Today is the birthday of Blanche Ring (1871-1961), star of late variety, vaudeville and Broadway. A fifth generation member of a theatrical dynasty, she is much associated in her early years with Tony Pastor’s vaudeville house and the song “In the Good Old Summertime”. Her true heyday was the first decade of the 20th century, although her Broadway credits span 1902-1938. She dabbled a little in films, her most notable one being It’s the Old Army Game (1926) with W.C. Fields. Of her four husbands, the best known is Charles Winninger, who became a familiar Hollywood character actor in the 30s and 40s. Ring retired from performing in about 1940
Here she is singing her 1910 hit “Come Josephine In My Flying Machine”:
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.