Albert Chevalier: The Coster’s Laureate

Albert Chevalier (born this day in 1861) was a legitimate stage actor who gradually found greater success in the British Music Hall playing a wide variety of characters and speak-singing original songs. For some English audiences he was too legit and inauthentic (not really working class) but he wowed ’em in the States, staring with a smash date at Koster and Bial’s in 1896. He passed away in 1923.

Here he is performing the touching “My Old Dutch”. (Dutch is short for “Duchess”, i.e., the singer’s wife).

To learn more about the roots of variety entertainmentconsult 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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