Chapter 10 Extras

Moving Day in Jungle Town

Born Eleanor "Dora" Goldberg to a Jewish family in Joliet, Illinois, Nora Bayes was performing professionally in Vaudeville in Chicago by age 18. She toured from San Francisco, California to New York City and became a star both on the Vaudeville circuit and the Broadway stage.

In 1908, she married singer-songwriter Jack Norworth. The two toured together and were credited for collaborating on a number of compositions, which the pair debuted in Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies of 1908 and 1909. Bayes and Norworth divorced in 1913.

After America entered World War I, Bayes became involved with morale boosting activities. George M. Cohan asked that she be the first to record a performance of his patriotic song "Over There." Her recording was released in 1917 and became her biggest international hit.

"Moving Day in Jungle Town" was written especially for the Ziegfeld Follies of 1909 with lyrics by A. Seymour Brown and music by Nat D. Ayer.  The Hoosier Hot Shots recorded "Jungle Town" in 1950.

The same team of Brown and Ayer wrote one of the biggest hits of the twentieth century just a few years later, “Oh, You Beautiful Doll.”

Eva Tanguay, a Canadian singer and entertainer, possessed only an average voice but commanded such stage presence with her enthusiasm and suggestive songs she became one of Vaudeville’s highest paid performers. She earned as much as $3,500 a week at the height of her fame. She is remembered for brassy, self-confident songs that symbolized the emancipated woman, such as "It's All Been Done Before But Not the Way I Do It," "I Want Someone to Go Wild With Me," "Go As Far As You Like," and "That's Why They Call Me Tabasco." In showbiz circles, she was nicknamed the "I Don't Care Girl", after her most famous song, "I Don't Care."

Tanguay spent lavishly on both publicity campaigns and costumes. A manager told Tanguay early in her career that money made money, and she never forgot the lesson, buying huge ads at her own expense. On one occasion Eva allegedly spent twice her salary on publicity. 

Comedian and entertainer Eddie Cantor, born Edward Israel Iskowitz, was regarded almost as a family member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing anecdotes about his wife Ida and five daughters. His charity and humanitarian work was extensive, and he is credited with coining the phrase "The March of Dimes" and helping to develop it.

Cantor’s eye-rolling song-and-dance routines eventually led to his nickname, "Banjo Eyes." His two biggest hits were "If You Knew Susie" and "Makin' Whoopee."

"You’ve Gotta See Mama Every Night" was recorded in 1923 with music by Con Conrad and lyrics by Billy Rose. It reached #6 on the Billboard charts and was another career-defining song to help cement Tucker’s racy stage persona. Conrad would go on to write a mega hit for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers called The Continental. Billy Rose would end up a great Broadway producer, the second husband of Fanny Brice, and coincidentally share all the major international newspaper obituary pages with Tucker on February 10, 1966.