Julia Rooney (1887–1990) has left her family scrapbook to the American Vaudeville Museum and her famous family connections ensure that her gift, now in the University of Arizona collection, is virtually a who was who of vaudeville.
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.
Key Figures in Early Popular Music in America
Religion as a Driving Force for Musical Expression
Lester Fulton Weeks, known on-stage as Larry Weeks (Salem, Massachusetts 9-24-1919- New York City, 10-13-2014) was one of the most famous jugglers in the history of vaudeville and night clubs. A naturally taught juggler from at least the age of 10, he became a professional juggler early on while growing up in the Bronx. His father Aaron, who worked for the Scandinavian Embassy, then taught him some basic magic tricks which the boy enjoyed and used in local talent shows and at Brooklyn College which he attended and where he also won the intercollegiate baton-twirling contest in 1937.
Born: July 3, 1876–1881: Sidney, Australia
Died: October 12, 1951, Los Angeles, CA, USA
This collection comprises primarily two scrapbooks describing the stage career of the comedian Leon Errol (1881 or more likely, 1876-1951), on the vaudeville circuits in the Northwest and then in New York with the Ziegfeld Follies.
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.
Mae West (August 17, 1893-November 22, 1980) was one of the mega-stars of Hollywood in the Golden Age of the 1930s and she was the Golden Girl. In an age that celebrated curvilinear forms, females with round faces and blonde hair (it was known as the Depression Modern Style), Mae West filled the bill. Her bountiful curves were said to be the inspiration for industrial designer Raymond Loewy to create the modern Coca Cola bottle! If Mae West had the right look at the right time, it was by no means accidental.
Marion Harris (April 4, 1896? – April 23, 1944) became famous as a white vaudeville singer and recording artist who was influenced by contemporary black jazz and often did numbers in a certain “Negro Style” as it was termed which helped to usher in the Jazz Age across America. For several decades beginning around 1915 and continuing well into the 1920s she was a seminal force in American popular music.
Florence Walton and Maurice Mouvet, known as “The Waltons” or “Florence and Maurice Walton” were among the most famous vaudeville and society dancers of their age in the 1910s. Vernon and Irene Castle are more remembered today as the most famous of the ballroom dancers of the period, but during this period the Waltons were almost equally famous and perhaps even better known to a good deal of the general public.