Stories

Lillian Roth: Vaudeville Star and Advocate for the Addicted by Klaudia Kendall

Lillian Roth, born Lillian Rutstein, and nicknamed Butterfingers, was a Jewish-American actress born the 13th of December 1910. Named after a famous singer at the time, Lillian Russell, the young vaudeville star, beginning her career in the Keith-Orpheum circuit, seemed destined for a life in the spotlight. Regardless of her namesake and her silly nickname, Lillian and her younger sister Ann were preened for showmanship from a young age by a pair of demanding parents, Katie and Arthur Rutstein.

Harry Carroll: Always Chasing Rainbows by David Soren (Includes his protege Kathlene Martyn)

Harry Carroll (Atlantic City, New Jersey November 28, 1892 – Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania December 26, 1962) was a noted American songwriter and pianist. He was another of those vaudevillians who didn’t finish school and who was already playing piano in a silent movie theater before he was out of grade school.  His dream was to move to the big city which he did at age 18, finding work in Tin Pan Alley, that early center for American popular music composition, as an arranger.

Eddie Cantor: Vaudeville's Most Versatile "Kid" by David Soren

Eddie Cantor (New York, January 11, 1892 - Beverly Hills, California October 10, 1964) was one of the most popular, enduring entertainers of the 20th century who was famous for vaudeville, Broadway, records, movies and television. He is the only entertainer to have been so successful in all of these media over such a substantial period of time. As a comedian he didn't really do stand-up, as a dancer he was more of a hoofer and as a singer he had an average voice but what he did have was personality to burn and a remarkable ability to distinguish good comedy writing.

All-Girl Orchestras: Helen May Butler, The Parisian Redheads, The Hour of Charm Orchestra (Phil Spitalny), Ina Rae Hutton, Dolly Dawn and More by Erica Collins

The identity of a woman is a constantly changing dynamic. In history, women were classified as second class and unequal to their male counterparts. Most of their jobs were traditionally limited to the kitchen and having children; they could not vote, get equal pay, or even own land of their own. In the beginning of the 20th century and particularly the Roaring Twenties, however, things began to change. More Americans lived in cities and the average wealth doubled. Women had more freedom than previous generations as they now had the right to work and had higher paying jobs.

Jessie Mae Hall: The Dainty Doll Comedienne (Including May Ward and Her 8 Dresden Dolls, Pauline Hall, Blanche Bates and Al Trahern by David Soren

     Sometimes a great vaudeville star will be so forgotten and so lost in the mist of time that it is difficult to find out anything about him or her. In the case of JESSIE MAE HALL, THE DAINTY DOLL COMEDIENNE, I became so intrigued with the sheet music I had that I had to find out more about this once obviously famous and now totally obscure young lady. There is still much mystery about her but a few facts have come to life, revealing a fascinating life and family connections.

Julian Eltinge: Vaudeville's Most Famous Female Impersonator by David Soren

Julian Eltinge (Newtonville, Massachusetts, May 14, 1883 - New York, March 7 1941) was the most famous female impersonator of the 1910s and 1920s, so famous that the Eltinge Theatre in Manhattan was named after him and has a portrait of him in relief as a Muse on its auditorium ceiling. From his early childhood, Eltinge knew that he was what used to be called "different" and by his later teens he was already appearing regularly in drag in minor revues. In 1904 he appeared in Mr.

Richard Carle: A Forgotten American Genius by David Soren

Richard Carle (Born in Somerville, Mass., July 7, 1871 – died North Hollywood, California, June 28, 1941) was a major force in the Broadway and Chicago theatre of the later 19th to early 20th century and after 1915 he became a character actor in at least 132 films until the time of his death. Although only remembered today by movie buffs, usually as one of the character actors one cannot recall the name of, Carle was a seminal influence and a remarkably hard worker who truly paid his dues in every aspect of vaudeville, theater and film.