Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
May Irwin – Singing, Shouting, and the Shadow of Minstrelsy - Illinois Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

May Irwin: Singing, Shouting, and the Shadow of Minstrelsy

Sharon Ammen


Before Sophie Tucker “corked up” to entertain her audiences with ragtime songs in “Negro dialect” and before Fanny Brice stumbled into the footlights in her rendition of the “Dying Swan,” the reigning queen of comedy and song on the American stage was May Irwin. A performer in both vaudeville and the legitimate stage, Irwin was also known as an accomplished homemaker and loving mother, a political activist, a real estate tycoon, and a prolific writer of articles, composer of songs, and author of a popular cookbook. This book is the first full-length study of Irwin and focuses on the strategies ... More

Keywords: May Irwin, vaudeville, American popular song, musical farce, female comic, celebrity chef, coon shouting, domestic feminism, suffragism, ragtime

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780252040658
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040658.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sharon Ammen, author
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College