The Melting Pot: Russian Jewish New York

Case 4: Entertainers > Sophie Tucker

SOPHIE TUCKER, born Sofiia Kalish (1884-1966).

Singer and comedian, one of the most popular American entertainers of the first third of the 20th century. She performed everywhere (at first in blackface, as many white singers did at that time) – Broadway, vaudeville, cabaret, clubs, radio, television, and burlesque – for over five decades. She was billed as "the Last of the Red Hot Mamas." Her comic style is credited with influencing later female entertainers, including Bette Midler, Joan Rivers, and Roseanne Barr.


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