Nell Brinkley was an illustrator and early comics artist in the early 20th century (though it’s somewhat debatable whether her works count as “comics” as we think of them today, she worked at a time when “comics” were first really being defined, it would be equally anachronistic to exclude her entirely). Her depictions of women became glamour icons unto themselves and inspired a line of hair care products and at least two Broadway songs. "The Nell Brinkley Girl" was part of Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies of 1908, and the role was originated by Annabelle Whitford (later Annabelle Moore, who also appeared in several early Edison films).
I could not find a recording of any performance of the song, but the sheet music is available online at the Library of Congress. In order to produce this recording, I transcribed the sheet music into the MuseScore software (and then uploaded into their database), which generated both a MIDI piano recording and “ahhhh-ahhhh” vocals, which I supplemented with on-screen lyrics rather than subject you to my singing. I’ve also started working on the other song, “The Brinkley Bathing Girl” from The Follies of 1909, but I don’t really have a timeline for that one yet.
Anyway, I hope you like this one, and please please please send me any suggestions you have for the YouTube channel generally (especially topics for playlists I could curate). I don’t plan for it to take over completely, but I’d like it to be a fairly robust sidebar to the blog. And of course, subscribing would help me gauge people’s interest in it!