Today is the birthday of English music hall drag king Hetty King (1883-1972). Her father Will King had a one-man band act in the music hall. She herself started performing at age six. She began doing her male specialty at age 12. Here’s how (s)he looked as a fellah:
Here is some video and audio of her sort of smashed together. “Fill ’em up, it’s my birthday, indeed.”
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 Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released in September, 2012.