Maud Courtney and 'Mr. C.' (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
variety theatre entertainers,
billed as 'The Conquerors of Fun' and
'The Dainty Girl and Talented Tenor in a classy Vaudeville offering'
Maud Courtney, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 28 November 1884, was a niece of Peter McCourt, proprietor and manager of the Silver Circuit of theatres in the United States. She began appearing in public before her teens as an amateur reciter and singer. She later gained a reputation for singing old American war songs and is said to have made her professional debut at the Casino Roof Garden, New York, in June 1898. On 21 January 1901 she opened at the Victoria Theatre, New York, in George Ade's 'variety farce,' The Night of the Fourth, whose cast also included Harry Bulger, Walter Jones, Tony Hart and, as Keenan Swift, Joseph Coyne. The piece was subsequently toured, arriving at the Amphion, Brooklyn, in three weeks after its Manhattan premier. Afterwards Miss Courtney became popular on vaudeville bills as 'the girl who sings the old songs,' as when, in May 1901, she appeared at the Orpheum, Brooklyn: 'Old songs are recalled and sung by Maud Courtney, who gives verses from such familiar numbers of a generation ago as "Dixie," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Maryland," "Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching," etc. Miss Courtney sings these old ballads in a sweet and sympathetic voice that makes her hearers want to hear more the more she sings.'
The Night of the Fourth, Amphion Theatre, Brooklyn, week of Monday, 8 February 1901
Maud Courtney and 'Mr. C.' made their reapperance in Australia after an absence of six years at Fuller's Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, in March 1917.
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© John Culme, 2007