Ruth Roye: Princess of Ragtime

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 vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.



  1. that is really cool.

    also added info for Ruth’s family is that she divorced her first husband, father of Janice (the elder daughter and my grandmother , currently 88) and marcia (the younger) and re-married two or three times. She lived in New York city until her death in 1960 and would spend half the year in NYC and the other half in Miami for her show career. Didnt spend much time with my gram and aunt and instead had them cared for by a governess.


  2. Ruth Roye is my great grandmother, on my mother’s side. I can give you more Information about her if you’d like. Including year of death. My mother was 12 when she passed. So she has shared a lot of memories with me about her.


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