Entertainer Sophie Tucker Was Born
Have you ever seen Bette Midler, Roseanne, or
Joan Rivers perform? These women all have a loud, funny,
outspoken style. An entertainer by the name of Sophie Tucker,
who worked in the early 1900s, paved the way for this kind of
Born Sophie Abuza on January 13, 1884, while
her mother was traveling from Russia to the United States,
Abuza's Jewish family was one of millions of Eastern European
families who immigrated to the U.S. Abuza loved to sing and had
a great sense of humor. She started performing at her father's
restaurant in Hartford, Connecticut, where she earned tips for
her songs. After an unsuccessful marriage to a man named Louis
Tuck, she decided to run away and try her luck in New York City.
Tucker soon became known for her outspoken comedy and her
husky voice. When she first heard a recording of her own voice,
she said, "I sound like a foghorn!" But people loved her, and in
1911 she recorded her theme song, "Some of These Days," for the
Edison Company. Her song would have been in the Catalog for
Edison Cylinder Records, like the one in this photo.
1914, Sophie Tucker was a star, touring nonstop in the U.S. and
Europe. She was also a generous woman both personally and
professionally. During World War I she raised over $4 million
for service members, and years later she donated all the
proceeds from her autobiography, Some of These Days, to charity.
Sophie Tucker liked to call herself "The Last of the
Red-Hot Mamas," and she continued to perform in clubs, movies,
and on radio, television, and stage until she was 78! How's that
for a red-hot career!