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Happy Joe Williams, American eccentric singing and dancing humourist, ‘The Creole Prince’

September 8, 2014

Joseph ‘Happy Joe’ Williams (active early 20th Century), American eccentric singing and dancing humourist, sometimes billed as ‘The Creole Prince.’ The reverse of this postcard is inscribed by Williams, as follows: ‘Yours truly in Cork Joe Williams the un Happy’
(photo: unknown, circa 1910)

‘Among the players engaged for A Romance of Coon Hollow are: Ruby Erwood, Cecil Jefferson, Dollie Bardell, Cecile Wright, Gus Gauss, Archie Allen, William T. Asher, Samuel Gaines and Joseph Williams, with J.E. Murray, manager, and J.H. Rice, in advance. The ninth season of the play will open at the Third Avenue Theatre, New York, Aug. 25.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 26 July 1906, p. 466b)

‘Happy Joe Williams writes that he is not with A Romance of Coon Hollow this season, but will join the musical comedy , The Folley Players.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 17 September 1904, p. 684e)

Camberwell Palace, London, March 1907
‘Happy Joe Williams, coloured singer and dancer, in immaculate evening dress fairly dances himself to merry ragtime music into favour.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 27 March 1907, quoted in Edward S. Walker, ‘The Spread of Ragtime in England,’ Storyville magazine, April 1980, p. 124)

London, September 1910
‘Happy Joe Williams is back in London from Turkey. He will be seen soon in one of the London music halls doing a single turn.’
(The New York Age, New York, Thursday, 1 September 1910, p. 6d)

Paris, December 1910
‘Donnons le très beau programme du prochain ”Vendrei de la Parisienne” à la Renaissance. m. Paul Franck parlera de la ”Pantomime et de la danse”, et quelques-uns des plus illustres artistes de mime et de danse lui prêteront leur concors:
‘1o Mlle Alice de Tender, danses montmartroises; 2o Mlle Trouhanowa et M. Quinault, danses russes; 3o Mme Colette Wily, danses improvisées; 4o Mlle Marthe Lenclud et M. Léon Bucourt, danses espagnoles; 5o Mlle Cléo de Mérode (pour la première fois en France), danses paysannes; 6o les célébres boxeurs Sam Mac-Vea et Happy Joe Williams dans leurs danses nègres; 7o Mlle Yetta Rianza et M. Quinault, danses classiques françaises; 8o la Romanichelle, conte zignaresque mêlé de danses et de chants, poué par la California et Paul Franck et chanté par Mme Marie Boyer.
‘Enfin, comme intermède, M. Rozenberg, récitera plusieurs monologues, et Mlle Lucy Vauthrin, l’exquisite cantatrice de l’Opéra-Comique, chantera trois mélodies (la Maison gruise, la Chanson et la Valse), de M. André Messager.’
(Le Figaro, Paris, Tuesday, 6 December 1910, p. 5f)

‘HAPPY JOE WILLIAMS, after nine years’ abroad through the big cities of Europe, with good success, will shortly open in or around New York City, in vaudeville.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 7 November 1914, p. 8b)

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