Here comes the showboat!
Betty Bryant was a river rat. The Floating Theater was her home, and the river was her back yard. While other children were learning how to walk, she was learning how to swim. She knew how to set a trotline, gig a frog, catch a crawdad, and strip the mud vein out of a carp by the time she was four.
In this colorful memoir, Betty shares her own piece of Americana, the small, family-owned showboat of the early twentieth century. Billy Bryant's Showboat plied the inland waterways of the Ohio River watershed from before the First World War until 1942, bringing a blend of melodrama and vaudeville, laughter and therapeutic tears, into the lives of isolated people in rural communities along the way.
Betty made her first professional appearance at the age of six weeks when she played the baby in Uncle Tom's Cabin. In her twenty years of touring, she acted, sang, danced, and grew up in the tradition of "family entertainment, by families, for families."
Here Comes the Showboat! is told with the ageless wonder of a child who loved the showboat and the eager audiences its uniquely American entertainment touched. It is a treasure trove of humorous anecdotes, touching remembrances, and delightful photographs of Betty, the three generations who ran the family showboat, and the miners, musselers, shantyboaters, farmers, merchants, and actors whose lives intersected along the Ohio River.
Part of the Ohio River Valley Series, this book chronicles the navigation of a floating playhouse in a simpler time.
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