Eugene Stratton

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Eugene Stratton
Eugene Stratton.jpg
Stratton circa 1900
Born Eugene Augustus Rühlmann
(1861-05-08)May 8, 1861
Buffalo, New York
Died September 15, 1918(1918-09-15) (aged 57)
Christchurch, Hampshire
Other names Two Welsleys
Master Jean
Occupation Music hall dancer & singer
Spouse(s) Bella Moore

Eugene Augustus Rühlmann (May 8, 1861 – September 15, 1918) was born in Buffalo, New York. He adopted the stage name Eugene Stratton, and became an American-born dancer and singer, whose career was mostly spent in British music halls.


Stratton first performed at the age of 10 in an acrobatic act called the Two Welsleys. He appeared as a dancer in 1873 under the name of Master Jean. He spent some time in a circus before joining a minstrel group.

He went to England in 1880 and was by this time using the name of Stratton. In England, he worked his way up to the main song & dance man in the Moore & Burgess Minstrel Show, and in 1883 he married Moore's daughter, Bella. He left the minstrels to go on the music hall circuit in 1887, first as a double act, then solo. Although at one time he used an Irish voice, he mainly appeared as a "black-faced" singer. He also performed in pantomime, for the first time in 1896.

His friendship & association with Leslie Stuart gave him many of the songs for which he was known. During the period 1899 to 1911 he made records of most of Stuart's songs.

He died in Christchurch, Hampshire on September 15, 1918, and is buried in Bandon Hill Cemetery in Wallington in Surrey beside his great friend and fellow music hall artiste Joe Elvin.[1]

In James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922) in the fifteenth episode “Circe”, there are references to Stratton, as well as the adoption of a faux Negro dialect.[2]


  • Aunt Mandy
  • The Cake Walk
  • A Carol of Stars
  • The Dandy Coloured Coon[3]
  • Hoodoo
  • Idler
  • Is yer mammie always with ye?
  • I don't know nobody
  • I Lub a Lubly Gal
  • I'm the father of a little black coon
  • Lily of Laguna (There is a poster and a recording of him singing this, with a remarkable Irish accent) [4]
  • Little Dolly Daydream
  • Love me little
  • My little octoroon
  • My second time on earth
  • She's mine, I'm hers
  • Waitress' love letter
  • When de golden sun went down
  • Whistling Coon
  • Won't you love me


  • Oxford Companion to Popular Music by Peter Gammond - ISBN 0-19-280004-3
  • Harrington, J. "A Closer Look at Eugene Stratton (1861-1918).", in: Dublin James Joyce Journal 2.2 (2009): 78-88. Project MUSE. Web. 30 Aug. 2016. <>.