Singing, cowboy songs.
"Annie Laurie," "Frankie and Johnny" and "Garden of Roses."
It is the [nervousness] as much as the song that wins a place for him immediately in the good graces of the audience.
A cowboy minstrel who has personality, knowledge of the value of quiet humor and how to put it over, and a voice. Martin Van Bergen didn't need anything else to put himself over at the Prospect Monday night. He had the second spot and opened with a song that will prove a riot the moment the orchestra starts the overture on a Monday afternoon if he ever plays Hammerstein's. His opening song is a "clean" adaptation of "Frankie and Johnny" which he puts over in a quiet manner with a display of much nervousness. His second number is a tirade against 'ragtime" which is a rag itself. At the finish it he introduces the chorus of "Garden of Roses" and sings to indicate a trained voice. His third number is "Annie Laurie" which won him much applause and to close he is using a plaintive ballad which he sings with intense feeling. Van Bergen is well worth an early spot on any big time bill in the country.
Variety, 38:7 (04/16/1915)