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AXEL CHRISTENSEN Character Pianologist MASTER MIRTH MAKER—ENTERTAINER SUPREME Figure Offering Novelty Piano Solos Comedy Pianologues Funny Dialect Monologues and Plenty of Big Laughs Inventor and Founder of the Famous Christensen System of Rag-Jazz Piano Playing, which is taught and played from Coast to Coast. You have heard him on the Radio, Phonograph or Player Piano—NOW, HEAR HIM IN PERSON! For Your Next Function Engage Axel Christensen Master Mirth Maker Fifteen minutes to a whole evening of riotous laughter and entertainment, offering Novelty Piano Solos, Funny Dialect Monologues, Comedy Pianologues and stories. When he gets through, you'll say you've been entertained. Twenty-five years of amusement experience on the concert platform, vaudeville stage and radio. AS A RADIO STAR One of the first to broadcast his talents on the air via radio, and has received thousands of letters and telegrams from delighted listeners all over the world. AS A VAUDEVILLE STAR Appearing frequently in Keith-Albee, Orpheum and Western Vaudeville Managers Association Theatres and has toured the Loew Circuit. AS A CLUB ENTERTAINER In big demand in Chicago and the Mid-West. Appearing often times as the sole feature of the program and working as long as an hour or more. Sure to hold his own on any club program in any spot. AS A TOASTMASTER Engage Axel Christensen as toastmaster for your next banquet and your problem is solved. He will make your dinner an assured success, will keep things moving, will introduce your speakers with wit and diplomacy and keep your guests interested and entertained. Read what the DeWitt (Ia.) Observer says: With Axel Christensen as toastmaster the fun began the moment the guests assembled and continued without let-up until the party closed shortly before 11 p. m. Axel's inexhaustible fund of stories and the famous hands that 25 years ago brought him the title Czar of Ragtime, performed the miracle that was necessary to bind this celebrated family together again. (From the Cedar Rapids Republican) CHRISTENSEN IS ENTERTAINER EXTRAORDINARY First in the ranks of the entertainers at the party last night was Axel Christensen, piano player de luxe, imitator and reader extraordinary, and general good fellow. Not only at the Majestic theater, where his act was featured, but also back at Travel Inn, he was the moving spirit in the hilarious crowd. Bassington-Bassington's profound discussions on the weighty problems of life, Molbo Yorgenson's discourse on the Einstein theory and the tale of Mrs. Gilhooley's bungaloo would provoke mirth in the heart of the gloomiest of suicide prospects. And if these wouldn't, the soliloquy of The Simple Little Pimple, and Bassington-Bassington's further discourse on Physiology were bound to do the work. Those palpitating melodies that emanate from the Baby Grand when Axel tickles the ivories, are too well known for further description. His ensemble cheering produced nothing if not volume, his timely wisecracks livened up an occasional lethargic moment, and his adept coaching was a great help to the rest of the entertainers. AS A SPEAKER Axel Christensen is a sure-fire after-dinner speaker on most any subject, which he treats in a comedy vein. Simply tell him what you want him to talk about, supply him with a few of the outstanding facts and he will prepare an address that will suit the occasion. There are many angles from which this can be worked. For instance: The Oldsmobile Company had him down at Lansing some time ago at a dinner given to their dealers who came from all parts of the country. Axel was introduced as their dealer from Asko, Minnesota, and gave a talk on the automobile conditions in the Northwest. This was done in skandinavian This is Axel Himself dialect and the crowd, thinking he was in deadly earnest, literally screamed their enjoyment and approval of his quaint philosophy and the ridiculous remedies he offered for the improvement of the automobile industry. He was speaker of the evening at the regional banquet given by the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company at Mackinac Island in the fall of 1926 and was introduced in all solemnity to give serious talk on Insurance matters and thoroughly entertained several hundred high-powered insurance men and their ladies for an hour and a half. At a big meat packers banquet he was engaged to talk on the packing industry of the skandinavian countries, being introduced as an expert from Oslo, Norway, and began his talk with a most thorough panning of the way the packing industry was conducted in this country, but everybody forgave him and applauded as he digressed into his comedy routine of anecdote and monologue. The above are just a few instances which will give to a committee an idea of his possibilities. SAMPLE PROGRAM For vaudeville, where his time is naturally limited to not more than 20 minutes, his routine is usually as follows: 1. Novelty Piano Solo. 2. Pianologue—A Reminder of Bert Williams, in colored dialect. 3. Monologue—Skandinavian atmosphere in dialect and full of laughs. 