It began in 1950 when Bill Bradley, in the chorus of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, persuaded Florence Baum to let him have her tacky dressing room gown.  He wrapped it elaborately and sent it to Arthur Parkington on opening night of CALL ME MADAM, telling him that it had been worn by all the Ziegfeld beauties.  Arthur cut a rose off Ethel Merman's costume, sewed it on the robe and sent it to a friend opening in the next musical, GUYS AND DOLLS.

     Since then it acquired rules and ceremony.  It is presented on opening night at "half-hour" to the ensemble member who has done the most shows.  Everyone must touch it for good luck.  The recipient adds a memento of that show and passes it on to the next musical.

     When Carl Jablonski became a Board Member of the Professional Dancers Society, he suggested instituting the tradition of the Gypsy Robe to honor the Hollywood dancers.  Ret Turner made the Robe.  It is given once a year at the PDS Picnic or Fall Ball.

     After voluminous research among gypsies who remember differently or can't remember, this seems to be the chronology of the past recipients:

1983 - Casse Jaeger
1984 - Larri Thomas
1985 - Tex Brodus
1986 - Rudy Del Campo
1987 - Lysa Macveigh
1988 - Carl Jablonski
1989 - Dee Dee Wood
1990 - Joyce Horn
1991 - Jack Mattis
1992 - Crystal Gaer
1993 - Alex Romero
1994 - Bob Street
1995 - Joe Tremaine
1996 - Margie Duncan
1997 - Ila McAvoy
1998 - Randy Doney
1999 - Stan Mazin
2000 - Charlene Painter
2001 - Alan Johnson