1856 – 1919
Who was Cal Stewart?
Cal Stewart was a pioneer in vaudeville and early sound recordings. He is best remembered for his comic monologues in which he played "Uncle Josh" Weathersby, a resident of a mythical New England farming town called "Punkin Center."
Born in Charlotte County, Virginia in 1856, Stewart spent his early life working in circuses, medicine shows and vaudeville to great acclaim as "Uncle Josh Weathersby from Way Down East". It was on the road that he befriended Mark Twain and later Will Rogers, two men who shared similar wit in comedy.
Around 1897, Thomas Edison's studios hired him to cut several cylinder recordings of his famous speeches and songs. They were well received by the public, and launched an entire series of recordings based on the Uncle Josh character. Stewart's trademark on these recordings are the easily recognizable laugh that precedes his speeches.
Best-selling recordings included “Uncle Josh’s Arrival in New York”, “I’m Old But I’m Awfully Tough ”, “Jim Lawson’s Horse Trade With Deacon Witherspoon”, “Uncle Josh’s Huskin’ Bee Dance” and “Uncle Josh Buys an Automobile”.
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United States of America
- Also known as
- Stewart, Cal
- Dec 7, 1919
on July 23, 2013