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Vaudeville MelodiesPopular Musicians and Mass Entertainment in American Culture, 1870-1929$
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Nicholas Gebhardt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226448558

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226448725.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

There’s No Business Like Show Business

There’s No Business Like Show Business

(p.21) Chapter Two There’s No Business Like Show Business
Vaudeville Melodies

Nicholas Gebhardt

University of Chicago Press

This chapter is about the relationships that emerged between vaudeville performers and managers, and explores how their different experiences of popular entertainment. The focus is primarily on the structure and realities of the emerging national vaudeville circuits, which eventually came to dominate every aspect of the performing arts. The chapter examines how the circuits affected performers’ view of vaudeville and their place within it, especially insofar as they began to conceive of themselves and relate to each other as artists whose primary medium was the hit song or dance tune. It also shows how performers came to see show business as a a form of life unlike any other, with its own laws of existence and accompanying set of beliefs about the value of entertainment and the life of the entertainer.

Keywords:   vaudeville circuits, show business, United Booking Offices of America, B. F. Keith, Sophie Tucker

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