Snyder reconstructs the famous acts, describes the different theatres, and shows how entrepreneurs created a near monopoly over bookings, theatres, and performers. He also gives us vaudeville's decline, its audiences usurped by musical comedy, radio, and the movies."--BOOK JACKET.
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.
This book serves as a one-stop source for comprehensive information on the entertainment industry, providing a historical overview of the economics of the field, a series of short biographies of the impact makers, and an extensive annotated bibliography of more sources for in-depth research.
For anyone who has ever sung ?Take Me Out to the Ball Game? during the seventh-inning stretch and wondered why we sing it when we are already at the ball game, this entertaining book supplies the answers. And why did this song become the sport?s anthem rather than one of hundreds of other baseball songs, such as George M. Cohan?s ?Take Your Girl to the Ball Game,? written the same month? This story, told here in full for the first time, evokes the bright hope of turn-of-the-century America, the backstage drama of vaudeville, and the beguiling charm of baseball itself. Amy Whorf McGuiggan supplies the fascinating details behind the song?s beginnings in 1908, when Jack Norworth, a vaudeville headliner and Tin Pan Alley songwriter who had never even been to a game, was inspired by a subway advertisement to create the song that, though a hit in its day, did not become a time-honored tradition until broadcaster Harry Caray and team owner and marketing genius Bill Veeck Jr. reintroduced it during the 1970s. Here is America?s game and the American century seen through the prism of one impossibly catchy tune and illustrated throughout with vintage photographs, advertising images, and sheet music culled from America?s premier collections.