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Rockettes - Then and Now

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Kathleen O'Connor Williams has been dancing since she's 6 years old. She started performing with the Memphis Open Air Theater dance ensemble when she was only 14. Kathy joined the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes in 1946 right after high school. She stayed in NY until 1949 when she returned to Memphis to perform locally and teach dance. In 1956 Kathy married Jesse R. (Bob) Williams. Kathy and Bob built and operated three AM radio stations in Mississippi: WCSA, WJRL and WKPO. Bob passed away in 1992 and, after not wearing tap shoes for 38 years, Kathy decided she wanted to dance again. She now performs with the "Showstoppers," (pictured L-R) June, Kathy, Betty, Cornelia and Shirley (all over 72 years of age). They entertain at reunions, senior activities, fashion shows, luncheons, dinner dances, arts festivals, etc. Kathy is an only child and she and Bob had no children, so her family is in short supply. Kathy says the sisterhood of the Rockettes is as wonderful a part of her life now as it was then. "The closeness shared by all the "girls" is unexplainable to anyone who hasn't been a part of this awesome group." Kathy presently lives in Collierville, TN, a suburb of Memphis.