Chauncey Olcott, “My Wild Irish Rose”

Today is the birthday of the prototypical American stage Irishman, Chancellor “Chauncey” Olcott (1858-1932). Starting out in minstrel** shows, he had moved up to Broadway by the turn of the century, largely with the sponsorship of Lillian Russell. In addition to having been an actor and performer he was also a songwriter. His most lasting legacies are the songs “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and “My Wild Irish Rose”.

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.

**Obligatory Disclaimer: It is the official position of this blog that Caucasians-in-Blackface is NEVER okay. It was bad then, and it’s bad now. We occasionally show images depicting the practice, or refer to it in our writing, because it is necessary to tell the story of American show business, which like the history of humanity, is a mix of good and bad. 




Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.