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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 176-200 of 574 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor E-4233 8-in. 2/4/1907 Uncle Josh's huskin' bee dance Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4245 10-in. 2/7/1907 The wedding of Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy Haydn Quartet ; Cal Stewart ; Mrs. Cal Stewart Descriptive scene, with male vocal quartet, violin, and organ speaker, author  
Victor B-4246 10-in. 2/7/1907 Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy go to housekeeping Haydn Quartet ; Cal Stewart ; Mrs. Cal Stewart Descriptive scene, with violin and organ speaker, author  
Victor B-4302 10-in. 3/12/1907 And then I laughed Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Victor E-4302 8-in. 3/12/1907 And then I laughed Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Victor B-4447 10-in. 4/30/1907 Ticklish Reuben Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Victor B-4448 10-in. 4/30/1907 Monkey on a string Cal Stewart Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Victor B-4570 10-in. 6/10/1907 Uncle Josh at the bug house Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4570 8-in. 6/10/1907 Uncle Josh at the bug house Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4788 10-in. 8/26/1907 Uncle Josh joins the Grangers Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4788 8-in. 8/26/1907 Uncle Josh joins the Grangers Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4789 10-in. 9/6/1907 Uncle Josh's letter from home Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor E-4789 8-in. 9/6/1907 Uncle Josh's letter from home Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-4790 10-in. 9/6/1907 Uncle Josh at the dentist's Gilbert Girard ; Len Spencer ; Cal Stewart Comic dialogue speaker, author  
Victor E-4790 8-in. 9/6/1907 Uncle Josh at the dentist's Len Spencer ; Cal Stewart Comic dialogue speaker, author  
Victor C-6376 12-in. 8/31/1908 Uncle Josh and the sailor Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-6377 10-in. 8/31/1908 The county fair at Pun'kin Centre Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-6378 10-in. 8/31/1908 A busy week at Pun'kin Centre Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor C-6393 12-in. 9/4/1908 Uncle Josh keeps house Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-6532 10-in. 10/12/1908 Moving day at Pun'kin Centre Cal Stewart Monologue, with orchestra speaker, author  
Victor B-6588 10-in. 11/9/1908 Uncle Josh and the photographer Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-6739 10-in. 1/20/1909 First day of April at Pumpkin Center Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-6834 10-in. 2/25/1909 Uncle Josh and the billiken Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-16064 10-in. 6/3/1915 Moving pictures at Pun'kin Centre Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
Victor B-16067 10-in. 6/4/1915 Uncle Josh buys an automobile Cal Stewart Monologue speaker, author  
(Results 176-200 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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