American Vaudeville Museum

All material 1998-2012 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc. Page 44

The Duncan Sisters

The Duncan Sisters could seem an anachronistic joke to those who never saw them perform. Unless you have been fortunate enough to view their early sound film, It's A Great Life, it is doubtful you have ever witnessed their charm and originality. Today, if any photo accompanies some mention of them it is usually one depicting their Topsy & Eva act. With Rosetta in blackface, it suggests something beyond the pale and reeking of common racism, but Vivien and Rosetta were never vulgar or offensive and their skill with close harmony singing, dancing and clowning made them one of the top acts in vaudeville.