Dorchester entertainers include:
Akrobatik began in Boston's hip-hop scene in the 1990s. Born and bred in Dorchester's Codman Square, he released his rap CD Balance infused with social and political commentary in spring 2003.
Ashmont Records and Ashmont Books. Founded in 2000 by Joyce Linehan and Joe Pernice. Joyce lives in a bungalow on Ashmont Hill. CD's: Big Tobacco; The World Won't End; Try Again; Yours, Mine & Ours; Australia Tour. Books: Two Blind Pigeons by Joe Pernice. See their website: www.ashmontrecords.com
Benzino, Hip Hop artist is from Dorchester.
Ray Bolger, born Raymond Wallace Bulcao in Dorchester on January 10, 1904, son of a house painter and a homemaker, began his career in vaudeville shortly after he graduated from Dorchester High School in 1920. He was half of a duo named Sanford and Bolger. He also performed in Broadway shows on his own. He was signed by MGM in 1936 for a solo in The Great Ziegfield. For his salary of $3000 per week, he was expected to take whatever part was assigned. When he was cast as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, he persuaded Buddy Ebsen to switch parts with him. Bolger became immortalized as the Scarecrow while Ebsen who was allergic to the Tin Man's silver makeup had to drop out of the film, being replaced by Jack Haley. Bolger had a full career of stage, film, television and nightclub entertaining. He died in Los Angeles in January 1987.
Edwin Booth, great 19th century actor and brother of John Wilkes Booth, lived in Dorchester for a few months in the 1860s, renting a house on Washington Street next to Mother's Rest.
Norm Crosby, television comedian from the 1960s onward, is a Dorchester native.
Future Dads, home-grown underage musical act -- See separate entry.
Deb Farrar-Parkman. Dorchester comic, one of the founders of Boston's wildly successful Women of Color in Comedy series.
Gremies -- See Future Dads
Guru, Hip Hop artist, is supposedly from Dorchester near the intersection of Allston Street and Melville Avenue, though some say he is from Roxbury.
Lisa King, Lisa King obituary appeared in the Boston Globe Feb. 23, 2006, written by Michael Naughton. Lisa King was a slam poetry champion who was born in Boston and raised in Dorchester.
Ryan Landry, 1990s and later stage performer, director and producer of take-offs of serious drama with gay references, has lived on Ashmont Street. See Boston Sunday Globe, City Weekly section, Nov. 9, 2003, p. 14.
Corey Manning. Dorchester comic.
New Kids on the Block, musical group and cultural phenomenon from the late 1980s until 1994, sold millions of recordings. The group was formed by Maurice Starr who had discovered the band New Edition a few years earlier. Starr recruited talented and attractive local teenagers to perform danceable pop tunes that he had written. The members of the group included Dorchester kids: Donnie Wahlberg, Daniel Wood, and brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight. The Kids went out on their own in the early 1990s as NKOTB, writing their own songs for the 1994 R&B album Face the Music.
When Jordan and Jonathan Knight lived on Melville Avenue in what is now the Salvation Army's Jubilee House, the family had a pet sheep, which they tied to a radiator with a long piece of rope so it wouldn't wander off as it munched its way around their yard. They also kept a rooster in the carriage house, which was not popular with the neighbors.
Leonard Nimoy, born on the Dorchester/Mattapan line on March 26, 1931, was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy. He became a stage and film actor & director, perhaps best known for his role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek. He has also performed fine art photography, and he has published a volume of poetry.
Princess Cheyenne, whose real name is Louise Wightman, was an erotic dancer in Boston's combat zone who lived on Ashmont Hill during the 1980s, maybe a little earlier, maybe a little later. She later moved to Hull. In the early years of the 21st century she has gotten into trouble because she allegedly practiced as a psychologist without a license. See Boston Globe article October 7, 2005.
Street Dogs. Musical group whose leader Mike McColgan is from Savin Hill and Neponset. Their compact disc by the name Savin Hill was released in September, 2003.
Donna Summer, born in Dorchester on December 31, 1948, as LaDonna Gaines, attended the Jeremiah E. Burke High School. She defined the 1970s pop music generation with hits like Love to Love You Baby, MacArthur Park, Hot Stuff and Last Dance. She continued her career beyond the death of Disco, winning a Grammy in 1997 for Carry On as Best Dance Recording. She has become a visual artist as well. Her book Ordinary Girl: the Journey was published in the fall of 2003.
Chris Taub. Mattapan comic.
The Unafraid. Teen Band. Information from 45 rpm vinyl recording. Title: You Know What I Mean b/w Streetlight Angels. David Giust: Lead & Rhythm Guitars; Brian Bradley: Lead & Rhythm Guitars; Ed Foley: Lead Vocals; John Svagdis: Drums; Paul Hagerty: Bass. c1985
Unnatural Axe. Dorchester punk band -- see section below.
Mark Wahlberg, born June 5, 1971, at St. Margaret's Hospital, is the brother of Don Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block fame. At the age of 14, Wahlberg dropped out of school and made his living on the streets allegedly by stealing and selling drugs. He was jailed for the beating of a Vietnamese man. His 45-day stint in jail was a turning point in his approach to life. He performed as Marky Mark, and with brother Donnie's help, he recorded an album that went platinum with hit singles Good Virations and Wildside. Beginning bodybuilding seriously, he chiseled his body into impressive form -- impressive to Calvin Klein for whom he became an underwear model. He became an actor, playing porn star Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights. He continues to perform in films and plans to try directing.
Andre Ward, jazz saxophonist from Lower Mills. Included in Billboard Magazine's top ten contemporary jazz artists for 2002, Ward will release his latest album "Steppin' Up in 2004.
Carolynne Warren, actress. See section below.
From: Jack Ryan
Re: Overview: Entertainers and Journalists
I lived in Dorchester for twenty-seven years, so I can bring more info to almost all of your topics.
In this section of Entertainers etc, I was surprised at the ommisions of "The Jameys (-ies?), THE group that did an all-time favorite summer song, "It's Summertime (1956?)." Remember ..."It's Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime..." That song was so big that some people believe that The Jameys, with their harmonies and great sound, actually influenced Brian Wilson and the rest, of course, would be history. The Beach Boys DO sound like "The Jameys." True story. Arthur Blair, who lived next door to me and whom I "beat up" every other day for fun, is the deep, deep voice that sings, "Da Da Daaa Da"on the record. He lived at 134 Wrentham Street, and I was at 132.
AND you ommitted the incredible Sid Walsh, who did the leather, drove a Harley, and won the talent show every Thursday night at Dinty's on Neponset Circle. Sid even recorded a few Al Jolsen songs that became very popular, at least in this area. He sounded more like Jolsen than Jolsen, and although he looked like a "Devil Dog from Hell," Sid was a sweetheart and everybody loved him. True story.
Do you know something about this topic? Do you have
other pictures or items or knowledge to share? What
about a personal story? Are you a collector? Do you
have questions? Contact us
Created: August 17, 2003 Modified: February 23, 2008