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A Closer Look at Eugene Stratton (1861-1918)

A Closer Look at Eugene Stratton (1861-1918) JUDITH HARRINGTON A CLOSER LOOK AT EUGENE STRATTON (1861–1918) Eugene Stratton, one of music hall’s great stars, is briefly but memorably referred to in Ulysses. His minstrel show and music hall career pivoted on a blackface act during which he often sang ‘coon’ songs. Today we find these songs offensive although they were very popular on both sides of the Atlantic from the 1830s well into the 1920s. Stratton’s career is inevitably enmeshed with this troublesome material – as was a broad variety of entertainment during Joyce’s life. Stratton was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1861 to first-generation Alsatian parents who named their son Eugene Augustus Rühlmann. He spent a few years at the local Christian Brothers school. As a boy, his solo performance at the school gala included ‘Jim, the Carter Lad’ to which he added an Irish jig and a German patter song. Stratton quit school early to work seriatim for a draper, a cattleman, and the local telegraph company. The exemplary models of minstrel shows opened in New York City in 1842 with Dan (Decatur) Emmett’s Virginia Minstrels, quickly followed the next year in Buffalo, New York, by Edwin Pierce Christy’s Christy Minstrels. Perhaps this http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dublin James Joyce Journal James Joyce Research Center @ University College Dublin

A Closer Look at Eugene Stratton (1861-1918)

Dublin James Joyce Journal , Volume 2 – Mar 2, 2012

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Publisher
James Joyce Research Center @ University College Dublin
ISSN
2009-4507

Abstract

JUDITH HARRINGTON A CLOSER LOOK AT EUGENE STRATTON (1861–1918) Eugene Stratton, one of music hall’s great stars, is briefly but memorably referred to in Ulysses. His minstrel show and music hall career pivoted on a blackface act during which he often sang ‘coon’ songs. Today we find these songs offensive although they were very popular on both sides of the Atlantic from the 1830s well into the 1920s. Stratton’s career is inevitably enmeshed with this troublesome material – as was a broad variety of entertainment during Joyce’s life. Stratton was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1861 to first-generation Alsatian parents who named their son Eugene Augustus Rühlmann. He spent a few years at the local Christian Brothers school. As a boy, his solo performance at the school gala included ‘Jim, the Carter Lad’ to which he added an Irish jig and a German patter song. Stratton quit school early to work seriatim for a draper, a cattleman, and the local telegraph company. The exemplary models of minstrel shows opened in New York City in 1842 with Dan (Decatur) Emmett’s Virginia Minstrels, quickly followed the next year in Buffalo, New York, by Edwin Pierce Christy’s Christy Minstrels. Perhaps this

Journal

Dublin James Joyce JournalJames Joyce Research Center @ University College Dublin

Published: Mar 2, 2012

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