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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • RAINIER NATIONAL PARK: c. 1920s

Arthur Fields: 1920

Arthur Fields: 1920

The vaudevillian, singer and composer Arthur Fields (Abe Finkelstein) circa 1920. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

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Arthur Fields bio

Arthur Fields was born Abe Finkelstein in Philadelphia on August 6, 1888, and grew up in Utica, New York, where he sang in church (or temple, perhaps?)

He became a professional singer at the age of 11, singing in a movie theater. At the age of 16 he joined a minstrel troupe, and later worked in vaudeville. His first record was "Along Came Ruth" for Victor in 1914. In 1923, Fields had his own record label: Arthur Fields Melody Record, for which he was the only performer.

Over the years, Fields made many records under his own name and was also a band singer, especially for Fred "Sugar" Hall. Fields recorded with Hall in the late twenties and performed with him on radio in 1937. Fields also recorded with Bailey's Lucky Seven, Sam Lanin and the California Ramblers.

He was a composer and lyricist as well, with works including "And the Angels Sing," "Aba Daba Honeymoon," "On the Mississippi," "Auntie Skinner's Chicken Dinner," "Eleven More Months and Ten More Days," "I Got a Code in By Dose" and "There Shall Be No More Tears."

He suffered a stroke on March 11, 1953, and on March 28 was admitted to the Littlefield convalescent home in Largo, Florida, where a day later he was among 33 who died when the building burned to the ground.

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