Stars of Vaudeville #51: Gus Edwards

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Originally posted in 2009

Not a vaudeville star himself per se, German-born Gus Edwards was more the father of a hundred stars. He was vaudeville’s premier producer of kiddie acts. Having started out himself at Tony Pastor’s in the Newsboy Quartet, he went on to build a producing machine that developed and presented scores, probably hundreds of pint-sized vaudevillians — many of whom went on to bigger and better things. Famous products of the Gus Edwards mill include: Groucho Marx, Georgie Jessell, Eddie Cantor, Phil Silvers, Walter WinchellRay Bolger, Eleanor Powell, Sally Rand, Bert WheelerLillian Roth and the Duncan Sisters. He was also a prolific songwriter (his best known song “School Days” is still known to many). He was born on this day in 1879.

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.

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And check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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