George H. Coes
Infobox Musical artist
Name = George H. Coes
Img_capt = George H. Coes
Img_size = 80px
Landscape = no
Background = solo_singer
Born = 1828
Died = March 16, 1897
Providence, Rhode Island
Years_active = 1852-1889
George H. Coes (1828 - March 16, 1897) was an American minstrel music performer. He appeared in numerous minstrel shows in California and throughout the Northeast.
Coes was born in
Providence, Rhode Islandin 1828.
Career in minstrelsy
Minstrelsy was America's first original contribution to the theater arts. [ cite book| last = Bean| first = Annemarie | authorlink = | coauthors = James Vernon Hatch and Brooks McNamara | title = Inside the minstrel mask: readings in nineteenth-century blackface minstrelsy | publisher = Wesleyan University Press | date = 1996 | location = Hanover, New Hampshire | pages = | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 0819552941 ] It was popular from just before the American Civil War to the end of the 19th Century. Today minstrelsy and its attendant
blackfaceis viewed as racist and anachronistic, however it was the preeminent entertainment in the United States during the life of George H. Coes, and he was one of the most well-known and successful performers. cite news| last = McCormack| first = Mike| coauthors = | title = Luke Schoolcraft's life touches on minstrel shows, composing| work = Terre Haute Tribune-Star| pages = | language = English| publisher = | date = February 2, 2003| url = http://specials.tribstar.com/columns/Historical/2003/February2.html| accessdate = August 30, 2008]
Coes went to California in 1852 and was associated with a number of minstrel acts principally in
San Franciscobefore returning East and opening with Woods and Christy's Minstrelsin New York City in 1857. In 1858, Coes returned to California and joined with Sam Wells to form Coes and Wells' Minstrels. [ cite book| last = Rice| first = Edward Leroy | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Monarchs of Minstrelsy from "Daddy" Rice to Date| publisher = Kenney Publishing Company | date = 1911 | location = New York, New York | pages = 366| url = http://books.google.com/books?id=nvY5AAAAIAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=%22George+H.+Coes%22&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPP8,M1 | doi = | id = | isbn = ] That partnership didn't last and Coes returned to performing in other companies. In 1867, after years of performing in the minstrel companies of others, Coes joined with S.S. Purdyand Frank Converse to form Coes, Purdy and Converse's Party which opened in Harlemon March 19, 1867.
Partnership with Schoolcraft
Coes joined with his old friend
Luke Schoolcraftin 1874 and they formed "one of the most famous minstrel tandems in history." Schoolcraft & Coes appeared with a number of leading companies including Emerson's Megatherian Minstrelsand Barlow, Wilson, Primrose & West. By 1880, the two settled with their families in Cambridge, Massachusettsand continued to tour throughout the country performing their minstrel act in a variety of shows and venues.
When Coes was unable to continue his career due to poor health in 1889, the partnership dissolved. Coes was stricken with paralysis in 1891 and died at his home at 205 Hampshire Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 16, 1897.
George H. Coes produced a book of music in 1877, entitled
George Coes' Album of Musicwhich included a number of hits, including:
*Clouds and sunshine; or, I've just arrived from Dixie (1877)
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