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 "Pumpkin Center" or "Punkin Center", leading to a number of small towns across the U.S. adopting those names.

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 Rossini Vrionides 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 December 7, 1919

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1897 - 1928

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

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 226-250 of 574 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 72 7-in. ca. 1901 Uncle Josh on a bicycle Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 72 10-in. ca. 1901 Uncle Josh on a bicycle Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 74 7-in. ca. 1901 Uncle Josh and the lightning rod agent Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 74 10-in. approximately 1901 Uncle Josh and the lightning rod agent Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 76 7-in. ca. 1901 Uncle Josh's troubles in a hotel Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 76 10-in. between 1901 and September 1902 Uncle Josh's troubles in a hotel Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 105 7-in. ca. 1901 And then I laughed Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, lyricist, composer  
Columbia 105 10-in. ca. 1901 And then I laughed Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Columbia 456 7-in. ca. 1901 A coon wedding in southern Georgia Columbia Quartette Male vocal quartet, with chimes composer  
Columbia 456 10-in. ca. 1901 A coon wedding in southern Georgia Climax Quartette ; Columbia Quartette Male vocal quartet, with chimes composer  
Columbia 759 7-in. ca. 1902 Ticklish Reuben Cal Stewart Comic monologue, with piano composer, lyricist, speaker  
Columbia 759 10-in. approximately 1902 Ticklish Reuben Cal Stewart Comic monologue, with piano composer, lyricist, speaker  
Columbia 784 7-in. ca. 1902 The last day of school at Pumpkin Center Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 784 10-in. approximately 1902 The last day of school at Pumpkin Center Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1140 7-in. ca. 1903 Uncle Josh on a visit to New York Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1140 10-in. approximately 1903 Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy Smith on a visit to New York Cal Stewart Monologue author, speaker  
Columbia 1407 7-in. ca. 1903-Oct. 1905 The three little owls and the naughty little mice Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, author  
Columbia 1407 10-in. ca. 1903-1908 The three little owls and the naughty little mice Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, author  
Columbia 1408 7-in. ca. 1903 Uncle Josh at a camp meeting Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1408 10-in. ca. 1903 Uncle Josh at a camp meeting Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1409 7-in. ca. 1903 Uncle Josh on a street car Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1409 10-in. approximately 1903 Uncle Josh on a street car Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1486 7-in. ca. 1903 Uncle Josh's trip to Coney Island Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1486 10-in. ca. 1903 Uncle Josh's trip to Coney Island Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
Columbia 1487 7-in. ca. 1903 Uncle Josh on a Fifth Avenue bus Cal Stewart Comic monologue speaker, author  
(Results 226-250 of 574 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Stewart, Cal," accessed April 19, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

Stewart, Cal. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

"Stewart, Cal." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 19 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.