Standing all of 5 feet 2 inches high, Frankie Half-Pint Jaxon had a predictable nickname…and a thoroughly unpredictable act.

Among the eclectic range of popular draws in vaudeville were female impersonators. Most of them fell into one of two camps: the coarser, more comedic performers (think Monty Python), and the true female mimics. Performers like Julian Eltinge, whose elegant gowns would regularly draw female window-shoppers.

Frankie Jaxon was more the latter, giving him a rather unique performing edge. He could sing songs written for both male and female singers, and would even perform “duets” all by his lonesome.

Here he is with the Harlem Hamfats, and No Need Knockin’ on the Blind, a Decca recording from 1937.