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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: 18 September 2021

Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage

(p.36) Chapter Three Rites of Passage
Vaudeville Melodies

Nicholas Gebhardt

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the entertainment rituals that emerged as part of the corporate reform of mass entertainment. It argues that these entertainment rituals were essential to the continuous reproduction of vaudeville as an idealized space for achieving popular success. It also claims that their basis in everyday moments of exchange derived from the new conditions of the industrial city and the corporate institutions that were taking shape there. In particular, the chapter focuses on the ritual passages that performers took from being a nobody in the audience to becoming somebody on the stage. These passages were particularly important because they framed the larger issue of a performer’s popularity and, in a more complex way, the kinds of relationships that developed between artists and audiences.

Keywords:   entertainment rituals, audiences, popular success, rites of passage

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