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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 151-175 of 574 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-4195 10-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh on a street car Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4195 8-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh on a street car Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4196 10-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh playing baseball Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4196 8-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh playing baseball Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4197 10-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh's trip to Coney Island Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4197 8-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh's trip to Coney Island Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4198 10-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh's troubles in a hotel Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4198 8-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh's troubles in a hotel Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4199 10-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh's trip to Boston Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4199 8-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh's trip to Boston Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4212 10-in. 1/23/1907 Uncle Josh's New Year's pledge Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4215 8-in. 1/24/1907 Daily paper at Pun'kin Center Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4215 10-in. 1/24/1907 Daily paper at Pun'kin Center Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4216 8-in. 1/24/1907 Jim Lawson's hogs Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4216 10-in. 1/24/1907 Jim Lawson's hogs Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4217 10-in. 1/24/1907 Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy in the subway Cal Stewart ; Mrs. Cal Stewart Comic dialogue author, speaker  
Victor B-4218 10-in. 1/24/1907 Three little owls and the naughty little mice Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Victor E-4218 8-in. 1/24/1907 Three little owls and the naughty little mice Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Victor B-4220 10-in. 1/25/1907 Uncle Josh in a museum Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4220 8-in. 1/25/1907 Uncle Josh in a museum Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4221 10-in. 1/25/1907 Si Pettingill's brooms Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4221 8-in. 1/25/1907 Si Pettingill's brooms Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4222 10-in. 1/25/1907 Uncle Josh playing golf Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4222 8-in. 1/25/1907 Uncle Josh playing golf Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4233 10-in. 2/4/1907 Uncle Josh's huskin' bee dance Cal Stewart Descriptive scene, with orchestra speaker, author  
(Results 151-175 of 574 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Stewart, Cal," accessed April 13, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

Stewart, Cal. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103525.

"Stewart, Cal." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 13 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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