Born this day in 1873, Vesta Victoria was one of the most popular British music hall performers to cross the puddle. She’d started out performing with her parents in their own acts, billed as Baby Victoria. When she got too long in the tooth to use “baby” she adopted the name Vesta from a popular brand of matches. She started out with clog dances and impressions, then moved on to the singing of songs. Her rendition of “Daddy Wouldn’t By Me a Bow-Wow” became a huge national hit in 1892. The following year she came to the U.S. for very successful runs at Tony Pastor’s, and as Mike Shea’s in Buffalo. She made repeat visits in 1895-96, 1906 and 1907. She performed though the end of the First World War. Thereafter, her appearances grew less frequent. She passed away in 1951.
Now for your delectation, from 1912, here is “Look What Percy’s Picked Up in the Park”:
To find out more about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
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