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Will Rogers

William Penn Adair Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American stage and film actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma. He was a Cherokee citizen born in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.

Known as "Oklahoma's Favorite Son", Rogers was born to a Cherokee family in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). As an entertainer and humorist, he traveled around the world three times, made 71 films (50 silent films and 21 "talkies"), and wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns.

By the mid-1930s Rogers was hugely popular in the United States, its leading political wit and the highest paid of Hollywood film stars. He died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.

Rogers's vaudeville rope act led to success in the Ziegfeld Follies, which in turn led to the first of his many movie contracts. His 1920s syndicated newspaper column and his radio appearances increased his visibility and popularity. Rogers crusaded for aviation expansion and provided Americans with first-hand accounts of his world travels. His earthy anecdotes and folksy style allowed him to poke fun at gangsters, prohibition, politicians, government programs, and a host of other controversial topics in a way that found general acclaim from a national audience with no one offended. His aphorisms, couched in humorous terms, were widely quoted: "I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat."

Rogers even provided an epigram on his most famous epigram:

When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: "I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I dident [sic] like." I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 4th, 1879 (Oologah), Died August 15th, 1935 (Point Barrow)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1931

Roles Represented in DAHR: speaker, author

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-27457 10-in. 2/6/1923 A new slant on war Will Rogers Comic monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-27458 10-in. 2/6/1923 Timely topics Will Rogers Comic monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-27459 10-in. 2/6/1923 The United States Senate and government Will Rogers Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-27460 10-in. 2/6/1923 Prohibition Will Rogers Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-28043 10-in. 5/31/1923 Will Rogers talks to the bankers Will Rogers Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-28044 10-in. 5/31/1923 Will Rogers' first political speech Will Rogers Comic monologue author, speaker  
Victor B-28045 10-in. 5/31/1923 Will Rogers nominates Henry Ford for President Will Rogers Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-28049 10-in. 6/2/1923 Will Rogers tells traffic chiefs how to direct traffic Will Rogers Monologue speaker, author  
Victor MVE-70856 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances speaker  
Victor MVE-70857 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover ; Will Rogers Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances speaker  
Victor MVE-70858 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover ; Will Rogers Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances speaker  
Victor MVE-70859 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover ; Will Rogers Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances speaker  
Victor [Trial 1922-12-12-02] Not documented 12/12/1922 What I read in the newspapers Will Rogers Monologue, unaccompanied speaker  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rogers, Will," accessed August 1, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102308.

Rogers, Will. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 1, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102308.

"Rogers, Will." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 1 August 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102308

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