January 1, 1928
Margaret Shorey, also known as Peggy Shorey, was the first American vaudeville partner for Pepito the Spanish Clown, circa 1924-1928. She sang, played the guitar like a Spanish senorita, did a “snake-charmer” number with her trumpet, and assisted Pepito with the clown routines. I believe Margaret quit Pepito’s act in January of 1928.
My research has convinced me that she was no mere “assistant” or “girl musician” or “foil” to Pepito. In fact, her business savvy and newspaper connections propelled Pepito from performing at county fairs in 1923 to becoming an “A-List” vaudeville act by 1927.
With much gratitude to Lee Shorey, great-nephew of Margaret Shorey, and Lee’s wife Kathy Shorey, for their contributions to this research, and participating in a telephone interview a few years ago.
Many, many thanks to CarlaJean Beers and her husband Jeff Beers for contacting me in 2020 after they opened an old trunk and found a trove of “Pepito & Rosita” vaudeville memorabilia … and that will be the story for another post soon!
If anyone else out there has any information whatsoever about Margaret Louise Shorey, born 1908 in Milwaukee Wisconsin, please contact me, Melani Carty.