Town Minstrels, Musical Shows and Black-Faced End Men. . . Times Have Changed!

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Warwick In History Minutes | 0 comments

“Warwick in History” – During the years from 1915 to 1950, one of the popular forms of entertainment and also great sources of revenue for the organizations of the village were the home town talent minstrels and musical shows. The shows were sponsored by the Masons, the Grange, and the American Legion Auxiliary, and were really polished professional productions.

The fine group singing and the jokes of the black-face “end men” who once the grease paint was applied, forgot their inhibitions; the masterly manner of Mr. Interlocutor; the solo work of Frank Wilson, Earl Clark, Fred Still, Clarence Kimble, Jenny Neisel and Alma Welch are well remembered. The tap dancing of the Leeper sisters, and the wonderful clog dancing of the Cards were great additions. There were also the unforgettable spiritual singing of the Logan family, the Harvest Moon dancers from Pine Island, and the square dancing group from New Milford.

For many years, Harry Sudman, father of town clerk Millie Littell, was at the piano, and in the vernacular of the day, “He sure could tickle the ivories”. One had only to sing the song and give him the key, and he was ready.