James Snow, who entertained by dancing at 38th and College, dies at 77

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Known as ‘Dancing Man,’ James Henry Snow began his run of entertaining the public at 38th and College in 1974


James Henry Snow picked up several nicknames as an impromptu entertainer near the intersection of 38th Street and College Avenue across more than 45 years: “Dancing Man,” “Guitar Man,” Radio Man” and simply “Radio.”

But the sidewalks are no longer brightened by Snow’s music and moves. He died earlier this week at age 77.

Seen and heard by hundreds of thousands of motorists, Snow generated enough attention to be featured in the pages of IndyStar more than once.

“You dance, and it takes stuff off your mind,” he said in 2011.

“I don’t consider myself good,” he said of his guitar talents a decade earlier, “but a lot of people think I am. I say, ‘I’m glad y’all got faith.’ “

In this 2011 photo, James Henry Snow dances next to his radio near the intersection of 38th Street and College Avenue. (Photo: Danese Kenon/IndyStar)

Snow apparently died of natural causes and his body was found Tuesday at his home after a wellness check, according to his sister, Hazel Young.

Indianapolis rock band the Born Again Floozies paid tribute Snow in a 2008 song titled “Prince of 38th Street (Freak Flag).” The song includes this tribute to Snow’s dancing: “There’s a man in our town who rides high on life with his small boombox. Yeah, he’s got the power, the prince of 38th Street, poppin’ and lockin’ nonstop.”

The band recorded a video with Snow to accompany the song, and vocalist-guitarist Joe Welch recalled that day in a Facebook post Wednesday.

“He was such a kind, generous soul,” Welch wrote. “When we played on the corner with him, people in cars gave us money. We gave it to