A true bridge between the old world and the new. To the extent that most contemporary people are familar with T-Bone Walker (born this day in 1910) it’s probably as an electric bluesman, an influence on B.B. King and Chuck Berry, and an inductee into the Blues and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. But he also has a vaudeville pedigree. After singing on the streets of Dallas as a child, he performed in medicine shows and black vaudeville. For a time he sang, danced and played with Ida Cox; after that he performed with Ma Rainey. Some claim that he is the first electric guitar player. His real name is Aaron Thibeaux Walker. Pronounce “Thibeaux” the French way and you’ll see how he came to be known as T-Bone. He passed away in 1975.
To learn more about 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.