This study looks at the preservation process: newsreel, television, and color preservation; the often controversial issue of colorization; and commercial film archives. It provides detailed histories of the major players in the preservation battle including the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, the American Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and the Library of Congress. This first historical overview of film preservation in the United States is also highly controversial in its exposure and criticism of the politicization of film preservation in recent years, and the rising bureaucracy which has often lost sight of preservation and restoration as the ultimate purpose of film archives.
A disrobing acrobat, a female Hamlet, and a tuba-playing labor activist--all these women come to life in Rank Ladies. In this comprehensive study of women in vaudeville, Alison Kibler reveals how female performers, patrons, and workers shaped the rise and fall of the most popular live entertainment at the turn of the century. Kibler focuses on the role of gender in struggles over whether high or low culture would reign in vaudeville, examining women's performances and careers in vaudeville, their status in the expanding vaudeville audience, and their activity in the vaudevillians' labor union. Respectable women were a key to vaudeville's success, she says, as entrepreneurs drew women into audiences that had previously been dominated by working-class men and recruited female artists as performers. But although theater managers publicly celebrated the cultural uplift of vaudeville and its popularity among women, in reality their houses were often hostile both to female performers and to female patrons and home to women who challenged conventional understandings of respectable behavior. Once a sign of vaudeville's refinement, Kibler says, women became associated with the decay of vaudeville and were implicated in broader attacks on mass culture as well.
Substantially describes and evaluates 757 of the most important and useful directories, indexes, encyclopedias, handbooks, and other references on theater, dance, and such related arts as puppetry, mime, and magic. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Many of the pieces collected here have not been published since their first appearance, making From Traveling Show to Vaudeville an indispensable resource for historians of popular culture, theater, and nineteenth-century American society.
In her day, Eva Tanguay (1879-1947) was one of the most famous women in America. Widely known as the "I Don't Care Girl"-named after a song she popularized and her independent, even brazen persona-Tanguay established herself as a vaudeville and musical comedy star in 1904 with the New York City premiere of the show My Lady-and never looked back. Tanguay was, at the height of a long career that stretched until the early 1930s, a trend-setting performer who embodied the emerging ideal of the bold and sexual female entertainer. Whether suggestively singing songs with titles like "It's All Been Done Before But Not the Way I Do It" and "Go As Far As You Like" or wearing a daring dress made of pennies, she was a precursor to subsequent generations of performers, from Mae West to Madonna and Lady Gaga, who have been both idolized and condemned for simultaneously displaying and playing with blatant displays of female sexuality. In Queen of Vaudeville, Andrew L. Erdman tells Eva Tanguay's remarkable life story with verve. Born into the family of a country doctor in rural Quebec and raised in a New England mill town, Tanguay found a home on the vaudeville stage. Erdman follows the course of her life as she amasses fame and wealth, marries (and divorces) twice, engages in affairs closely followed in the press, declares herself a Christian Scientist, becomes one of the first celebrities to get plastic surgery, loses her fortune following the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and receives her last notice, an obituary in Variety. The arc of Tanguay's career follows the history of American popular culture in the first half of the twentieth century. Tanguay's appeal, so dependent on her physical presence and personal charisma, did not come across in the new media of radio and motion pictures. With nineteen rare or previously unpublished images, Queen of Vaudeville is a dynamic portrait of a dazzling and unjustly forgotten show business star.
If you enjoy popular music and culture today, you have vaudeville to thank. From the 1870s until the 1920s, vaudeville was the dominant context for popular entertainment in the United States, laying the groundwork for the music industry we know today. In Vaudeville Melodies, Nicholas Gebhardt introduces us to the performers, managers, and audiences who turned disjointed variety show acts into a phenomenally successful business. First introduced in the late nineteenth century, by 1915 vaudeville was being performed across the globe, incorporating thousands of performers from every branch of show business. Its astronomical success relied on a huge network of theatres, each part of a circuit and administered from centralized booking offices. Gebhardt shows us how vaudeville transformed relationships among performers, managers, and audiences, and argues that these changes affected popular music culture in ways we are still seeing today. Drawing on firsthand accounts, Gebhardt explores the practices by which vaudeville performers came to understand what it meant to entertain an audience, the conditions in which they worked, the institutions they relied upon, and the values they imagined were essential to their success.
The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy examines how contemporary writer/performers are influenced by the comedic vaudevillians of the early 20th century. By tracing the history and legacy of the vaudeville era and performance acts, like the Marx Brothers and The Three Keatons, and moving through the silent and early sound films of the early 1930s, the author looks at how comic writer/performers continue to sell a brand of themselves as a form of social commentary in order to confront and dispel stereotypes of race, class, and gender. The first study to explore contemporary popular comic culture and its influence on American society from this unique perspective, Rick DesRochers analyzes stand-up and improvisational comedy writing/performing in the work of Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Chappelle. He grounds these choices by examining their evolution as they developed signature characters and sketches for their respective shows Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and Chappelle's Show.
"These journals also provide insight into Dodge's character, with reports of his official duties as a military man and of several landmark events in his family life. Extensive commentaries and notes by Wayne R. Kime provide further detail, including a history of Cantonment North Fork Canadian River, a six-company post Dodge established and commanded in the region."--BOOK JACKET.
W. C. Fields was a virtuoso comedian, often called a comic genius, legendary iconoclast, and "Great Man," who brought so much laughter to millions while enduring so much anguish. This book explores his little-known, long stage career from 1898 to 1930, which had a major influence on his comedy and screen presence.
