Biography of Richard J. Jose
San Francisco, CA Biographies





RICHARD J. JOSE
No singer is better known or more loved than Richard J. Jose, whose remarkably beautiful voice has inspired and thrilled his hearers from the time when he was a choir boy, on through the years when his talent has found expression through the medium of the concert and theatre stage, the phonograph record, the radio and the silver screen. When but a lad he was known in England as the "boy soprano." He resides in San Francisco and has served as deputy commissioner of the California State Real Estate Department since 1919.

Born in Cornwall, England, a son of Richard and Elizabeth (Francis) Jose, he attended school in his native country until twelve years of age, when his father passed away. The death of his mother occurred in 1918. At the tender age of twelve Richard J. Jose came alone to America, making his way to Virginia City, Nevada, where he enrolled as a pupil in the fourth ward school. He left Virginia City for Carson City and had been at the latter place but a short time when he began singing in amusement houses which were employing talent for concerts, etc., sending his earnings home to his mother, two sisters and two brothers in England, as the family depended upon him for support. He was very successful, being much in demand, but eventually the Woman's Christian Temperance Union caused the discontinuance of his work. Then he went to Reno, Nevada, where he was engaged in the blacksmith trade, which he learned. At the same time he continued his music and eventually came under the notice of William Barnett, treasurer of Charles Reed's Minstrels at the old Standard Theatre on Bush street in San Francisco. He was sent money to go to Sacramento, California, to have his voice tried at the old Golden Eagle Hotel, arrived on a Thursday, and passed the test so satisfactorily that on the following Monday he opened as a professional at the Standard Theatre in San Francisco. Here he remained until he accepted an engagement from New York, where he appeared at the Academy of Music and The Old Homestead for three years, and not once during that entire period did he move his trunk from his dressing room. He next made a world tour in concert, then signed as a headliner in vaudeville on the Keith circuit, and the number of his admirers grew. Thereafter he took out his own musical companies until the time when he produced one of the first four reel moving pictures, "Silver Threads Among the Gold," with which he toured the country for two years. It had become his desire to make California his permanent home, and during his vacation period in 1919 he was appointed deputy commissioner of the California State Real Estate Department, in which position he has served continuously and most acceptably to the present time.

Mr. Jose married Therese S. Shrieve, a native of Nevada, and they reside at 795 Sutter street, San Francisco. In Masonry he has attained the thirty second degree of the Scottish Rite, being a member of Mission Lodge, No. 169, F. & A. M.; Mission Chapter, No. 79, R. A. M.; California Commandery, No. 1, K. T.; California Consistory, A. A. S. R.; and Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He also belongs to the Sciots, is the organizer of the Islam Josean Chanters and is a member of the Masonic Club.

Music is Mr. Jose's hobby, and since the advent of the radio his voice has been heard on the air. His work has thrown him in contact with all types of humanity and frequently in the path of temptation, but he does not know the taste of liquor, and to this fact, together with the clean life which he has always led, may be attributed the wonderful sweetness and the lasting beauty of his voice. He began making singing records for the Victor Company in 1905, being the first artist who was heard on the phonograph in "Silver Threads Among the Gold," and in the three years following, the Victor Company sold over three million dollars worth of this record. Other records which have brought the company wealth and Mr. Jose handsome royalties are the following: "When You and I Were Young, Maggie," "Long, Long Ago," "Genevieve" and "Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight." Mr. Jose has lost none of the sweetness and power of the splendid voice with which nature endowed him, and in San Francisco he is beloved by all, young and old alike.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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