Almost a century before Twitter, Vaudeville was really tweeting.
Beginning in 1909, Nathan Provol’s Golden Birds were a fixture on the Vaudeville stage for a quarter-century. Provol taught his canaries to sing harmony to classical arrangements. Here they are accompanying Johan Strauss’ Emperor Waltz.
Now, not just any canary will up and sing for you. Only the male of the species really deliver those trademark trills and warbles. But they won’t sing when they’re moulting, if they’re sick, or even if the room’s drafty. And you thought Mariah Carey was a diva!
During their run in Vaudeville, Provol and his tiny tenors shared the bill with well-known humans, the likes of Jack Benny and Will Rogers.