Aileen Stanley was actually born Maude Elsie Aileen Muggeridge in 1897, in Chicago. She and her brother Stanley had a successful vaudeville routine for a few years but he fell in love with a chorus girl and quit the act. Thus, “Stanley and Aileen” became solo act Aileen Stanley, thereby creating the most practical invention of a stage name ever recorded.
Aileen performed in a number of different vaudeville and cabaret acts, but it was her New York City appearance in broadway revue Silks and Satins that led to her first shot as a recording artist. Here she is in 1920 for Pathe records—“I’m a Jazz Vampire.”
In October of 1920 she went to Okeh and recorded the number that I found in the archive: “What Cha Gonna Do When There Ain’t No Jazz.”
Clearly, Prohibition had folks worried about what else might be banned in the name of public decency. Continue reading