Mack & Morton

song & dance / 1910's

- at the Bijou: Fall River (MA) Daily News / March 17, 1915 (pg.7) -

from Charles Mack; performer, actor, singer by Nick Whitmer

"I have found no mention of Charles Mack as a musician or actor until after his father's death in 1888. In 1889-93 he was playing the pipes for dancers in plays starring Dan McCarthy. McCarthy was playwright, singer and dancer in a run of successful Irish-themed plays, "True Irish Hearts," "Our Dear Irish Boy," "The Rambler from Clare," etc. All his plays included an Irish piper, and several well-regarded players worked for McCarthy, including Pat Touhey and Eddie Joyce. That McCarthy hired Mack - then going by McNurney - speaks well of his abilities as a piper. By 1895 he seems to have made the transition to vaudeville, sometimes performing by himself but more often teamed with others. Here begins his use of the name Charles Mack. He is billed variously as Irish piper, dancer, comedian.

He was vaudeville partner with Sam Morton, circa 1895-97, the team of Morton and Mack. They are described as "Irish pipers and dancers." Little is known about what their act was like. It may have been a skit or "playlet," perhaps 15 or 20 minutes long. One reviewer expressed surprise that "it was in Morton to make such a fine Irish character," implying acting or comedic talent and the dialogue to display it. Morton later had a long and successful vaudeville career performing with his wife and two children as The Four Mortons. There is some evidence that Mack and Morton tried their act again in the waning days of vaudeville, 1929, but with little apparent success."

Ad for "Callahan & Mack" performance at Cook Opera House, Rochester, NY Oct. 16-21, 1903 -


  • American Vaudeville Troupe (c.1917)

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