Meet The Most Famous Celebrity Since 1900

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One reason there is such a “celebrity industry” today is the easier access the public has to details of stars’ lives. While this CA be an imposition on the celebrities themselves, many of them invite the attention as a way to keep their marketability up between projects and can well be acclaimed as the most famous celebrity. But in the early 1900s? It would seem there were not as many avenues for someone to become a “celebrity,” because of the limited means of exposure. Old movie studios did not identify their performers by name; radio was still an experimental medium. But because of this, performers made a name for themselves by touring in a live performance in as much of the country as they could.

Think vaudeville performers or even Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, who made stars of Anne Oakley and Sitting Bull, people who are still well-known today. But the best example of the most celebrity in those days would be the operation tenor.

Enrico Caruso

Meet The Most Famous Celebrity Since 1900
Meet The Most Famous Celebrity Since 1900

 Opera was a favorite entertainment among the rich and poor alike. Especially in Europe, and to a lesser extent in America. After becoming a star in Europe, though, Caruso made his first Mark on American audiences. By way of records, first recorded in 1902. A year later, he became a major star at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. But while Caruso’s recordings have assured his place as the first significant singing star of recorded music. In his day they would not have been enough to secure his mass appeal. A decent gramophone in the early 1900s ran over 100 dollars, over $2,000 in today’s money. His recordings ran anywhere up to $6 per disc. That’s with just one song in them (double-sided discs did not become standard until later). 

But like many opera companies of the time, Caruso met embarked on extensive tours of American and European cities. They offered audiences a personal connection. Earlier, authors like Mark Twain, Oskar Wilde, and Charles Dickens found success in “lecturing” across the country. Caruso also had a connection to another historical event, having been caught in San Francisco.

 Caruso also gained a share of notoriety. He was fined $10 in 1906 for allegedly punching a woman’s bottom at the Central Park Zoo. He claimed a monkey did it, but the scandal led to a brief boycott of his performances by New York society. But by this time, Caruso was practically a hero and the most celebrity of New York’s Italian immigrants.

Most Famous Celebrity – Pioneer Or Beneficiary

Meet The Most Famous Celebrity Since 1900
Meet The Most Famous Celebrity Since 1900

 Caruso was either a pioneer or one of the first beneficiaries, of “most celebrity culture,” in which a person can become famous merely for being famous. Think “Real Housewives,” Paris Hilton, Kardasians, or talk show guests who are fascinating only to the host. Later people have tried to appoint themselves “taste-makers” and make or break celebrities of their own.