Clarice Vance

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Birthday: Invalid date
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky
Clarice Vance was a well known vaudeville headliner from the turn of the century to 1910. Her bio from the Johnson Briscoe 1904 book "The Actors' Birthday Book" states . . . "All lovers of vaudeville, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Canada Border to Mexico Gulf, are familiar with the admirable methods of Clarice Vance, so well known by her sobriquet of 'The Southern Singer.' The first few years of Miss Vance's stage career were given over to farce comedy productions and it was not until about 1897 that she awoke to the full possiblities of the coon song. Since then she has made this particular style of song her one big feature in the vaudevillle theaters and her popularity is truly amazing." In 1904 a Boston ciritic wrote,"Her charm is as powerful as it is indescribable". Between 1905 and 1909 she recorded for Edison (two cylinders) and for Victor (1906-1909). Several of her Victor recordings were big hits. Her recording of "I'm Wise" (1907) stayed in the Victor catalogs for 15 years. Other hits were "He's a Cousin of Mine" and "I'm Afraid to Come Home In the Dark". She played the Palace of Varieties in London for 26 week in 1909 and in 1910 starred in "A Skylark", a lavish Broadway musical production with Hazel Cox. Her picture appeared in Vanity Fair. In 1904, she married Moses Gumble, songwriter and New York manager of Remick Music Publishing. Together they were part of the New York theatrical elite. Clarice's stature (and she was over six feet tall) was such that all songs submitted to Remick were reviewed for her exclusive use in vaudeville. The Gumbles divorced in 1914 and Clarice nearly disappears from theatrical history. A single engagement at the Tivoli Opera House in San Francisco in 1919 and a brief appearance in movies, Down to the Sea in Ships (1922) and Daughters of the Night (1924) signify the end of her theatrical career. Today her records are prized and capture her unique spirit and subtle comedy gift. Her whereabouts and activities from 1924 to 1951 remain a mystery. Her picture graces dozens of pieces of sheet music from 1900 to 1914 . . . . but alas, references to her in show business documentaries are almost nonexistent. Abel Green of Variety referred to her in 1951 as one of the "vaudeville greats". Note: A complete vaudeville sketch, "April First" written by Clarice in 1900 can be accessed through the American Memories, Library of Congress Web site. In 1951 she was committed to the Napa, Californina hospital for the insane. At the time of her death in 1961 she had no friends or relatives. Only through an odd coincidence was it discovered that the deceased was Clarice Vance, a person of significant show business importance.



No Score Yet Down to the Sea in Ships Nahoma 1923


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