An entertaining record of a life and a time
Ed Lowry joined the vaudeville circuit in 1910 at the age of fourteen. He never achieved stardom equal to the likes of Fred Allen, Jack Benny, George Burns, Buster Keaton, or Eddie Cantor, and he never considered himself an “artiste.” Instead, he saw himself as a hoofer and comic simply trying to make a living on the vaude scene. My Life in Vaudeville recounts Lowry’s long career in entertainment from the viewpoint of a foot soldier with a big dream.
Lowry’s story begins in the heyday of vaudeville in the early twentieth century and follows its gradual decline. Unlike many of his associates, he recognized that movies and other forms of entertainment were the future, and thus branched out into other venues. He took gigs in radio in Philadelphia, Newark, New York, and Los Angeles; explored revues, cabarets, burlesque, and film; and organized USO road shows. With wit and perception, he reveals his stage roots as an entertainer playing to his audience, and editor Paul M. Levitt’s introduction beautifully sets the stage for Lowry’s gags-to-riches tale, providing much-needed historical perspective.
My Life in Vaudeville is an unpretentious record of a time when thousands of young people went into show business to escape the boredom of daily life, and Lowry’s story is a view of vaudeville not often encountered. Lowry does much more than recall the daily life of a working actor, musician, and comedian. His story brings vaudeville to life and places it within the larger narratives of popular culture and popular entertainment of the twentieth century.
|Publisher:||Southern Illinois University Press|
|Edition description:||1st Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Paul M. Levitt is a professor of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the editor of Vaudeville Humor: The Collected Jokes, Routines, and Skits of Ed Lowry and of Joe Frisco: Comic, Jazz Dancer, and Railbird.
Table of Contents
Lowry Timeline xxv
An Old-Timer's Lament 1
Johnny Newcomer 7
All in One Pocket 22
Home Again-and Broke Again 36
No Excuses in Show Biz 51
Have a Cigar! 65
Good-Bye, Meal Ticket 72
The Palace-at Last! 87
Next to Closing 97
This Is Broadway 105
The King and I and Pate de Foie Gras 111
Cheerio, London-Hello, St. Louis 115
Two Strikes-Walked Again 130
The St. Louis Boos 138
Farewell to Mr. St. Louis 141
Permanent Address-Beverly Hills 150
Back East lot Another Try 161
Vaudeville Returns via the GI Circuit 169
New Horse-Same Jockey 183
A Glossary of Names 189
A Glossary of Slang 222