This work reveals the often racy, ribald, and sexually charged nature of the vaudeville stage, looking at a broad array of provocative performers from disrobing dancers to nude posers to skimpily dressed athletes. Examining the ways in which big-time vaudeville nonetheless managed to market itself as pure, safe, and morally acceptable, this work compares the industry’s marketing and promotional practices to those of other emergent mass-marketers of the vaudeville era in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Included are in-depth examinations of important figures from the vaudeville stage such as Annette Kellerman and Eva Tanguay. The work attempts to address historical context as one means of understanding these performers with an appreciation for their rebelliousness. It discusses censorship and content control in the vaudeville era, and concludes with an analysis of film’s part in the fall of vaudeville. Many photographs, cartoons, and other illustrations are included.
The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville provides a unique record of what was once America’s preeminent form of popular entertainment from the late 1800s through the early 1930s. It includes entries not only on the entertainers themselves, but also on those who worked behind the scenes, the theatres, genres, and historical terms. Entries on individual vaudevillians include biographical information, samplings of routines and, often, commentary by the performers. Many former vaudevillians were interviewed for the book, including Milton Berle, Block and Sully, Kitty Doner, Fifi D’Orsay, Nick Lucas, Ken Murray, Fayard Nicholas, Olga Petrova, Rose Marie, Arthur Tracy, and Rudy Vallee. Where appropriate, entries also include bibliographies. The volume concludes with a guide to vaudeville resources and a general bibliography. Aside from its reference value, with its more than five hundred entries, The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville discusses the careers of the famous and the forgotten. Many of the vaudevillians here, including Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Jimmy Durante, W. C. Fields, Bert Lahr, and Mae West, are familiar names today, thanks to their continuing careers on screen. At the same time, and given equal coverage, are forgotten acts: legendary female impersonators Bert Savoy and Jay Brennan, the vulgar Eva Tanguay with her billing as “The I Don’t Care Girl,” male impersonator Kitty Doner, and a host of “freak” acts.
International vaudeville star and Broadway prima ballerina Jeanne Devereaux performed for millions across America and Europe from age eleven until her retirement at forty. A headliner at Radio City Music Hall, she led a large group of performers on one of the first USO Camp Shows tours to Japan. Born Jean Helman, she entered showbiz as a dancing trouper performing in palatial theaters and was one of the last vaudevillians surviving into the 2010s. In her later years living in Pasadena, California, Devereaux indulged her passion for research and writing in the Huntington Library's Rothenberg Reading Room, losing none of her intelligence and wit despite a fading memory. Drawing on personal interviews, theatrical programs, and her diary and letters, this biography illuminates the life and career of one of vaudeville's stars of stage, film, and television.
The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music Volume 8 is one of six volumes within the 'Genre' strand of the series. This volume discusses the genres of North America in relation to their cultural, historical and geographic origins; technical musical characteristics; instrumentation and use of voice; lyrics and language; typical features of performance and presentation; historical development and paths and modes of dissemination; influence of technology, the music industry and political and economic circumstances; changing stylistic features; notable and influential performers; and relationships to other genres and sub-genres. This volume features over 100 in-depth essays on genres ranging from Adult Contemporary to Alternative Rock, from Barbershop to Bebop, and from Disco to Emo.
By tracing the effects of unprecedented immigration, the advent of the new woman, and the little-known vaudeville careers of performers like the Elinore Sisters, Buster Keaton, and the Marx Brothers, DesRochers examines the relation between comedic vaudeville acts and progressive reformers as they fought over the new definition of "Americanness."
Today, the saxophone is an emblem of "cool" and the instrument most closely associated with jazz. Yet not long ago it was derided as the "Siren of Satan," and it was largely ignored in the United States for well over half a century after its invention. When it was first widely heard, it was often viewed as a novelty noisemaker, not a real musical instrument. In only a few short years, however, saxophones appeared in music shops across America and became one of the most important instrumental voices. How did the saxophone get from comic to cool? Bandleader Tom Brown claimed that it was his saxophone sextet, the Six Brown Brothers, who inaugurated the craze. While this boast was perhaps more myth than reality, the group was indisputably one of the most famous musical acts on stage in the early twentieth century. Starting in traveling circuses, small-time vaudeville, and minstrel shows, the group trekked across the United States and Europe, bringing this new sound to the American public. Through their live performances and groundbreaking recordings--the first discs of a saxophone ensemble in general circulation--the Six Brown Brothers played a crucial role in making this new instrument familiar to and loved by a wide audience. In That Moaning Saxophone, author and cornet player Bruce Vermazen sifts fact from legend in this craze and tells the remarkable story of these six musical brothers--William, Tom, Alec, Percy, Vern, and Fred. Vermazen traces the brothers' path through minstrelsy, the circus, burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway musical comedy. Cleverly weaving together biographical details and the context of the burgeoning entertainment business, the author draws fascinating portraits of the pre-jazz world of American popular music, the theatrical climate of the period, and the long, slow death of vaudeville. Delving into the career of one of the key popularizers of the saxophone, That Moaning Saxophone not only illuminates the history of this novel instrument, but also offers a witty and vivid portrayal of these forgotten musical worlds.
This comprehensive two-volume encyclopedia documents how Populism, which grew out of post-Civil War agrarian discontent, was the apex of populist impulses in American culture from colonial times to the present. • Provides an introductory essay that announces key events, themes, people, and ideas, appropriate for students, researchers, and general readers • Includes more than 200 entries and dozens of images and maps, making this two-volume work a comprehensive resource for high school and undergraduate researchers • Explains how the 19th-century agrarian movement diverged into different Populist movements in the United States and explores the various meanings, icons, and forms of the Populist undercurrent in modern-day American culture