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Details about  SIGNED ARTHUR MURRAY How to Become a Good Dancer PAPER FOOTPRINTS INCLUDED 1938

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Dec 30, 2013
US $500.00
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Original/Reproduction: Original  



FULL BOOK TITLE: How to Become a Good Dancer


AUTHOR(S): Arthur Murray


INSCRIBED by AUTHOR? Yes, please see photos

TRUE First Edition and First Printing? This is the third printing of the first edition.

 (Be wary of books offered as First Editions. Ask the seller if the book meets the strict "Guide to Identification of First Editions" criteria.)



Book & Dust Jacket Condition Definitions:

New - Unread in perfect condition.

Fine - Almost New, but not crisp.

Very Good - Small signs of wear.

Good - Average used book.


DUST JACKET CONDITION: Good Minus, please see photographs.


PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster




Inside the front cover you will find the famous Murray Footprints, which show you exactly where to place your feet for each step. (Please see photos.)

What this book will do for you:

1 -- Show you how to learn to dance at home, without an instructor, by using a new and unique step-by-step method.

2 -- Teach you how to acquire a graceful mastery of all the modern dances, including the Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, the Rumba, Suzie-Q, Shag, Truckin', and the Big Apple.

3 -- Teach you how to gain confidence on the ballroom floor -- the secrets of leading and how to follow -- how to enjoy dancing.

This book by America's greatest dance instructor, Arthur Murray, embodies the principles which have been used in teaching more than 700,000 people how to dance well. It teaches you how to do the Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, as well as the Rumba and all other modern dances such as the Suzie-Q and the Big Apple.

How to Become a Good Dancer is planned first of all to give you the reader a sound understanding of good dancing. Then, in simple, clear-cut words and pictures, it teaches the basic motions on which all modern dancing is founded. Finally, it shows exactly how to combine these motions in dancing every popular dance used today.

The method of teaching is unique, enabling the pupil to see, right in front of them on the floor, the steps of every dance while he is learning. This is made possible by the Murray Magic Footprints, free with your copy of How to Become a Good Dancer. These ingenious and helpful aids show you exactly where and when to put your feet for every step in the dance. Nothing is left to guesswork. The reader, in the privacy of his own home can now rapidly learn to become a skillful dancer.


Arthur Murray has taught more people how to be good dancers than any other instructor. He is acting head of the largest dancing school in the world. His instructors are at country clubs, private schools, on cruise ships, at Florida and Bermuda hotels. He is dancing consultant to leading Hollywood studios.

Among Arthur Murray's students are numbered young children, hardheaded business leaders, Morgans, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Astors. Among the hundreds of thousands of his pupils were:

·        The Prince Of Wales

·        Kay Francis

·        Rudy Vallee

·        James Roosevelt

·        Elizabeth Arden

·        Paul Whiteman

·        Lowell Thomas

·        Frederic March

·        Douglas Fairbanks

·        Jean Arthur

·        Ina Clair

·        Myrna Loy

·        Prince Louis Ferdinand of Germany

·        President Manuel Quezon of the Philippines


Benny Goodman: "Arthur Murray proves there is more to dancing than just jitterbug jumping... after reading through his book I seen why so many Arthur Murray dancers are so good at so many steps..."

Tommy Dorsey: "Arthur Murray's name is symbolic of today's dancing. Ever since I've started tooting my trombone, I've noted that his pupils' dancing is as modern as the music we've been playing."

Gene Krupa: "I've always observed that Arthur Murray's pupils do two important things -- keep time with the time and with the times... a drummer notices something like that..."

Hal Kemp: "Arthur Murray is to American dancing what Stephen Foster was to American folk music. A stimulating force in the evolution of modern dancing, he has brought to light and successfully promoted many of the dances that have been such a great source of relaxation, exercise, and entertainment to the American public."

Arthur Murray (April 4, 1895 – March 3, 1991) was a dance instructor and businessman, whose name is most often associated with the dance studio chain that bears his name.[2]

His pupils include Eleanor Roosevelt, the Duke of Windsor, John D. Rockefeller Jr., Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Barbara Hutton, Elizabeth Arden, Manuel L. Quezon, and Jack Dempsey. Television evangelist D. James Kennedy was one of the instructors of Murray's technique.

Arthur Murray was inducted into the National Museum of Dance C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame in 2007.

Early life and start in dance

Arthur Murray was born in Galicia, Austria-Hungary in 1895 as Moses Teichmann. In August 1897, he was brought to America by his mother Sarah on the S.S. Friesland, and landed at Ellis Island. They settled in Ludlow Street, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with his father, Abraham Teichmann.

