Born this day in 1870, from about 1890 or so she was the top English music hall star of her day. She’d begun singing in the pub where her father tended bar from the age of 15, and later brought her sisters Alice and Daisy into the business as well. Plump and with terrific personality, she was instantly popular, but it was the song “(When You) Wink the Other Eye” which gained her access to the major halls, often working several theatres in a single night. In 1890, she came for her first U.S. engagement, playing a successful run at Koster and Bial’s. A second stab at the states 20 years later ended in disaster when she brought along her lover (the two weren’t married). In later years, her body began to break down from the constant strain of performing. She passed away in 1922.
Now here she is singing that ever-popular number “The Coster Girl in Paris”
To find out more about the history of vaudeville, please consult my critically acclaimed book No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other fine establishments.