Image Source: Wikipedia

Cal Stewart

Cal Stewart (b. 1856 Charlotte County, Virginia, d. December 7, 1919) was an American comedian and humorist who pioneered 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 is the easily recognizable laugh that precedes his speeches.

Best-selling recordings included "Uncle Josh’s Arrival in New York" (1898), "I'm Old But I'm Awfully Tough (Laughing Song)" (1898), "Jim Lawson's Horse Trade With Deacon Witherspoon" (1901), "Uncle Josh's Huskin' Bee Dance" (1901), and "Uncle Josh Buys an Automobile" (1903). He wrote the song "Ticklish Reuben" in 1900.

Stewart continued recording on Edison, Columbia, Victor, and independent labels up until his death on December 7, 1919. He also wrote two books based on his monologues and performed in theaters across America with his wife and her brother and sister.

Stewart is represented on the 2007 compilation Actionable Offenses: Indecent Phonograph Recordings from the 1890s.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1856 (Charlotte County), Died 1919

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1897 - 1928

Roles Represented in DAHR: speaker, author, vocalist, composer, lyricist

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 574 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 690 7-in. 7/9/1897 A talk by happy Cal Stewart, the Yankee comedian Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 1910 7-in. 10/17/1898 Laughing song Cal Stewart Male vocal solo vocalist  
Berliner 6000 7-in. Aug. 1898 A talk by the Yankee comedian, no. 1 Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 6001 7-in. Aug. 1898 A talk by the Yankee comedian, no. 2 Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 6002 7-in. Aug. 1898 A talk, no. 3 Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 6005 7-in. 10/17/1898 Uncle Josh on the Spanish question Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Berliner 6006 7-in. Before Nov. 1898 Uncle Josh Wethersbee at Delmonico’s Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 6007 7-in. 6/11/1898 Uncle Josh’s Weathersby in a department store Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 6016 7-in. 10/17/1898 Uncle Josh’s trip to New York Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 038 7-in. 3/29/1899 Uncle Josh on a street car Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Berliner 039 7-in. 3/30/1899 Uncle Josh at the museum Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 041 7-in. 3/30/1899 Uncle Josh's troubles in a hotel Cal Stewart Comic monologue author, speaker  
Berliner 042 7-in. 3/29/1899 Uncle Josh in on a 5th Ave bus Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 043 7-in. 3/30/1899 Uncle Josh at Delmonico's Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Berliner 044 7-in. 3/29/1899 Uncle Josh in a department store Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 045 7-in. 3/30/1899 Uncle Josh on a bicycle Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 046 7-in. 3/30/1899 Laughing song Cal Stewart Male vocal solo vocalist  
Berliner 047 7-in. 3/29/1899 Uncle Josh's arrival in NY Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 048 7-in. 3/29/1899 Unde Josh at Coney Island Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Berliner 050 7-in. 3/30/1899 Uncle Josh at the stock exchange Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]659 10-in. 7/15/1902 I'm old, but I'm awfully tough Cal Stewart Male vocal solo composer, lyricist, vocalist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]659 7-in. 2/8/1901 I'm old, but I'm awfully tough Cal Stewart Male vocal solo composer, lyricist, vocalist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]660 7-in. 2/8/1901 Uncle Josh Weathersby in a Chinese laundry Cal Stewart Monologue author, speaker  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]660 12-in. 7/21/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby in a Chinese laundry Cal Stewart Monologue author, speaker  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]660 10-in. 7/14/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby in a Chinese laundry Cal Stewart Monologue author, speaker  
(Results 1-25 of 574 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Stewart, Cal," accessed May 10, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

Stewart, Cal. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

"Stewart, Cal." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 10 May 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.