American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2012 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.† Page 24

Brenda Bufalino

Brenda Bufalino was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts, a small coastal town north of Boston. Her father was Italian; her mother (maiden name Strickland), of Scottish and American Indian descent. Theirs was a musical family, especially on the motherís side; everybody played an instrument, and her mother and her aunt performed throughout New England as The Strickland Sisters, a singing and instrumental act.

At six, Brenda began her dance training, including tap, and soon started touring with her mother and aunt as one of the Strickland Sisters. At 15, Brenda, at the suggestion of her motherís agent, began taking rhythm tap lessons at Stanley Brownís famous show business school in Boston. Brown, a dancer who had a successful career in vaudeville, was able to induce old friends like Pete Nugent, Bill Robinson and young Jimmy Slyde to conduct master classes and workshops.