Murray was shy as a child and self-conscious about his tall, lanky appearance. He wanted very much to be a part of the social activities that most of his friends enjoyed, particularly the dances, but was afraid to socialize with girls. At the age of 14, Joe Feigenbaum, a friend of his whom he admired because of his popularity with girls, taught him his first dance steps. To get practice on the dance floor, Murray attended weddings in his neighborhood, where he found willing dance partners of every size and age.

In 1912 at the age of 17, he taught dance at night while working as a draftsman by day. He studied under the popular dance team of Irene and Vernon Castle and went to work for them.

Murray won his first dance contest at the Grand Central Palace, a public dance hall where he later became a part-time dance teacher after graduation from high school. The 1st prize had been a silver cup, but Murray went home without anything to show for his win. His partner of the evening took it; it was destined for a pawnshop. This loss made an impression on Murray, and in later years every winner in his dance contests took home a prize.

In between jobs as a dance instructor, Murray worked as a draftsman at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and as a reporter at the New Haven Register.

He soon began teaching ballroom dancing to the residents of Boston, Massachusetts at the Devereaux Mansion in Marblehead, Massachusetts, before moving to Asheville, North Carolina. At the outbreak of WWI, under pressure of the anti-German feeling prevalent in the US, Teichmann changed to a less German-sounding name.

In 1919 he began studying business administration at Georgia Tech, and he taught ballroom dancing in Atlanta at the Georgian Terrace Hotel. In 1920, Murray organized the world's first "radio dance"; a band on the Georgia Tech campus played "Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech" and other songs, which were broadcast to a group of about 150 dancers (mostly Tech students) situated atop the roof of the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta.[3]

Murray was inspired by a casual remark made by William Jennings Bryan one evening at the hotel: "... You know, I have a fine idea on how you can collect your money. Just teach 'em with the left foot and don't tell 'em what to do with the right foot until they pay up!"

Murray thought about what Bryan's remark, and devised the idea of teaching dance steps with footprint diagrams supplied by mail. Within a couple of years, over 500,000 dance courses were sold.

On April 24, 1925, Murray married his famous dance partner, Kathryn Kohnfelder (September 15, 1906, Jersey City, New Jersey – August 6, 1999, Honolulu, Hawaii[4] whom he had met at a radio station in New Jersey. She was in the audience while he was broadcasting a dance lesson.

After their marriage, the mail-order business declined and the Murrays opened a dance school offering personal instruction. Their business prospered, especially in 1938 and 1939 when Arthur picked two little-known dances, the "Lambeth Walk" and "The Big Apple", and turned them into dance crazes. They were taught at hotel chains throughout the country, and the name "Arthur Murray" became a household word.

There are now hundreds of Arthur Murray studios globally, with specially trained instructors, making Arthur Murray the most successful dance instructor in history.

Arthur and Kathryn Murray had twin daughters, Jane and Phyllis. On June 4, 1951, Jane married Dr. Henry Heimlich who became famous for the Heimlich maneuver in 1974. Phyllis married educator Edward Irvine "Ted" McDowell.

The start of Arthur Murray Studios

His first business was selling dance lessons by mail, using a kinetoscope. Though the idea was successful, he had problems with the business, which failed. His second business was drawing and selling "footprints" which prospective dancers placed on the floor and followed to learn dancing. This mail-order business remained successful. His third business, launched in 1925, involved selling branded dance lessons through franchising. He trained dance instructors for the Statler Hotel chain, who then went to various hotels and gave lessons; Murray kept some of the profits from each franchise.

This business was expanded more widely in 1938, when an Arthur Murray dance studio franchise was opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Others followed. His slogan was: "If you can walk, we teach you how to dance", and the company guaranteed that the pupils learn to dance in ten lessons.

After WWII, Murray's business grew with the rise of interest in Latin dance, and he regularly taught and broadcast in Cuba in the 1950s. Murray went on television with a dance program hosted by his wife, Kathryn Murray, The Arthur Murray Party, which ran from 1950 to 1960, on CBS, NBC, DuMont, ABC, and then on CBS. Among the Arthur Murray dance instructors in the early 1950s was future television evangelist D. James Kennedy, who won first prize in a nationwide dance contest.[5]

The Murrays retired in 1964; but they continued to be active for some time, appearing as guests on the Dance Fever disco show in the late 1970s. By then, there were more than 3,560 dance studios bearing his name. In 2007, about 220 Arthur Murray Studios remained in operation. Arthur Murray Dance Studios claims to be the second-oldest franchised company (the first, A&W Restaurants, began in 1919).


·        The Murray name and franchise were featured in the 1942 hit song "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry", written by Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger.

