Born in Jackson, OH, on September 26, 1889, Frank Crumit developed his skills as a comedic actor, singer, and ukulele player while enrolled at the University of Ohio. In 1912, he narrowly avoided a future in engineering by becoming a singer with Paul Biese's Orchestra, first in Chicago and then in New York. Soon Crumit was touring in vaudeville, performing his own original songs and routines under the heading of "the One-Man Glee Club." His first appearance on Broadway was in the Greenwich Village Follies of 1919. Subsequent stage successes included Betty Be Good (1920), Tangerine (1921), the Ziegfeld Follies of 1923, the Gershwin brothers' Oh, Kay, Lewis Gensler's Queen High, and, in 1924, Con Conrad's Moonlight. In 1927, Crumit was married to Julia Sanderson, an actress and ex-chorus girl with whom he had worked in various shows beginning with Tangerine. The pair began performing over the radio in 1929 as "the Singing Sweethearts" and continued their broadcast collaborations until 1942.