Legendary Voices of Vaudeville

Legendary Voices of Vaudeville


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The height of vaudeville in the first quarter of the 20th century coincided with the rise of the recording industry, but that doesn't mean the eclectic entertainment form is well documented on record. Theater owners actively discouraged performers from making records, and many entertainers felt that recording material they performed would limit their stage success. Nevertheless, as time went on, more and more vaudeville stars began entering studios. History has not been kind to most of them, however: when vaudeville died, it took the careers of many of its entertainers with it, and record labels such as Victor and Columbia have rarely reissued their performances. All of this makes Legendary Voices of Vaudeville all the more valuable. A compilation of 40 tracks by 40 vaudeville singing and comedy acts, it is drawn largely, if without credit, from those labels, with the records having been mastered and then sonically restored. It's unclear what the legal niceties may be, but it's notable that such major vaudevillians as Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and Fanny Brice are missing. That's not to say there aren't some big-time names here (like George M. Cohan, Sophie Tucker, Jimmy Durante); plus, many of these songs rate as standards. But the album does not pretend to be a collection of the best or best-known vaudeville music. Rather, it is a representative sampling, much of it obscure songs by forgotten performers. It's not stars or hits that make the set work; it's the album's sheer entertainment value. These were people accustomed to warming up cold audiences with their voices and personalities, and that's exactly what they do here, stopping songs to break into jokes, addressing the listeners, and generally putting the material over winningly. But beyond the obvious enjoyment factor, the album also has historical value: many of these recordings are absurdly rare. Jim Stettler's liner notes point out a few facts about even the most obscure artists included, and the sound processing makes even the earliest tracks listenable. The result is an excellent compilation of material that has rarely been available since it was originally recorded.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/2008
Label: Take Two Records
UPC: 0734021050422
catalogNumber: 504
Rank: 108173


  1. You Won't Do Any Business If You Haven't Got a Band
  2. Turn off Your Light, Mr. Moon Man
  3. Saving up Coupons for Mother
  4. Darktown Strutters' Ball
  5. You Can't Get Away from It
  6. All by Myself
  7. I'm Going Way Back Home and Have a Wonderful Time
  8. Vampin' Sal (The Sheba of Georgia)
  9. Positively Mr. Gallagher - Absolutely Mr. Shean
  10. Sweet Indiana Home
  11. Tomorrow
  12. Lovey Come Back
  13. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
  14. After the Opera
  15. If I Can't Get the Sweetie I Want
  16. Nobody's Child
  17. Hotsy Totsy Town
  18. Roamin' in the Gloamin'
  19. Red Head!
  20. Goodbye, My Lady Love/I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
  21. Let's Talk About My Sweetie
  22. Headin' Home (Bound for Birmingham)
  23. Love Baby
  24. Alexander's Ragtime Band
  25. Looking at the World Thru Rose Colored Glasses
  26. If You Want the Rainbow (You Must Have the Rain)
  27. Baby Your Mother (Like She Babied You)
  28. Day I Marry You
  29. I Ain't That Kind of a Baby
  30. That's What Puts the "Sweet" in Home Sweet Home
  31. I'll Tell the World (You're All the World to Me)
  32. It Must Be an Old Spanish Custom
  33. I Just Roll Along (Havin' My Ups and Downs)
  34. Blues Singer from Alabam
  35. Strum My Blues Away
  36. Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sophie Tucker   Track Performer
Harry Lauder   Track Performer
Duncan Sisters   Track Performer
Bert Williams   Track Performer
Nora Bayes   Track Performer
Bessie Brown   Track Performer
Harry Fox   Track Performer
Wendell Hall   Track Performer
Marion Harris   Track Performer
Elsie Janis   Track Performer
Johnny Marvin   Track Performer
Harry Richman   Track Performer
Blossom Seeley   Track Performer
Aileen Stanley   Track Performer
Irene Franklin   Track Performer
Baby Rose Marie   Track Performer
Avon Comedy Four   Track Performer
Esther Walker   Track Performer
Margaret Young   Track Performer
Peggy English   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Henry Creamer   Composer
Turner Layton   Composer
Dolly Morse   Composer

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