Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mae West: Harry Carroll

It was 1912 when MAE WEST got her first major vaudeville break: a spot on the bill at Hammerstein's Victoria in mid-May. At last the scintillating singing comedienne could demonstrate that she was in a league with top-tiered headliners such as Eva Tanguay, Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice, and Nora Bayes.
• • Later that year, close to her 19th birthday, Mae had been invited back to "The Corner" for a week-long booking that began on 6 August 1912. She shared the stagebill with several acts — — including Fields and Carroll.
• • Mae West heard Fields and Carroll perform their jaunty rag "On the Mississippi" — — on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. And then "Mae West and Her Boys" were on, singing a few rags and playing the bones, minstrel style.
• • Harry Carroll, a well-regarded American songwriter, pianist, and composer, was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on 28 November 1892. Noticed by the top people, in 1912 20-year-old Carroll was hired by the Schubert brothers' Winter Garden productions as a contract writer. Sought after for Broadway shows from 1910 — 1921, he wrote musical numbers for producer Flo Ziegfeld — — for instance, for the "Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic" [1920] — — and others.
• • From 1914 — 1917, Harry Carroll served as the director of ASCAP. He moved to Hollywood with his wife and began work on various silent films.
• • Harry Carroll died in the month of December — — on 26 December 1962, in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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