrie Frederick, Charlie Morrison, Frances Urline Jackson, Dorothy Moses, Thelma Hereford, Estella Marrino, Alyce Barker [chorus girl to far right], Florence Alexander.

Alice has Passed

Alice passed away peacefully last night — Wednesday, April 6th, 2016.

She was 103 years old.

She spent the last day of her life in good spirits, listening to music and enjoying having her fan mail read to her by Gail.

As she often did, Alice commented again how amazed and thankful she was that people remembered her and took the time to write, “I really feel that these people care about me.”

Her fans the world over truly gave joy and meaning to the last years of her life. She was always humbled and honored that she could be an inspiration to others.

When Gail left for the day, Alice gave her a send-off wink.

Gail and I would like to say thank you to all of you for giving her so much love and recognition. Our lives were changed forever by being a part of Alice’s story.

We’re in the process of collecting and cataloging all the cards and art that were sent to Alice. In future we’d also like to establish some manner of permanent memorial for her.




New Years Photos and an Update

Sorry it’s been a while since our last update about Alice. We want to let everyone know that, though some days are better than others, Alice is still going strong and loving music!

We were excited and delighted to find out that New York City theatre company is currently working on a play about her life! Of course we’ll post whatever info we have about it as it takes shape.


Alice had a lovely visit from some fans for New Year Eve. They brought her all kinds of blue accessories (it’s her favorite color) and she did a little performance for them.

It was great to see her in such high spirits. How lovely does she look in that blue scarf?


Thank you all for continuing to send your letters to Alice. They make her day, every day!

Alice Gets a Letter from the White House!

unnamedAlice received a letter today from the Obamas! The signatures are hand signed!

Of course she is over the moon. This was really the only thing she could have asked for to make her life and legacy complete.

It reads:

“Dear Alice:

Happy 103rd birthday! We are delighted to send our belated warm wishes on this milestone.

Your story is an integral part of the American narrative, and you have witnessed the best of what our Nation can accomplish when we work together in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow. We hope you were able to enjoy the occasion, and we wish you all the best.


Barack Obama  Michelle Obama

Alice’s 103rd Birthday!

On July 30th, 2015, Alice celebrated her 103rd birthday!

A troupe of dancers from a school in Harlem came to perform for her and all the residents. She was positively glowing!

Cards, flowers and fan art from around the world continue to arrive for her every day, and she could not feel more blessed and honored. Thank you all! You are truly making this woman’s life complete. 🙂


Visiting Alice

Alice-and-us_croppedWhile visiting NYC for the July 4th holiday, my girlfriend Sara and I stopped by and had a lovely visit with Alice.

We got caught up, read some of her cards to her, and heard some new stories. My favorite thing she told us, “I got jobs because I had great legs, but also, I knew how to wink.”

At which point she gave us a huge wink. 😉


A Mountain of Cards (and an Award)

Thank you all for the amazing outpouring of love and admiration for our Alice—she’s received well over 500 cards! (We think, too many to count!)

Friends are volunteers are reading them to her regularly, and she is loving every word. She still shakes her head in disbelief to see not only how many cards there are, but how they’ve come from all over the world. And the lovely art so many of you have made!

We wish there was some way we could reply to everyone who sent a card directly, but it will have to do for us to say here, thank you! You have made such a difference in her life.

Alice also received a Lifetime Achievement Award!