Burlesque Gender Bender!
Primrose Semon, Cyclonic Sensation and Burlesque Dust. This is by far the most detailed entry on one Primrose Semon you will find on the web. Primrose Semon was apparently a fast woman, excuse me, a fast soubrette, who performed as both a man and a woman. She had flaming red hair, and may have been "one of the seven wonders of the world" then, but she's dust now. A shame...she must have been something.
As late as 1950, Primrose was still hoofing it enough to get a mention in Billboard Magazine, performing as a comedienne for a two week engagement in Toronto. Quite a feat, 50 years earlier she was performing as Edna in Uncle Tom's Cabin. One site claims she sounded like Martha Raye but I won't hold that against her.
On January 4, 1943 Primrose escaped injury when the auto she was using to get from one gig to another crashed into the side of a bridge. No injuries. Songs she performed (and for which sheet music exists...most of them piled up in the corners of antique shops) include "Everybody's Doin' It Now" "Forgive Me" "I've Got the Finest Man" (which begins "Happy, happy, happy little bird I am")
That's all I've found and she is gone...but henceforth, when one searches her name, this will pop up, and maybe one day a curious relative will happen upon it and say hello. It has happened many times before. I have heard from a dozen relatives and such since I started digging up forgotten folks like Primrose. I have heard from the offspring of singers, artists, cartoonists, strippers and more. The relatives of criminals don't write in for some reason. On occasion, some will ask me not to print their name, others encourage it. Some have offered to share more pictures and such...others are just glad to see someone took the time to appreciate their great-grandfather or long lost Aunt. Since there is no money in blogging, it is these little personal contacts I enjoy most.
If you know anything about Primrose Semon, say hello! I'll print your note.
The Burlesque Wonder Show Flyer (featuring Primrose Semon) 1918 Collection Jim Linderman
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