Ed Lowry: Collector of Vaudeville Jokes


Ed Lowry (born today in 1896) is better known today than he might have otherwise been, because of his legacy. He left behind his trunk of sketches, jokes and gags, which was published as the book you see above. See my review of Vaudeville Humor in the March 2007 number of American Theatre here: AT–Three Vaud0001. (Note: Lowry’s book is featured toward the end of my article.)  He also wrote a book about his pals Joe Frisco and Charley Foy called Joe Frisco: Comic, Jazz Dancer and Railbird which is a valuable source of information and entertainment (Foy was Frisco’s best pal and room mate in the post-vaudeville years. Their exploits are legendary). And there is also a memoir, My Life in Vaudeville: The Autobiograohy of Ed Lowry.

Lowry himself had been a minor vaudevillian, a dancer, saxophone player, comic and emcee who was teamed onstage for many years with his wife Irene “Teddy” Prince. He features on some sheet music of the era:



Starting out in the teens, he managed (thanks to U.S.O. tours) to stretch his career out through the Korean War. After he retired from show biz, he ran a hotel and invested in real estate. He passed away in 1983.

Thanks to Ron Hutchinson of the Vitaphone Project for tipping me off to this recording of Lowry in his prime: https://soundcloud.com/vitaphone/mamas-gone-young-papas-grown

To find out more about  the history of vaudeville and veterans therof like Ed Lowryconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous

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