·        Hal Borne and His Orchestra recorded the Mercer-Schertzing song in a Soundie released May 25, 1942 with the Three Murtah Sisters.[6] "The tallest" of the sisters satirizes the tune by doing the rumba as crudely as possible, first in her room, then on the floor with a male partner.[7]

·        In the film The Sky's the Limit (1943), when Fred Astaire and Joan Leslie finish a dance number, Joan asks him "Where did you learn to dance like that?" and Astaire answers "Arthur Murray".

·        In 1946, Desi Arnaz starred in the film Cuban Pete, and recorded a song of the same name, featuring the lyric, "Cuban Pete doesn't teach you in a hurry like Arthur Murray/You're now in Havana, and there's always mañana".

·        In the I Love Lucy episode "Little Ricky Gets a Dog", (1957) Lucy tells Ricky that she is receiving Mexican hat dancing lessons from Arthur Murray.

·        Arthur Murray is mentioned in the 1953 Frank Loesser song "Just Another Polka": "She's got me dancing like I never thought I could,/Oh Arthur Murray never had it so good."

·        In the 1954 Mark Robson directed film, Phffft! starring Jack Lemmon, Judy Holliday, and Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon's character (Robert Tracey) is seen walking into an Arthur Murray Dance Studio in New York to work on his Rumba with teacher Merry Anders. A classic dance scene in the movie follows when both Lemmon and Holliday (Nina Tracey) do a rumba and mambo at a nightclub. Later in the film, Lemmon reviews some cancelled checks that Holliday wrote including: "...thirty-nine dollars and forty cents to Arthur Murray Dance Studio?"

·        In 1957 Buddy Holly and The Crickets performed a live show at the Arthur Murray Dance Party consisting of "That'll Be the Day" and "Peggy Sue" this is the only known live footage of Buddy Holly in his short lifetime.

·        In the 1960 Billy Wilder film The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine, Jack Lemmon's character (C.C."Bud" Baxter) makes two references to Arthur Murray. Bud tells Fran (Shirley Maclaine) that he's been taking lessons at Arthur Murray and later on he introduces himself to Margie (Hope Holiday) by replying to her query that she doesn't know him at all by stating: "Permit me—C.C. Baxter—junior executive, Arthur Murray graduate, lover".

·        In a dream sequence, "Arthur Murrayrock" seeks help learning Fred's "Frantic" dance in the Flintstones episode "Shinrock-a-Go-Go."

·        Arthur Murray is mentioned in the song "Tear-stained Letter" by Richard Thompson. The song appears on Thompson's 1983 album Hand of Kindness.

·        In an episode of Sanford and Son, when asked to dance, Fred says "I've been told I can't dance." The young lady says, "Aww, arthritis?", to which Fred responds, "No, Arthur Murray."

·        In the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, Johnny tells Baby that he received his training at the Arthur Murray studios.

·        A song entitled Arthur Murray appears on the 1988 Vic Chesnutt album The Salesman and Bernadette.

·        In the 1995 film The American President, when Sydney Ellen Wade remarks to the President while dancing "I don't know how you do it", the President replies, "It's Arthur Murray. Six lessons."

·        Arthur Murray is mentioned in the song "Would You Like to Learn to Dance?" by Steve Goodman in 1978. "We can draw the Arthur Murray patterns right here on the floor."

·        Arthur Murray is mentioned in the song "Whadda Ya Know, We've Got a Show" from the 1961 British movie The Young Ones starring Cliff Richard....Mr. Arthur Murray we can use you in a hurry."

·        Arthur Murray is mentioned in The West Wing episode "He Shall, from Time to Time..." in a conversation between a congressman and Toby Ziegler. The Congressman says, "Personally, I don’t know what to say to people who argue that the N.E.A. is there to support art that nobody wants to pay for in the first place... Arthur Murray didn’t need the N.E.A. to write Death of a Salesman." Toby corrects him by saying, "Arthur Murray taught ballroom dance, and Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman."

·        Arthur Murray is portrayed in an episode of the HBO television drama Boardwalk Empire.


 1.^ The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives: 1997-1999 By Kenneth T. Jackson

 2.^ Obituary Variety, March 11, 1991.

 3.^ "Arthur Murray Taught the World to Dance". Tech Topics (Georgia Tech Alumni Association). Summer 1991. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-06-11.

 4.^ The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives: 1997-1999 By Kenneth T. Jackson

 5.^ Chandler, E. Russell (1972). The Kennedy Explosion. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing. ISBN 0-912692-02-2.

 6.^ The Soundies Distributing Corporation of America: a history and filmography of their "jukebox" musical films of the 1940s. Terenzio, MacGillivary, Okuda. 1954. page 79. ISBN 0-89950-578-3

 7.^ Billboard. May 30, 1942. page 9. [1] retrieved 12/2009

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