- Stephen M. Vallillo
Olcott, Chauncey (21 July 1860–18 March 1932), actor, singer, and composer, was born John Chancellor Olcott in Buffalo, New York, the son of Mellen Whitney “Jack” Olcott, a horseman and stable operator, and Margaret Doyle. Olcott became interested in performing while growing up in Buffalo. He sang continually, influenced, he said, by his father’s fine voice and his mother’s stories of her Irish heritage. His first professional appearance was in blackface with Emerson and Hooley’s Minstrels. He also appeared with Haverly’s Original Mastodon Minstrels (he traveled to London with the company), Carncross’s Minstrels, and Thatcher, Primrose, and West’s Minstrels. In these companies Olcott sang sentimental songs and sometimes appeared in comic sketches....