4. Piano Solo—Medley of popular tunes, played in his own style, with plenty of breaks, fills and embedishments to delight the modern music lover. 5. Encore: His impression of a tobaccochewing old soldier telling a duck story. For club entertainments this routine is lengthened out to about 30 minutes by adding a character monologue in English dialect, such as: 6. The Honorable Bassington-Bassington talks on Physiology. 7. Monologue—Mrs. Gilhooly's experience with the bottles, in rish dialect. 8. Piano Solo—A syncophonic version of the Overture Poet and Peasant, or An Alpine Storm. For full evening programs he delves deeper into his repertoire and gives serious pianologue readings such as James Whitcomb Riley's An Old Sweetheart of Mine and The River Smile. This is followed by selected piano solos, interspersed with pianologues, monologues, stories, etc., etc. Anyway, when the evening is over you'll say you've been ENTERTAINED. A FEW PRESS NOTICES Another thrill in the Madison surprise program came when Axel Christensen was flashed on us as the lights went up. All we saw was a Steinway grand, a rear view of a black alpaca suit and a bald spot. And during the piano solo that ensued in which the hands attached to the alpaca sleeves devoted a by no means despicable technique to jazzing up the classics something fierce, that suit and the bald spot continued to be all we saw of the player. And then he got up and turned around and showed a pleasant, boyish face, and told a lot of funny stories. And you ought to have heard that crowd laugh. It sounded like when they send off all the fireworks there are left, in one grand cataclysmic explosion at the end of the Fourth of July explosion!— Peoria Transcript. Axel Christensen, favorite piano soloist at stations KYW, WTAS and WQJ, Chicago, is the radio star appearing at the Palace the last half of the week and his act further enhances his popularity with the music loving public. His Swedish dialect stories were well received last night and his manipulating of the ivories The above cartoon shows Axel Christensen getting his inspiration for some of the characters he has made famous over the radio with his wide range of dialects, namely: The Honorable Bassington-Bassington (English), Corporal Dake (Rube), Bert Williams (Negro), Molbo Yorgensen (Skandinavian), Mrs. Gilhooly (Irish), and James Whitcomb Riley's Old Sweetheart of Mine. brought forth piano selections that won him considerable applause.— Rockford (Ill.) Register,-Gazette. As a pianologuist, he has few, if any equals. These pianologues not only excite the laughter of an audience but appeal to their sense of harmony.— Pittsburgh Press. Some of the leading lights of symphonic music have come out openly and declared Mr. Christensen's style of playing as the real American way of playing a number. To quote Modest Altschuler of the Boston Symphony Orchestra: There is no question but what the style of music Axel Christensen uses in his act is what the American audience wants to hear, for it is full of the typical pep, not to be found in any other race.— Louisville Courier-Journal. Axel Christensen, with a brand new novelty in the way of piano syncopation. He scores heavily and yesterday packed audiences called for encore after encore.— Louisville Herald. Axel Christensen, American king of syncopation was one of the special features on the midnight program broadcast from the Pittsburgh Post Studio of Westinghouse Radio Station, KDKA, last night. Christensen, who is one of the first pianists to adopt the ragtime or syncopated style of playing, is a real attraction when it comes to broadcasting for the radio, as he has played for the leading stations of the country.— Pittsburgh Post. Axel Christensen is a distinct hit. Why the press agent did not call him the Man with the Syncopated Fingers is a mystery, as Axel plays all of the old masters in snycopated melody. The act is a particularly good one and was highly appreciated.— Salt Lake Herald-Republican. His playing is really artistic and his execution in double harmonies is remarkable. His playing of popular melodies gives them a new angle.— Minneapolis Tribune. Few piano players who have come to the Empress are the equal of Axel Christensen.— St. Paul Pioneer Press. Once before in our existence we heard Axel Christensen massage piano keys, and since then it has been one of our desires to hear him again. Last night it was granted. His debut came over radio, in the wee small hours, sometime last winter, in just such a program as he offers at the Palace; jazz with the Christensen touch. Axel need not depend on his radio reputation to secure him bookings for he is an artist. Red hot lively music is what he plays.— Rockford (Ill.) Morning Star. Axel Christensen made one of the biggest hits of the evening.— Ogden (Utah) Standard. Axel Christensen gives twenty minutes of real pleasure to every one fortunate enough to be able to her him.— Los Angeles Herald. Figure A musical treat was offered the patrons of the Metropolitau Opera House in Christensen, a wonder with the piano.— Philadelphia Telegraph. Axel Christensen is showing patrons of Loew's Empress Theater some undiscovered possibilities of the piano. He is more than a rapid and vigorous technician; he is a musician and his virtuosity mightily pleases the people.