“Eva Taylor” was just one of many professional names used by this versatile performer, who could sing, dance, and cut up in musical comedy. At various times she was also known as Catherine Henderson, Irene Williams, and her given name Irene Gibbons. Born this day in 1891, she started out with Josephine Gassman and her Pickaninnies at age 8 and continued an association with the act until 1915, traveling the Orpheum circuit, Europe and the Far East. As a solo performer she performed in vaudeville and major shows like Vera Violetta (1911) and Shuffle Along (1922). In the 20s and 30s she sang on records, on radio, in black vaudeville, and in night clubs, and this was the height of her fame. She passed away in 1977.
Now, here she is, singing that popular old church hymn (kiddin’!) “Do It Again, Long Time Papa”from 1923.
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.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc