Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay

Queen of Vaudeville The Story of Eva Tanguay In her day Eva Tanguay was one of the most famous women in America Widely known as the I Don t Care Girl named after a song she popularized and her independent even brazen persona Tanguay

  • Title: Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay
  • Author: Andrew L. Erdman
  • ISBN: 9780801449703
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In her day, Eva Tanguay 1879 1947 was one of the most famous women in America Widely known as the I Don t Care Girl named after a song she popularized and her independent, even brazen persona Tanguay established herself as a vaudeville and musical comedy star in 1901 with the New York City premiere of the show My Lady and never looked back Tanguay was, at the heigIn her day, Eva Tanguay 1879 1947 was one of the most famous women in America Widely known as the I Don t Care Girl named after a song she popularized and her independent, even brazen persona Tanguay established herself as a vaudeville and musical comedy star in 1901 with the New York City premiere of the show My Lady and never looked back Tanguay was, at the height of a long career that stretched until the early 1930s, a trend setting performer who embodied the emerging ideal of the bold and sexual female entertainer Whether suggestively singing songs with titles like It s All Been Done Before But Not the Way I Do It and Go As Far As You Like or wearing a daring dress made of pennies, she was a precursor to subsequent generations of performers, from Mae West to Madonna and Lady Gaga, who have been both idolized and condemned for simultaneously displaying and playing with blatant displays of female sexuality.In Queen of Vaudeville, Andrew L Erdman tells Eva Tanguay s remarkable life story with verve Born into the family of a country doctor in rural Quebec and raised in a New England mill town, Tanguay found a home on the vaudeville stage Erdman follows the course of her life as she amasses fame and wealth, marries and divorces twice, engages in affairs closely followed in the press, declares herself a Christian Scientist, becomes one of the first celebrities to get plastic surgery, loses her fortune following the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and receives her last notice, an obituary in Variety The arc of Tanguay s career follows the history of American popular culture in the first half of the twentieth century Tanguay s appeal, so dependent on her physical presence and personal charisma, did not come across in the new media of radio and motion pictures With nineteen rare or previously unpublished images, Queen of Vaudeville is a dynamic portrait of a dazzling and unjustly forgotten show business star.

    One thought on “Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay”

    1. Before Lady Gaga, before Madonna, even before Mae West, there was Eva Tanguay. Eva who??? The once Queen of Vaudeville, the biggest star of early-twentieth century America, is now largely forgotten. Until now, no biography had ever been written about her. With the exception of a highly-fictionalized movie made in the 1940s, Hollywood has forgotten her as well. Andrew Erdman discovered old newspaper clippings about Eva while researching his doctoral dissertation. Unlike many early stars, Eva left [...]

    2. Being a not too distant relative of Eva's, I'll admit to being a little biased. The book includes both scholarly and quirky information and it details the life and times of not just Eva, but those around her. This is the book I have been waiting for since I was a teenager and so curious about this huge character in my family history of which next to nothing was known. All we ever had were some passed down funny stories and a box of old and beautiful photographs. This book might not be for everyo [...]

    3. I'm surprised by the reviews on this book. As not only a reader and film historian (admittedly that has little to do with Eva) I can't imagine why you'd pick up a book like this then go 'ewww too much information.' While we could argue a few women of the late 1800s were 'first stars' I'd say the firsts in order would go Sarah Bernhardt (legit stage), Eva (vaudeville), Mary Pickford (film).They all had a million admirers and imitators, they each fell in different, but by 2013, not surprising stor [...]

    4. When I was a child my mother had, amongst her sheet music, a very battered copy of "M O T H E R The Word That Means The World To Me" with a picture of Eva Tanguay on the front. Since that time I'd always wondered who this Eva Tanguay was. Mr Erdman's book enlightened me, a little.As show-biz biographies go this one is standard fare; Erdman sticks to a narrative time line, and delves, respectfully, into Eva's psyche. It was Erdman's list of the performers who emulated Tanguay that led me to know [...]

    5. Before Madonna, Katy Perry, and Lady GaGa, there was Eva Tanguay. Never heard of her? Neither had I, but by the time I finished this entertaining biography, I knew more about the First Lady of Vaudeville than I ever needed to know.Tanguay began performing at the tender age of 8, and went on to become the most celebrated performer of her time, despite regular reports that she could neither sing nor dance. She made up for her lack of talent with her outrageous performances, which she undertook wit [...]

    6. I enjoy reading biographies of early Hollywood stars such as Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, etc. Thought I would give this book a try as I had never heard of Eva Tanquay and wanted to learn a little bit more about the vaudeville period. The book never provided a true sense of the day-to-day life of this major forgotten star. There were a lot of details about her stage shows and her stage persona but I ended the book not really feeling as if I knew her as a person. Overall, a good attem [...]

    7. I nearly gave up on this one. The inclusion of so much early (1600's!) genealogical information was baffling. Was it padding? Her ancestors really did not get up to much. One of the more interesting things about the subject was she left very little personal information about herself behind. She was one of the most famous people of her time, and yet left little material for anyone to get insight to how she felt about the crazy stuff she did, or what motivated her. It seems that her biographer did [...]

    8. Typical story of a girl who pushes society's limit and becomes famous for being outrageous. Seen it before, read it before, heard it before - nothing new. I didn't finish the book because it got extremely repetitive (she sang a song and became famous for being rebellious, outspoken or a sex symbol).Her story is nothing out of the ordinary. I have read more "outrageous" biographies about other actors/actresses of that time that were worth the wile.

    9. Just fantastic in excavating and illuminating the life of a huge yet mostly forgotten star! My only gripe is the overuse of the word 'cyclonic' to describe her; I'll have to go back and count how many times it appears. But for an account of a giant star and the system she worked in, it's brilliant. Really evocative of the time and place. It's the biography Eva deserves.

    10. I thought the devotion, time, and effort put into the almost forgotten vaudeville star Eva Tanguay was impressive considering the muddled history that was left for the author to decipher and put into a novel. However the information was so dense that it caused me to struggle through much of the book.

    11. A good biography of a practically forgotten entertainment superstar of the early 20th century. A lot of good information here. Well worth a look.

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