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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 26-50 of 574 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]661 7-in. 2/8/1901 Uncle Josh in society Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]661 10-in. 2/8/1901 Uncle Josh in society Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]661 12-in. 7/21/1902 Uncle Josh in society Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]662 7-in. 2/8/1901 Uncle Josh Weathersby on a bicycle Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]662 10-in. 7/14/1902 Uncle Josh on a bicycle Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]662 12-in. 7/21/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby on a bicycle Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]663 7-in. 2/8/1901 Uncle Josh Weathersby's trip to Boston Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]663 10-in. 7/14/1902 Uncle Josh's trip to Boston Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]663 12-in. 7/21/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby's Trip to Boston Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]664 7-in. 2/8/1901 Uncle Josh Weathersby's trip to Coney Island Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]664 10-in. 7/14/1902 Uncle Josh's Trip to Coney Island Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]664 12-in. 7/21/1902 Uncle Josh's Trip to Coney Island Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]665 7-in. 2/8/1901 Uncle Josh Weathersby in a department store Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]665 10-in. 7/15/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby in a department store Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]665 12-in. 7/21/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby in a department store Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]666 7-in. 2/9/1901 The Daily Paper at Pumpkin Centre Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]666 10-in. 7/14/1902 The daily paper at Pumpkin Centre Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]666 12-in. 7/21/1902 The Daily Paper at Pumpkin Centre Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]667 7-in. 2/9/1901 Uncle Josh Weathersby and the lightning rod agent Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]667 10-in. 7/15/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby and the lightning rod agent Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]667 12-in. 4/21/1902 Uncle Josh Weathersby and the lightning rod agent Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]668 7-in. 2/9/1901 A meeting of the school directors Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]668 10-in. 7/14/1902 A meeting of the school directors Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]668 12-in. 7/21/1902 A meeting of the school directors Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]669 7-in. 2/9/1901 Uncle Josh Weathersby's arrival in New York City Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
(Results 26-50 of 574 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Stewart, Cal," accessed April 20, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

Stewart, Cal. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

"Stewart, Cal." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 20 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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