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Frank Crumit

(September 26th 1889 - September 7th 1943)

Frank Crumit was born in Jackson, Ohio and made his first stage appearance in a minstrel show when he was only five. After graduating from high school in 1907 Crumit enrolled at Ohio University where he hoped to study medicine but settled instead for a degree in electrical engineering. His love for singing particularly old ballads of the 19th century prompted him to try out unsuccessfully for the New York opera. By 1913 he was performing in Vaudeville first with a trio and then as a self-accompanied singer strumming the ukulele, lovingly reffed to as "the one-man glee club". In 1918 Frank appeared in the musical "Betty Be Good" becoming the first entertainer to play a ukulele on Broadway. He began his recording career for American Columbia the following year.

In 1928 Frank Crumit married stage actress Julia Sanderson and the couple became a popular radio duo billed as the "Singing Sweethearts of the Air". In 1930 the husband and wife team got their big break scoring their own bi-weekly radio show "The Battle of the Sexes" which ran thirteen years. Frank would record his biggest hits during the 1920's and early '30's including "The Prune Song", "I Wish That I'd Been Born in Borneo", "A Gay Caballero","There's No-one With Endurance Like The Man Who Sells Insurance", and "What Kind of a Noise Annoys an Oyster?" Frank Crumit died from a heart attack in New York on September 7th 1943.

Videos:

Crazy Words, Crazy Tune (3:30)

So Long Oolong (3:06)

Timbuctoo (3:17)

What Kind Of A Noise Annoys An Oyster? (3:03)

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