Of all the forgotten geniuses of vaudeville, Joe Cook (born Joseph Lopez in Evansville, Indiana 1890 - died New York State, May 15, 1959) is arguably the greatest.
If Cliff Edwards (Hannibal, Missouri, June 14, 1895 - Hollywood, July 17, 1971) is remembered at all today it is for two reasons. First is his nickname during his career of Ukulele Ike and the second is his voice-over of the role of Jiminy Cricket in the Walt Disney cartoon Pinocchio of 1940 in which he introduced When You Wish Upon A Star, which was also used as one of Walt Disney's major themes for his television productions. But Edwards had a long and significant career besides this.
No vaudeville collection would be complete without a commentary on the greatest of all vaudeville and Broadway stars of the 1910s and 1920s, Al Jolson. The University of Arizona collection has a large number if not a complete number of Jolson sheet music including one piece signed by him personally.
Joseph Edgar Howard (February 12, 1867 – May 19, 1961) had to entertain, from the time he was a tot literally until the moment of his death, which occurred with him having just taken an encore on-stage, 86 years later! His story may have made-up elements to it, as was often the fashion among early entertainers in order to romanticize their pasts, but vaudeville historians can document 9 wives which by itself suggests an extremely colorful life. Joe claimed to have run away from New York City to Saint Louis at the age of 8 and began his career selling newspapers and singing in saloons.