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Eugene Stratton

Past King Rat


Water Rat 081

Stratton first performed at the age of 10 in an acrobatic act called the Two Welsleys. He appeared as a dancer in 1873 under the name of Master Jean. He spent some time in a circus before joining a minstrel group.

He went to England in 1880 and was by this time using the name of Stratton. In England, he worked his way up to the main song & dance man in the Moore & Burgess Minstrel Show, and in 1883 he married Moore's daughter, Bella. He left the minstrels to go on the music hall circuit in 1887, first as a double act, then solo. Although at one time he used an Irish voice, he mainly appeared as a "black-faced" singer. He also performed in pantomime, for the first time in 1896.

His friendship & association with Leslie Stuart gave him many of the songs for which he was known. During the period 1899 to 1911 he made records of most of Stuart's songs.

He died in Christchurch, Hampshire on September 15, 1918, and is buried in Bandon Hill Cemetery in Wallington in Surrey beside his great friend and fellow music hall artiste Joe Elvin.
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