Edward Whaley was born in Montgomery, Alabama on the 22nd September 1877, after the death of his parents Eddie fled the family for whom he had become a houseboy. He travelled to New York and sang on the streets. It was here that he met Harry Clifford Scott.
Meeting Harry was the start of the comedy duo’s career naming themselves Pussyfoot and Cuthbert, the double act started performing in Northern United States. In 1909 the duo travelled to England, originally intending to stay only 8 weeks they made their first appearance in Sheffield.
Performing cross-talking comedy, together with songs and dances they became popular very quickly. Whaley was the smartly dressed man and Scott was the clown. Scott would adorn the make up with the white lips and with the facial expressions, put downs and punning humour it is claimed that they brought Ragtime to the UK. Scott would play the Jazz piano with Whaley singing, they would entertain the people for the next 30 years.
Scott and Whaley both became British Citizens. From 1929 they appeared on BBC radio and featured in the popular show Kentucky Minstrels between 1933 and 1946. They also performed in the 1934 film of the same name. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvBeYanH0dc
The pair split up in 1946, a year before the death of Harry in London at the age of 67. Whaley briefly teamed up with comedian Chris Gill but he would soon retire to Brighton opening up a hotel which would be used by visiting black entertainers.
Eddie Whaley died in Brighton on the 13th November 1960 aged 83. He is remembered in the name of a Brighton Bus.
Edward Whaley Master Mason Lodge Dramatic No.571
Initiated 30th November 1916
Passed 10th May 1917
Raised 24th may 1917
Mark Ceremonial 24th May 1917