Billy Golden (William B. Shires)

BILLY GOLDEN (William B. Shires) (born June 9, 1858; died January 29, 1926) started his career in 1874 doing a black-face talking act in vaudeville. He originated the "cane pat" which became popular with buck dancers.

Bill worked with many vaudeville partners including John Merritt, Frank Merritt, Billy Draiton, May Golden (his wife), Joe Hughes. He recorded as a solo artist and also with many partners including Arthur Collins, George Graham, Jim Marlowe, Billy Heins, and his vaudeville partner, Joe Hughes. Golden and Hughes was the first of a long line of two-man comedy teams that delivered jokes in a black dialect.

[Significantly more information can be found in "The Encyclopedia of Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925".]

Biographical source: "The Encyclopedia of Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925" by Tim Gracyk


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This page was updated on March 22, 2001