2 Year Old Singing and Dancing Wonder

From the Joplin Globe of January 11, 1924, p. 2:

In last night’s smoker, a number of professional performers gave an elaborate program.’ Songs by Miss Babe Neef, the ‘Irish Nightingale”, so pleased the- listeners that thunderous applause greeted the end of each selection. Miss Rue Arland, the “Blue Streak of Blue,” could not present enough encores of her specialty dancing. Her singing and dancing proved to be a “true hit.” No less entertaining were songs by O. H. Blanchard and Opal Wolfenbarger. Blanchard also entertained with a number of monologues. The “biggest hit” of all, at least the chief object of attraction, was “Baby Coleen Neef.” The 2-year-old sister of “The Irish Nightingale” proved she could follow her “big sister” in the singing line, not to mention her ‘ability to dance. Local talent was brought into play during the smoker and six “lusty voices” presented a number of “songs and other noises classified as songs.”

“Babe Neef” was my grandmother’s stage name. O. H. Blanchard was my grandfather. “Baby Coleen Neef” was my mom’s stage name. As you can see, they played all the bright lights.

2 comments… add one

  • jan

    A seven year old wonder singing a Billy Holiday song.

  • Susan Glenn

    I’m trying to gather a list of towns and venues where our grandparents performed. As a Vaudeville performer, O H Blanchard and company performed in the bright lights of Caspar, WY, Anderson, SC, and Louisville, KY. In St. Louis he performed Irish comedic impersonations and comedy monologues in the not-so-bright lights of jails, Knights of Columbus halls and Women’s Clubs. The more I read about Ollie Blanchard, the more I appreciate that Colleen always identified with Addie in the movie Paper Moon and Francie Nolan in the book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

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