Los Angeles in the 1900s

November 1901

From the Los Angeles Herald, November 2, 1901

MINSTREL SHOW BY NATIVE SONS

Local Parlors Are Planning an Entertainment
A Vaudeville Performance to Follow the Black-Face Program, and the Native Daughters Will Help Wind Up the Evening With Dancing

Ramona, Corona and Los Angeles parlors of the Native Sons, assisted by Esperanza and parlors of the Native Daughters, will give a minstrel and vaudeville entertainment at Elks’ Hall on Friday evening, October 29.

It has been the custom of the Native Sons to hold an annual celebration on Admission Day. This year it was postponed on account of the assassination of President McKinley, and the coming entertainment will be given in its stead.

The . . . program as outlined consists of a minstrel performance given exclusively by talent from the three local Native Sons parlors, to be followed by a vaudeville program, in which professional talent will be assisted by a Native Daughter quartet from Los Angeles parlor, composed of Misses Dolly Schmidt, Anna Stoermer, Amelia Roberts and Anna Green.

In the minstrel show,

  • Leo V. Youngworth will act as interlocutor
  • Eugene Roth, R. Barry, Adolph Ramsch and Herman Lichtenberger will pose as vocal soloists
  • Bert Smith and George McKeeby have been named as prospective tambourine artists
  • Henry Lelande and A.C. Little will manipulate the bones.

Walter Wagner and George Knowlton, two of the grand trustees, have promised to be in attendance, and a cordial invitation has been extended to George L. Coombs, grand president of the order, to come down and deliver an address.

When here last spring, the grand president said,

“I am going to devote my especial attention to building up the southern

A minstrel show marriage.

(From www. musicals101.com )

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parlors, and any time you boys need me in your business, just send for me and I’ll come down.”

The consensus . . . seems to be that the coming entertainment will present an auspicious occasion [for receiving him].. . .

The members of Esperanza and Los Angeles parlors of the Native Daughters are of the opinion that the evening’s entertainment will be enhanced by refreshments and dancing and have promised to prepare a suitable collation and provide partners for the boys after the vaudeville performance is over.

From the enthusiastic manner in which the local parlors are taking hold of the matter, the entertainment should be a grand success.

Comments

Minstrel Show. The popularity of the American minstrel show is well-documented on the Web. The Encyclopedia Britannica site tells the standard format for a show :

“In part one the performers were arranged in a semicircle, with the interlocutor in the centre and the end men — Mr. Tambo, who played the tambourine, and Mr. Bones, who rattled the bones [a kind of noise-making clapper] — at the ends. The interlocutor, in whiteface, usually wore formal attire; the others, in blackface, wore gaudy swallow-tailed coats and striped trousers.

“The program opened with a chorus, often as a grand entrance, and at the conclusion of the song the interlocutor gave the command, ‘Gentlemen, be seated.’ Then followed a series of jokes between the interlocutor and end men, interspersed with ballads, comic songs, and instrumental numbers, chiefly on the banjo and violin.

“The second part, or olio (mixture or medley), consisted of a series of individual acts that concluded with a hoedown or walk-around in which every member did a specialty number while the others sang and clapped.

“Occasionally there was a third part consisting of a farce, burlesque, or comic opera.”

Native Sons and Native Daughters. The Native Sons of the Golden West was organized in San Francisco in 1875, and the Native Daughters of the Golden West followed. At present, neither has an active chapter in Los Angeles.

For a personal look at Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, click for
He Usually Lived With a Female: The Life of a California Newspaperman

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