Today is the birthday of Julia Rooney. Born in 1887, she was a daughter of the famous Pat Rooney, Sr. and was thus a member of an important vaudeville dynasty. From approximately 1895 through 1910 she performed in a sister act with her sister Josie, then went solo when Josie eloped with a tightrope walker. She worked as a single for a few years before marrying and becoming the vaudeville partner of singer and bandleader Walter Clinton (pictured with Julia above). Julia played piano and sang with the act, which included a ten piece orchestra and worked the circuits from 1915 through 1926. After vaudeville folded, Julia became a mainstay of Ken Murray’s Blackouts (1942-1950). She was to live on another 40 years, passing away just a little short of her 103rd birthday in 1990.
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.