Neil O'Brien Minstrals

minstrelry / 1910s-1920s

Where Dead Voices Gather By Nick Tosches (Hachette Book Group, Aug 1, 2009)

In the summer of 1928 the Neil O'Brien Minstrals, the Lasses White Minstrels
and other troupes abandoned production plans.

"It looks as if Vaude has the X on minstrel stars for the coming season,"
observed Billboard.

The actual situation was bleaker than that.
The stars of minstrelry were deserting a sinking ship
and only a few found refuge in vaudeville.

portrait of Neil O'Brien and song cover

Neil O'Brien Minstrels in Hot Springs, Ark. (September 26, 1913)

February 13, 1920 (The Florence Times; Florence, Ark.)

The Neil O'Brien Minstrals will be at the Princess Theatre tonight, Friday, February 13th.
Manager Oscar F. Hodge promises that this season the Neil O'Brien Minstrals have even a
more pretentious program than ever and a most enviable reputation has already been acquired
by this organization. It will be found that new equipment throughout has been provided, new
scenery, new costumes and all new features. The company is said to be particularly strong
this year in its singing contingent and the very latest song hits are included in their
repertoire. There will be a host of singers, comedians and features. Among these is another
one of Mr. O'Brien's ideas, a song and dance composed of songs and dances (sic) which is said
to be quite out of the ordinary and very unique in character, there being a vein of humor
throughout the entire number. Bart Swor, who is without a doubt America's premier monologist,
will again make his appearance in new songs and jokes. "The Potato Peeler," another new sketch
written by Neil O'Brien and said to be screamingly funny, dealing with a negro just out of the
service who cannot be convinced that the truth is best in all cases. A finale called
"The League of Expla-nations" and which enlists the strength of the entire company, is
said to be Mr. O'Brien's best effort in whiting black-face comedy acts.

Tulsa, OK advertisement; October 19, 1922

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