This is one of a series of posts honoring Women’s History Month
Ruth Roye (originally Becker, ca. 1895 – 1960) was billed as the “Princess of Ragtime”. Apparently she had never even wanted to be in show business, but had been born into a performing family where it was mandatory. She started out as a slide singer at the family-owned Nickelodeon, moved to small time vaudeville around 1910, and by 1914 was into the big time and hit records, like “Abba Dabba Honeymoon”, “Ain’t We Got Fun?” and her big one “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee”. In the mid 1920s, she married and had two daughters (both of whom are still alive) and retired soon thereafter from show business.
You can hear her sing “Louisville Lou” (1923) in this clip, but you have to hear the gentleman introduce it first.
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.