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1920s Entertainers


female vocalists
Bessie Smith
Ethel Waters
Mamie Smith
Ruth Etting
Vaughn DeLeath
"Ma" Rainey
Eva Taylor
Ida Cox
Edith Day

male vocalists
Rudy Vallee
Bradley Kincaid
Billy Murray
Walter Scanlan
Frank Harris
Chick Endor
Scrappy Lambert
Gene Austin

Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra
Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
Coon-Sanders Novelty Orchestra
New Orleans Rhythm Kings
Duke Ellington
Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra
Jelly Roll Morton & The Red Hot Peppers
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band
Waring's Banjo Orchestra
Lawrence Welk & His Hotsy-Totsy Boys
Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five
Ted Lewis & His Orchestra
Eddie Miller Dance Orchestra
Ipana Troubadours
Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders
Cliquot Club Eskimos
Erskine Tate's Vendome Orchestra
Carroll Dickerson Orchestra
Red Nichols
vocal groups
The Rhythm Boys
Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians

soloists & composers
Louis Armstrong
Irving Berlin
George Gershwin
Clarence Williams
Bix Beiderbecke
Lonnie Johnson
Frankie Trumbauer
Eddie Lang
Bennie Moten
Eubie Blake

George Gershwin

folk & hillbilly
The Carter Family
Jimmie Rodgers
Grandpa Jones
Ernest Tubb

cool facts
Bessie Smith was known as the Empress Of The Blues.

Louis Armstrong played with both the King Oliver and Fletcher Henderson bands before starting his own band.

Jazz is primarily an improvisational music style. Because jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton wrote down his songs, he is considered the first jazz composer.


music & variety
stars of the stage
Josephine Baker
Fanny Brice
Marilyn Miller
The Gumm Sisters
Maurice Chevalier
Eddie Cantor
Al Jolson
Will Rogers
Ed Wynn
W.C. Fields
Olsen & Johnson
Fred & Adele Astaire
Gertrude Lawrence
Beatrice Lillie
Jack Buchanan
The Marx Brothers
Helen Kane
George Burns & Gracie Allen
Isadora Duncan
Bert Lahr & Mercedes
Eddie Foy & The Seven Little Foys
George M. Cohan

ladies of the theater
Lynn Fontanne
Katharine Cornell
Billie Burke
Tallulah Bankhead
Helen Hayes
Laura Hope Crews
Laurette Taylor
Doris Keane
Mrs. Leslie Carter
Minnie Maddern Fiske
Ethel Barrymore
men of the theater
Alfred Lunt
Joseph Schildkraut
John Drew
George Arliss
Otis Skinner
Lionel Barrymore
John Barrymore
Fredric March
Leslie Howard

cool facts
On Broadway, Helen Kane's performance of "I Want To Be Loved By You" made her famous as the boop boop a doop girl.

George Burns and Gracie Allen began performing together in 1922 and were married in 1925.

The Marx Brothers appeared in several popular Broadway productions during the 1920s. They made their first movie, an adaptation of their stage hit The Cocoanuts, in 1929.

John Barrymore appeared in movies and on Broadway during the 1920s, and was a well-known alcoholic.

Josephine Baker made a splash on Broadway in the all-black show Shuffle Along. Racism forced her to continue her stage career in Paris, where attitudes were more tolerant.


Mary Pickford

ladies of the big screen
Greta Garbo
Gloria Swanson
Mary Pickford
Lillian Gish
Clara Bow
Betty Bronson
Marion Davies
Louise Brooks
Vilma Banky
Renee Adoree
Pola Negri
Norma Talmadge
Bebe Daniels
Bessie Love
Janet Gaynor
Mary Astor
Joan Crawford

youngsters & teens
Baby Peggy
Jackie Coogan

Buster Keaton
men of the big screen
Rudolph Valentino
Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
John Gilbert
Wallace Beery
Lon Chaney
Victor McLaglen
Warner Baxter
Conrad Veidt
Ronald Colman
Adolphe Menjou
Al Jolson
Maurice Chevalier

Charlie Chaplin

big screen comedy
Charlie Chaplin
Laurel & Hardy
Buster Keaton
Harold Lloyd
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
Harry Langdon
Ben Turpin
Mabel Normand

cool facts
Greta Garbo was born in Sweden. She made her first American film, The Torrent, in 1925.

Clara Bow was known as the It Girl. If you had IT, you had personal magnetism, charisma and sex appeal. The term was coined by writer Elinor Glyn in 1927.

Rudolph Valentino died in 1926 at the age of 31, following surgery for a perforated ulcer.

Marion Davies was the mistress of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst.

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Buster Keaton were good friends who made several films together. Arbuckle introduced Keaton to the movie industry in the 1910s.

Lon Chaney was known as the Man of a Thousand Faces. His ability to contort his body into all sorts of painful positions and to devise highly effective makeup techniques made him one of the silent era's most unique actors.

In 1927, Vilma Banky's celebrity wedding was produced by Samuel Goldwyn and was the most elaborate of the silent era.

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