— Los Angeles Tribune. A pianist and entertainer of ability.— Portland (Ore.) Telegram. Axel Christensen was perhaps the best entertainment the bill afforded. His imitations of Bert Williams are real imitations.— Salt Lake (Utah) Telegram. If a headliner was sought for and the enthusiastic applause of the audience might be used as a criterion, Axel Christensen gets first place.— Vancouver Province. Axel Christensen is popular in Chicago, having played practically every theater in this city, and has just returned from the East where he conquered New York and Philadelphia and even made Classical Boston sit up and take notice. Christensen emerged from obscurity some years ago by inventing what is known throughout the land as the Christensen System of Rag-Jazz Piano Playing which is now being played and taught all over the country and, wherever he appears in vaudeville, piano players and students flock to hear him make good his reputation. Mr. Christensen continues to manage his schools and other enterprises while traveling, dictating his correspondence in his dressing room at the theater and transacting his business between performances. His appearance at the New York Winter Garden was a big success.— Chicago Saturday Evening Telegraph. Axel W. Christensen, famous pianistic syncopator and premier recording pianist for the United States Music Company of Chicago, who is touring the leading vaudeville and motion-picture Figure theaters of the country, was accorded an enthusiastic ovation at the conclusion of every performance which he gave in the theaters of the Rowland & Clark circuit in Pittsburgh last month.— Piano Trade Magazine. HIS PARAMOUNT AND BROADWAY RECORDS AXEL CHRISTENSEN GETS GREAT RECEPTION FROM AUDIENCE One of the most remarkable tributes ever paid a vaudeville artist—not excepting those internationally known operatic stars, movie favorites and other celebrities who from time to time whirl across the vaudeville horizon—was paid Axel Christensen the first night of his recent appearance at the Majestic theater at Cedar Rapids. (His third engagement at this theater inside of a year.) What an audience greeted Axel Christensen on December 10 (1926). High up in the galleries sat the supercritical proletariat, as usual frankly skeptical, prepared to voice a noisy opinion. Further down were the theater-going bourgeoise, college professor, business man, the substantial citizen and his dame, expecting nothing but a few minutes diversion, willing to applaud politely for sincere effort or natural ability. Here occurred an amazing spectacle. When Axel Christensen stepped onto the stage the entire audience rose to their feet and acclaimed the favorite of American vaudeville patrons, the Beau Brummel of the three-a-day; whose rich humor and bright patter satisfied the radical in the gallery and whose pianologues gave the more critical orchestra row a full measure of syncopated artistry.— Tex Granthan in the DeWitt (Ia.) Observer. Christensen gives a very attractive programme of music that is ragged and stories that have the brand of Northwest humor. He is, incidentally, the only performer on the bill who is heard distinctly in the theater at all times.— Louisville Courier-Journal. The Rialto bill for the fore part of the week is good all the way through—particularly Axel Christensen. Axel Christensen—big, deep voiced and in appearance much like a college professor—gold specs and all—comes out, plays the piano, tells a number of funny stories, and before you know it makes his bow. But he comes out again and again—he has to; you'll like Axel.— Louisville Post. Axel Christensen—the incomparable.— The Executives' Club News, Chicago. The Billboard October 9 1926 32D YEAR The Billboard Founded by W. H. DONALDSON The largest circulation of any theatrical paper in the world. Published every week By the Billboard Publishing Company Axel Christensen Reviewed Monday night, September 27, at Rialto Theater, Chicago. Style—Pianolog. Setting—In one. Time—Fifteen minutes. Billed as The Czar of Ragtime and easily accepted by any audience as a leader in this style of piano playing not only for his accomplishment but owing to the fact that he has headed the Christensen schools of music in various cities for many years. His first number is showy and exhibits execution which causes comment. He announces an impression of the late Bert Williams and sings Somebody Else, a dandy comedy song which he handles splendidly. He leaves the piano and reads a letter announced as from a Scandinavian. It is full of laughs and his dialect is perfect. The fourth number is a piano medley and after his singing and comedy playing is again welcome. Next comes an impersonation of an old soldier chewing tobacco and telling a story. It is screamingly funny. The final number is a rube number in which he plays his own accompaniment. Christensen went over big when reviewed. E. E. M.
|Title||Axel Christensen: character pianologist, master mirth maker, entertainer supreme|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Christensen, Axel|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|