Today is the birthday of concert violinist David Rubinoff (1897-1986).
Born in what is now Belarus, he studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Warsaw, and was brought to the U.S,. by Victor Herbert. Billed as “Rubinoff and his Violin”, he began playing in vaudeville in the 1920s and continued performing in the large presentation houses with his Orchestra through the 30s and 40s. Starting in 1931 he was a major radio star, beginning with a regular stint on The Chase and Sanborne Hour with Eddie Cantor. In 1935 and 1936 he and his orchestra had their own radio program. In addition he had several guest shots in films throughout the 1930s.
Here he is in his very own “Soundie” from 1945:
To learn 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.
To learn more about silent and slapstick comedy please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc