May Irwin : singing, shouting, and the shadow of minstrelsy (Book, 2017) [WorldCat.org]
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May Irwin : singing, shouting, and the shadow of minstrelsy
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May Irwin : singing, shouting, and the shadow of minstrelsy

Author: Sharon Ammen
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, ©2017 [2017]
Series: Music in American life.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Before Sophie Tucker "corked up" to entertain her audiences with ragtime songs in Negro dialect, and before Fanny Brice stumbled into the footlights in her rendition of the "Dying Swan," May Irwin (1862-1938) was the reigning queen of comedy and "coon" songs on the American stage. This project, the first serious study of May Irwin, traces the comedic performer's colorful and successful career and also examines the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Music
Musique
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ammen, Sharon, 1951-
May Irwin.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2017]
(DLC) 2016040566
Named Person: May Irwin; May Irwin; May Irwin
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Sharon Ammen
ISBN: 9780252040658 0252040651 9780252082153 025208215X
OCLC Number: 946903470
Description: xi, 252 pages, 18 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Contents: Introduction : May and me --
Never were there such devoted sisters --
Stardom --
The profoundly troubling history of the coon song --
The "only one boss bully" --
Unbounded domesticity --
Causes and compromise --
The road to rainbow's end --
Epilogue : me and May.
Series Title: Music in American life.
Responsibility: Sharon Ammen.

Abstract:

"Before Sophie Tucker "corked up" to entertain her audiences with ragtime songs in Negro dialect, and before Fanny Brice stumbled into the footlights in her rendition of the "Dying Swan," May Irwin (1862-1938) was the reigning queen of comedy and "coon" songs on the American stage. This project, the first serious study of May Irwin, traces the comedic performer's colorful and successful career and also examines the strategies that Irwin employed to maintain both popularity and power while stepping far outside traditionally defined boundaries of late nineteenth-century womanhood. Ammen considers the content and style of Irwin's comedy; her repertoire and status as a "coon shouter"; her position as a celebrated cook and homemaker; and her social and political activities. Irwin's career began as a singing act with her younger sister, Flora, when May was 12. The Irwin Sisters achieved enough success over the next few years to gain a regular spot at Tony Pastor's popular theatre in New York City. After six years with Pastor, May, then 21, struck out on her own and went to work for Augustin Daly's stock company, where she developed her comedic and improvisational skills. By the 1890s she was established as a star on the vaudeville circuit as well as the legitimate stage and a few films. In addition to her theatrical work, both onstage and as a manager, Irwin was also known as an accomplished homemaker and loving mother; a political activist; a real estate tycoon; a prolific composer of songs; and the writer of many articles as well as a popular cookbook"--

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This is a valuable biographical study that assesses May Irwin's contributions to comedy while also forging a path that avoided some of the grotesque and low comic traditions associated with female Read more...

 
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