This series comprises five items related to modern dance, most including musical scores.
If Al Jolson was the king of vaudeville then Sophie Tucker (born Sonya Kalish, January 13, 1887 – February 9, 1966) was the reigning queen with a career that spanned six decades. The university collection contains a scarf belonging to Sophie, one of many she would give out as gifts to serious fans and admirers. There is also an extensive sheet music collection, for Sophie probably appears on more sheet music than any other female performer of the 1910s and 1920s, her golden era.
Ukrainian born Sophie Tucker (1887-1966, real name Sonya Kalish) was perhaps the greatest female star in vaudeville and she remained a household word for more than 50 years due to her remarkable ability to continually re-invent herself and make herself relevant and hip to several generations of audiences.
Martha Meldania Boswell (1905 - 1958), Constance (Connee) Foore Boswell (1907 - 1976) and Helvetia George Boswell (1911 - 1988) were musicians and music-loving amateurs who performed as a sister act for friends in New Orleans. The family was from Kansas City but moved early on to Louisiana. After winning an amateur contest they were picked up by WSMB radio in New Orleans, then on radio in Los Angeles in 1929 and 1930 and finally with NBC in New York on a program called Pleasure Hour.
The collection consists of contracts and documents, photographs, programs, correspondence, typescripts, and sheet music related to the performances of Jessica Dixon and her husband, Frank Freeman. Several parts of the collection refer to their "train sketch" prooduction, "A Minute Late." There are numerous publicity photographs of themselves and other vaudeville performers, and glass transparencies used for publicity in theaters. There is also a substantial sheet music collection.
The Doll Family were also known as the Earles Family and The Dancing Dolls and, later on, The Moving Picture Midgets. They were four American siblings from Germany who engaged in vaudeville, movies, circuses and sideshows in America from ca. 1912 to 1955. They were Gracie Doll Earles (Frieda A.
Rose "Rosie" Dolly (October 25, 1892 – February 1, 1970) and Jenny Dolly (October 25, 1892 – June 1, 1941) and Janka (later known as Yansci or Jenny) Deutsch were twins born on October 25, 1892, in Balassagyarmat, Hungary. Their family came to America in 1905 and they both began to study dance, becoming prolific at tandem dancing, that is, moving simultaneously.
There had been other comedic sister acts in vaudeville that preceded them, such as The Watson Sisters, but none were as clever and funny as the Duncan Sisters and the University of Arizona has a large collection of sheet music featuring the Duncans. Enormously popular in the 1920s, they have failed to transfer their humor into later eras in a major way due to their owing much of their fame to blackface comedy, and as such they have suffered a reverse discrimination which has impaired appreciation of their diverse talents.
This series consists of photocopies and digital printouts of press clippings and photographs describing the lives and careers of John and Winnie Hennings, who performed together as The Kill Kare Kouple from 1908 through the World War I years, and of John Hennings' subsequent work in Hollywood during the 1920s. Some of the clippings and other photocopies relate to an island summer community frequented by vaudeville performers, Put-In Bay, Ohio, on Lake Erie, where the Hennings spent the summers early in their career.
The biblical story of Salomé was transformed in the late 1800s, breathing new life into the tale. Originally interpreted through the misogynistic lenses of the times, Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé offered new possibilities for the interpretation of Salomé’s story. By elongating the plot line of the story, Wilde gave new space for women, especially erotic performers, to readapt Salome’s image to incorporate more empowering themes.