Medeleon, 1827-1829 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Rollin Howard aka Ebenezer G.B. Holder (1840 - June 19, 1879) was one of the most cultured and capable female impersonators of minstrelsy. After the American Civil War, female impersonators became more common in minstrel shows, and Howard was considered one of the leading performers in such roles, along with Francis Leon and Eugene d'Amelie.
Rollin Howard appeared on the legitimate stage for about five years previous to his minstrel debut, which was made with Wood's Minstrels in the Spring of 1860. In the fall of that year, for a brief period, he was associated in the management of Howard and Campbell's Minstrels. In 1861, he made his first appearance with Hooley and Campbell's Minstrels in New York, and for several seasons played successful engagements with nearly every prominent minstrel company there was.
Rollin Howard (in wench costume) and George Griffin
About 1870 he left minstrelsy, and after a period in opera, played several years in variety houses. In 1868 he played Topsy in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and in 1878 was manager of the Melodeon Music Hall in Philadelphia.
Among songs that Howard performed, he was credited with "arranging" on one of the first sheet music publications for Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me in 1869. The song was extremely popular, and though the exact authorship is not clear, at times Howard has received some authorship credit.
Rollin Howard was born in New York City about 1840; he died in Boston, MA, June 19, 1879.
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