Georgie Price (George Edwards Price)
BiographyNew York City, New York, USA
When Georgie was born, his mother missed work as janitor of the building, and the landlord evicted the entire family of 11, carrying Mrs Price and Georgie into the street in her bed. A famous lady social worker (who?) saved them, letting the family return home. Georgie started singing and dancing on the streets and subways of New York at a very early age, and in 1907, accompanied an older brother on his dry-cleaning delivery rounds. He sang for the wife of Gus Edwards, a Vaudeville entrepreneur, and was adopted by the Edwards, thereafter taking Edwards as a middle name. Read more... "Lila Lee" starred as "Little Georgie and Cuddles" in Gus Edwards song review, "School Days". Surrounded and adored by old-timers of Vaudeville, he mastered many arts, including tap dancing, soft shoe, gag-writing, double-talk, and especially imitation, at which he was regarded as one of the best, not only for his accents and voices, but also for his ability to imitate dancers, singers (including Enrico Caruso, who offered to adopt him), and entertainers of the past -- as taught to him by those who remembered them best. He fell on hard times during his adolescence, when though short, he could no longer play children. Bribing an elevator operator at the Shuberts' office building, he donned the operator's uniform, and imprisoned one (or more) of the Shuberts between floors, just long enough to audition. He became their "headliner", replacing Al Jolson, and later became the first non-classical singer to get a long-term recording contract with RCA Victor. My favorite is "Pushcart Serenade", a comic song on the flip side of " (And Here Am I) Broken Hearted". In the Thirties, he took the advice of his friend Bernard Baruch to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, beginning a second career, but continued on in show business, notably as president of The American Guild of Variety Artists, as a frequent emcee of charitable fund-raisers, as the host of "The Big Time", a CBS radio show in the early Fifties, and as a spokesman for Vaudeville and retired Vaudevilleans.