Take a walk down Broadway near 2nd Street any Wednesday through Saturday afternoon and listen. When you hear the seductive sounds of Frank and Dean, stop right there. You’ll be in front of Lounge 217 where Betty Rowland is keeping the glamorous life alive.
Turning 91 on January 23, Betty is a master at keeping the fires burning and the sparkle flying. As the “Ball of Fire,” Betty danced her way through the Orpheum circuits and at the “Gayety” theatre in New York. Samuel Goldwyn used her name for the Ball of Fire movie starring Barbara Stanwyck, and Edith Head came backstage to copy her costume. Recently, Sam’s granddaughter, Liz Goldwyn, featured Betty in her documentary, Pretty Things, and in the book of the same name.
Betty’s fans still line up at the bar, old pals drop in to reminisce, and youngsters gather round to hear the tales. When Betty was asked how she keeps the magic going she answered, “Just keep moving!”