The infant who would become Aileen Stanley (1893-1982) was christened Maude Elsie Aileen Muggeridge. She was born in Chicago to English parents. The father died when she was very young; the mother contrived to earn the family’s living by managing Aileen and her brother in a singing/ dancing kiddie act: “Stanley and Aileen: The Peerless English Juveniles”. They started out in the smallest of the small time, storefront theatres and nickloedeons and such, until around 1904 when they hit the better western small time circuits (Pantages, Sullivan & Considine). After around 1910 the kids were getting too old to portray themselves as young children, so they broke up as a team and went into burlesque. Aileen worked as a solo singer in vaudeville for a decade before she made it onto the public’s radar in the form of big time vaudeville, radio spots and recordings. She spent most of the years 1925-45 in England, where she was a major star until her 1939 retirement. After the war, she returned to the U.S. where she spent her last few years as a vocal instructor.
Now here she is Aileen Stanley singing the popular favorite “Wasnt it Nice?”.
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.