Today is the birthday of Lily Morris (Lilles Mary Crosby, 1884-1952) a great singing comedienne in the English music hall who also scored big in American vaudeville. She started out in panto at age ten; and was a big star by the mid 1890s. She was known for wearing comical hats and dresses. Her signature tunes were “Why Am I Always The Bridesmaid?”, “Don’t Have Any More Mrs. Moore” (the title of which referred to alcohol), “I Don’t Want to Get Old”, “What You Gonna Do About Salena?” and “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”. You can see her sing in the 1930 revue film Elstree Calling (I just found a bunch of clips). This 1932 clip shows her working an audience and has a nice intro:
To find out more about vaudeville past and present, 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 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