Ada Jones: Funny Lady of the Phonograph

Born on June 1, Ada Jones (1873-1922), one of the first popular recording artists and one of the first female singers ever recorded. Originally from Lancashire, she immigrated to the U.S. at the age of six and settled in Philly, which is where she obtained her first stage experience. Circa 1893 she made some recordings with Edison and the North American Phonograph Company. This is nearly a decade before most early recording stars got into the game. After these initial experiments she returned to vaudeville until 1907, when she began recording again. She frequently sang duets with Billy Murray and also Cal Stewart, Len Spencer and the American Quartet. Most of her songs were comical and she was adept at dialect humor.

Jones suffered from ill health all her life. She was an epileptic, which made touring risky. She died of kidney failure at age 48.

To find out more about vaudeville and comedy singers like Ada Jonesconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous.