Thriller Thursday: Elsie Janis and “That Fascinating Baseball Slide”

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Elsie Janis (Beerbower) in the April, 1913 magazine, "Theatre"- 'At Home' section. There, Vol. 17, No. 146, Page 225, via Archive.org.
Elsie Janis (Beerbower) in the April, 1913 magazine, “Theatre”- ‘At Home’ section. “Theatre,” Vol. 17, No. 146, Page 225, via Archive.org.

Helbling Family, Beerbower Family (Click for Family Tree)

While some of our dear readers may not actually consider this to be a real thriller like some of the wild movies or tv shows that are out there today,  today’s post does at least have a “whodunnit?” component. And then there is the thrill of research, though sometimes gone too far… (maybe).

As has been mentioned previously on the blog, Elsie Bierbower (1889-1956) was the cousin of Anna May Beerbower (1881-1954), who married William Gerard Helbling. Anna May was the daughter of Edgar Peter Beerbower (1849-1916), while Elsie was the daughter of John Eleazer Bierbower (1858-1929). Elsie went by “Little Elsie” in her child-star years, and then used “Elsie Janis” as her stage name.

Elsie started her career in vaudeville and on the stage, but eventually added audio recordings and later movies. “That Fascinating Baseball Slide”- AKA just “Fascinating Baseball Slide,” was her first recording, in 1912.

Add for new Elsie Janis records in 1912, published in The Gazette Times (Pittsburgh, PA), page 7, column 6, via Google Newspapers.
Ad for new Elsie Janis records in 1912, published in The Gazette Times (Pittsburgh, PA), 28 December 1912, page 7, column 6, via Google Newspapers.

Those of us who grew up with piles of records alongside our turnables- actually called ‘record players’  at the time, ‘turntables’  probably later in the 70s- know that the name in parentheses under the title is the name of the songwriter. This record shows that Elsie wrote the song, as well as sang it with an orchestra.

Label from "Fascinating Baseball Slide" by Elsie Janis, 1912, via Library of Congress.
Label from “Fascinating Baseball Slide” a 10″ record by Elsie Janis, 1912, via Library of Congress. (Click to enlarge.)

A number of websites and other resources state that Elsie wrote the song.

Imagine the surprise when this result popped up in a search:

Copyright record for "That Fascinating Baseball Slide," in Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 3, Volume 7, Number 1, Page 484, via GoogleBooks.
Copyright record for “That Fascinating Baseball Slide,” in Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 3, Volume 7, Number 1, Page 484, via GoogleBooks.

I have been unable to find this song with Elsie as author, with or without the word “That” in the title, listed in the official copyright books printed by the government. (There were, however, many other entires of Elsie’s songs and screenplays in various government volumes.) The copyright of 20 April 1912 fits well with when the record was released, but finding a copy of the ‘Crescent music co.’ sheet music has been challenging. Additionally, finding H. S. Wittmaak in more than the copyright entry books has been unsuccessful. (Wittmaak did write other songs that were listed in the copyright books.)

Elsie was just 23 when this song came out, but she had been a huge star for many years. Did she really write “Fascinating Baseball Slide”? Or possibly she purchased the song from H.S. Wittmaak and paid for the right to list it as her own? Maybe she rewrote the song to some extent?

One more interesting tidbit- our leading picture shows Elsie sitting at the piano, reading sheet music. Surprisingly, in an article published in Liberty magazine later in her life, she stated that she did not know how to play the piano! She likely did know how to read and write music, however, if she was a songwriter and singer.

So that’s our “whodunnit”- hope you found it thrilling for this Thursday.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Hear the song “That Fascinating Baseball Slide” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84aPkozicqk
  2. Library of Congress version of song– https://www.loc.gov/item/jukebox.2903?#
  3. The song is also on a 2009 CD of Elsie’s music, called, “Sweetheart of the A.E.F.” by Archaeophone. It has 24 songs, including this one. Eight songs are also available on iTunes, as is one of her books and a movie that she helped write. The CD used to be on iTunes, but is no longer; I was surprised when the lyrics were noted as ‘explicit’- turns out some are racist, sadly- just FYI.
  4. Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. “Victor matrix B-12527. Fascinating base-ball slide / Elsie Janis,” accessed July 20, 2016, http://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/matrix/detail/200012723/B-12527-Fascinating_base-ball_slide.
  5. “McCreery and Company- New Victor Records for January- Elsie Janis Records” in The Gazette Times (Pittsburgh, PA), 28 Dec 1912, page 7, via Google Newspapers–  https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=JBZRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F2YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5333%2C742293
  6. “Is Elsie Janis Guided by Her Dead Mother’s Voice?” Liberty Magazine, 28 November 1936, https://archive.org/stream/Liberty_v13n48_-_1936_-_MacFadden/Liberty%20v13n48%20-%201936%20-%20MacFadden#page/n13/mode/2up

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Tuesday’s Tip: Elsie Janis- Not Always Where Expected

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Elsie Janis from cover of "My Yankee Doodle Girl," a song from "The Slim Princess."
Elsie Janis from cover of “My Yankee Doodle Girl,” sheet music for a song from “The Slim Princess,” 1910.

 

Beerbower Family, Helbling Family (Click to go to tree)

You never know where one’s genealogical ramblings might lead, or where you might find your ancestors, so it is smart to keep an open mind.

While working on cleaning up e-files on my desktop after some marathon research sessions, I decided to listen to D. Joshua Taylor’s presentation at RootsTech/FGS 2015. He has a circus performer in his family so was talking about Cyndi’s List, the genealogical wonder that was created and is maintained by just one woman. Cyndi has a listing for ‘Entertainment’ so I jumped on the webpage and started searching for relatives who had been in the entertainment industry: Max Broida/Max Brodie (his stage name) and Elsie Janis (Beerbower). No hits for Max but Elsie came up under “Vaudeville Homepage,” which has a transcription of acts from the “Manitoba Free Press” in, surprisingly, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, for 1913. I never expected to find Elsie there! According to the description of the website on Cyndi’s List, Winnipeg was part of the main vaudeville circuit for North America, so it does make sense when we understand the context. I had never thought to look at Canadian newspapers!

At the Winnipeg “Orpheum,” acts during the week of June 2-7, 1913 included:

“Miss Orford and Her Wonderful Elephants is the headline act. The finale consists in the sensational rescue of Miss Orford from a burning building.”

[Wonder if they used real fire? How exotic to have tropical elephants in the far north!]

“Lamberti gives impersonations of famous composers, living and dead. Not only does he assume the guise of each, but he plays compositions from their pens.”

[Edutainment…]

“Ida O’Day in her original songalogue.”

[ A ‘songalogue,’ as you may surmise from the compound word, takes lyrics- sometimes from multiple songs- and instead of singing them, they are spoken and/or acted out. You can find YouTube videos of people doing that today. Ida was actually Ann (O’Day) Maples, who billed herself as ”Ida O’Day, the Merry Musical Maid,.’ She performed at the height of vaudeville, and spent 20 years on the stage; she gave it up when she married. Ann died at age 106 in 1987.]

“Foreign music halls have long been glad to welcome Carl and Lotty, a pair of most original eccentric dancers. Their work is not so grotesque as it is graceful, however, in spite of its general designation.”

[Interesting description of their dance style. They might have done very well on today’s programs such as “America’s Got Talent.”]

“There will be a new set of Edison Talking pictures, orchestra and photo plane.”

[‘Edison talking pictures’ are of course movies, but I have been unable to determine what ‘photo plane’ is in this context. It is a technical term in photography- “The plane in which a film or plate lies at the moment of exposure.” but it is still unclear as to what that meant inside the theater.]

And finally, here is what our Elsie, at age 24, was presenting:

“Elsie Janis presents three protegés of hers, in a sketch written, staged and rehearsed by herself. The trio consists of Val Harris, Rita Roland and Lou Holtz in a sketch called “Three in One.”

Elsie was a writer for stage and later screen, as well as a song-writer, comedienne, and actor.

See also “Wishful Wednesday: Elsie Janis.”

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Cyndi’s List- Thank you, Cyndi, for all your hard work for so many years! http://www.cyndislist.com

2) Vaudeville Homepage: http://members.shaw.ca/winnipegvaudeville/.

3) “Stage star ANN O’DAY MAPLES, 106, who toured the United…”, Orlando Sentinel, September 5, 1987- http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-09-05/news/0140320099_1_vaudeville-oday-john-d

4) “My Yankee Doodle Girl” copyright 1910 by Chappell & Co. Ltd. Sheet music in collection of the author.

5) “Wishful Wednesday: Elsie Janis.” http://heritageramblings.net/2014/08/27/wishful-wednesday-elsie-janis/

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Friday’s Faces from the Past: Loretta (Cooper) Rubikow and Delmas Mayer Rubikow?

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Harold Reuben Ribakow (1935-2008) and his wife?
Delmas Mayer Rubikow (1935-2008) and his wife Loretta (Cooper) Rubikow?

Cooper Family (Click for Family Tree)

Loretta Cooper (1907-1955?) was the daughter of Joseph Bear Cooper and Helen Freda (Cooper) Cooper. She married Delmas Mayer Rubikow (1906-?) circa1934.

We have identified her through another picture we have posted on the blog- see “The Daughters of Joseph Baer Cooper and Helen Cooper.”

Please contact us through the blog if you have more information about this couple.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos.
  2. Surname variously spelled Rubikow, Rubikov, Ribakow, Ribacoff.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Tresasure Chest Thursday: The Harold Rubikow Wedding, continued

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Harold R. Rubikow dancing with probe;y his mother, Loretta (Cooper) Ribakow? Summer, 1959.
Harold R. Rubikow dancing with probably his mother, Loretta (Cooper) Ribakow? Summer, 1959.

Cooper Family (Click for Family Tree)

Here are a few more images from the Rubikow/Ribakow wedding that we posted about yesterday.

Possibly parents of Harold Rubikow: Loretta Cooper and Delmas Mayer Ribakow? Summer, 1959.
Possibly parents of Harold Rubikow: Loretta Cooper and Delmas Mayer Ribakow? Summer, 1959.

Nice to have pictures of Loretta Cooper and Delmas Mayer Rubikow, if we are correct in our identification. Please let us know if you have more information!

Possibly parents of Harold Rubikow: Loretta Cooper and Delmas Mayer Ribakow? Summer, 1959.
Possibly parents of Harold Rubikow: Loretta Cooper and Delmas Mayer Ribakow? Summer, 1959.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos.
  2. Family name variously spelled as Rubikow, Rubikov, Ribakow, Ribacoff, etc.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Wedding Wednesday: Harold Ribakow & ?

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Harold Reuben Ribakow and bride, Summer, 1959.
Harold Reuben Ribakow and bride, Summer, 1959.

Cooper Family (Click for Family Tree)

We don’t know much about this line of the family, so are putting these sweet pictures up on the blog in hopes that a descendant will see them and contact us.

Harold Reuben Ribakow and bride, possibly his father Delmas Mayer Rubikow on left, his mother Loretta (Cooper) Ribakow on right. Summer, 1959.
Harold Reuben Ribakow and bride, possibly his father Delmas Mayer Rubikow on left, his mother Loretta (Cooper) Ribakow on right. Summer, 1959.

Harold Reuben Ribakow was born 24 July 1935 to Delmas Mayer Ribakow and Loretta Cooper, daughter of Joseph Baer Cooper (1873-1955) and Helen Freda Cooper (1878-1934); Loretta was the sister of Irving I. Cooper. Harold lived in Towson, Maryland, and College Park in 1954-1959 when he was attending college and dental school. He married in the summer of 1959, although we do not know the name of his wife- it has been lost to memory within the family. They were found in Baltimore after that, and likely had 2 children. Harold died in Baltimore on 2 January 2008.

Harold Reuben Ribakow and bride, unknown bridesmaid. Possibly his parents on left, Loretta Cooper and Delmas Mayer Ribakow? Summer, 1959.
Harold Reuben Ribakow and bride, unknown bridesmaid. Possibly his parents on left, Loretta Cooper and Delmas Mayer Ribakow? Summer, 1959.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos.
  2. We have seen the family name spelled as Rubikow, Rubikov, Ribakow, etc.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.