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Not to be confused with Gene Green or Eugene A. Greene.

Eugene Delbert Greene (June 9, 1857 – April 5, 1930), better known as Gene Greene was an American entertainer, singer and composer, nicknamed "The Ragtime King". He was a vaudeville star and made some of the earliest sound recordings of scat singing in 1911 for Columbia Records and Victor Records and was a popular ragtime performer.


Greene was born in Aurora, Illinois and moved to Chicago as a young child. He began his professional career in the late 1890s with his future wife Blanche Werner. They performed in vaudeville first as Manjonita and Eugene and then as Greene & Werner. Greene began performing as a solo act around 1909. He toured England in 1912 and 1913 and Australia in 1913 and 1914. His pianist was on these tours was Charley Straight. Greene continued to be a popular vaudeville performer in the United States and Canada until his death backstage immediately after a vaudeville performance at the Grand Opera House in New York in 1930.

Greene was closely associated with the song "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" by Alfred Bryan and Al Piantadosi. This song was one of the extremely few anti-war music-hall songs during the First World War, most music-hall songs being fiercely pro-war. This reflected the views of Chicago's large German population at the time, but the song was also well-known, and controversial, in Britain.

Recordings of Greene are scarce in the compact disc era. One track, "King of the Bungaloos" recorded on February 17, 1911, can be found on Pop Music The Early Years 1890-1950, part of Sony Music's Soundtrack For A Century box set. Another recording, "Frankie and Johnny" by the Leighton Brothers, is discussed and played by Peter C. Muir in a video to accompany his book Long Lost Blues.[1] Greene and Straight recorded the song for Pathé Records in London during their 1912–1913 tour of England.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter C. Muir, Long Lost Blues: Popular Blues in America, 1850–1920, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-252-07676-3.
  2. ^ LongLostBlues.com – Dr. Peter Muir – No. 3. "The First Blues Recording?" on YouTube

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118623 videos foundNext > 

Gene Greene "King of the Bungaloos" on Victor 18266 jazzy scat singing (called "jig chorus")

Listen to the jazzy scat singing near the end! Wild! I just received a cable 'spatch [dispatch] from my ancestral home. It tells me I'm the Great Gazoo, successor to ...

Gene Greene "Ruff Johnson's Harmony Band" (1917) Victor 18266 GREAT SONG syncopation

Gene Greene sings "Ruff Johnson's Harmony Band" on Victor 18266, issued in 1917. I like this line: "He's got a world-wide reputation for playing syncopation.

"Maybe You Think I'm Happy" 'Gene Greene 1911

(Greene) Victor Record 16887-B, rec. 4-18-1911. Played on a 1915 Victrola VV-IX.

Gene Greene "From Here To Shanghai" (Irving Berlin song) Little Wonder disc 541 jazzy scat singing!

Gene Greene sings "From Here To Shanghai" (an Irving Berlin song) on Little Wonder 541. Listen to the jazzy scat singing near the end! Wild! I've often ...

"From Here to Shanghai" (Irving Berlin) Sung by 'Gene Greene & Peerless Quartette Victor 18242

'Gene Greene - the Ragtime King" here heard on a later Victor Pressing Pressing.

KING OF THE BUNGALOOS by Gene Greene 1911

KING OF THE BUNGALOOS by Gene Greene, recorded in 1911. Just got a small group of records over 100 years old. Enjoy! P.S. - This song recorded over 100 ...

Gene Greene "Alexander's Got A Jazz Band Now" Columbia A2472, recorded on Nov. 9, 1917 JASS HISTORY

To understand how jazz evolved in its early years, we must trace the emergence of "jass" as a new popular music. It was also called "jas" in the early days.

GENE GREENE (The Ragtime King) 1911 *KING OF THE BUNGALOOS* On Victor V Phonograph

Recorded and released in 1911 on a single sided Victor patents label record this is the elusive early comedian, Gene Greene ("The Ragtime King") singing his ...

Houston Veterans Event: Congressman Gene Greene

Texas Congressman Gene Green discusses the high volume of veterans returning home to Houston and why it's important for companies like Walmart to step up ...

''Alamo Rag'' -- Gene Greene (1911)

118623 videos foundNext > 

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