Joey Hollingsworth is no longer tap dancing.
But if the 84-year-old London native’s feet still could, they’d be tapping up a storm after being named to the 2021 Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List.
“I’m just so excited,” said Hollingsworth from Hamilton where he lives in a nursing home with his wife and former manager, Dolina.
Hollingsworth is one of two people from the arts community included on the list released by Mayor Ed Holder. The other is Betty Anne Younker, dean of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University.
Hollingsworth first appeared on the London scene in 1946 when he was featured in a front page story in The London Free Press posing with the legendary tap dancer Bill (Bojangles) Robinson after exchanging a few moves.
Hollingsworth went on to a career of singing, dancing and conga playing that took him around the world. He was the first black entertainer to appear on the CBC as a competitor on Pick the Stars, which he later learned he didn’t win due to racism.