Yvette Guilbert: French Chanteuse

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The French chanteuse had been a star of Paris and London music halls for seven years when she made her American debut at the kick-off of Oscar Hammerstein’s Olympia in 1895. She was to return to enchant American audiences several times with her suggestive repertoire of alternating French and English songs — inspiring an entire generation of American songstresses in the bargain (notably, Nora Bayes). The name Guilbert was synonymous with the affecting use of facial expression and gesture to help communicate a song. Her last American appearance was in 1928.

Here she is singing “Quand on vous aime comme ça”:

To find out more about these variety artists and the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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