Special Collections and Archives

Charles G. and Kay Wilkens papers

Special Collections and Archives

Charles G. and Kay Wilkens papers

Charles G. and Kay Wilkens, Papers, 1880-1953


Prepared for the WWW by Barbara Bass, June 18, 2002
1 slim document case, .16 cu. ft., 11th floor

Biographical Sketch

Charles G. and Kay Wilkens who formed a husband-and-wife vaudeville team had similer early backgrounds. Both had run away from home in their early teens. Charles left home in 1892 and joined a circus. Kay ran away from home at the age of 16 to join a road show. Theirs became a headline vaudeville act in 1908. During their years of touring they performed many shows in Lorain and Elyria, Ohio, on their way to performances in Chicago. They appeared in the Pantages, Keith-Orpheum, Loew's and Interstate Theaters, four of the major vaudeville circuit venues. Their act continued into the "big band" era of the 1940s.

Scope and Content

This collection includes a microfilm copy of a scrapbook documenting the career of Charles G. and Kay Wilkens. The scrapbook contains, among other items, a number of letters and photographs signed by performers such as Gracie Fields, W. C. Fields, Gilda Gray, Bob Hope, Bill Robinson, Pat Rooney and Tom Sharkey.

Box 1

Folder -- Contents

  1. 1 reel of microfilm containing scrapbook
  2. News article on Wilkens from Chronicle-Telegram: "In Elyrian's scrapbook: The glories of vaudeville recalled": July 21, 1974

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