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Dan Leno was the most famous comedian of his generation. His surviving records bear testimony to his drole sense of humour. He became a champion clog dancer in 1883, and was first engaged in pantomime in 1888. Leno is remembered as the greatest of all the pantomine "dames". He performed tirelessly throughout England and in 1901 was commanded to appear before King Edward at Sandringham earning him the title of "The King's Jester". He died in 1904. Crowds, three deep for over three miles, watched his funeral.

Dan Leno - Recorded 1901 - 1903
Dan Leno - Album (Download) - Recorded 1901 - 1903 GBP £7.99

Gus Elen is known as the greatest of the music hall coster comedians. The word "coster" comes from "costermonger" - a person who sells articles from a street barrow. Born in London in 1862, he started his musical career busking in the streets before his first appearance in the music hall as part of a minstrel duo. He became more widely known when he decided to introduce to his act a number of cockney songs in the style of Albert Chevalier. From this time in 1891, he concentrated on characterisations of cockney life, his performances on stage accurately capturing the accent and dress of this part of the London scene.

Gus Elen - Album - The Coster Comedian
Gus Elen - Album (Download) - The Coster Comedian GBP £7.99

Harry Champion (real name William Crump) was born in Shoreditch, London in 1866 and first appeared in Music Hall at the age of 15. In 1888 he changed his stage name from Will Conray, and with a wide repertoire of songs, many of them sung at breakneck speed, he became one of music hall's most successful artists. Harry Champion continued working into his seventies and died in London in January 1942. The complete album contains 28 tracks, transferred from original 78 rpm records which were made between 1910 - 1936.

Harry Champion - Album - Cockney Bill
Harry Champion - Album (Download) - Cockney Bill of London Town GBP £7.99

Billy Williams (real name Richard Banks) knew how to advertise himself and as a publicity gimmick, travelled around London in an open car wearing a blue velvet suit. This was so associated with him that he became known as "The man in the Velvet Suit". His most famous song, When Father papered the Parlour, is still remembered today. He was a best seller with his discs, but also recorded on phonograph cylinders some of which feature on this Album. The Album contains 20 tracks, all transferred from original cylinders which were made between 1906 - 1913.

Billy Williams - Album - Song on the Phonograph
Billy Williams - Album (Download) - Let's have a Song on the Phonograph GBP £7.99

Florrie Forde had a gift for taking hold of an audience. With a repertoire of great songs with rousing choruses, she encouraged the audience to sing with her, establishing a fashion that continues to this day. Her most popular chorus songs are included in this Album. The Album contains 26 tracks, transferred from original 78 rpm records and phonograph cylinders which were made between 1903 - 1936.

Florrie Forde - Join in the Chorus
Florrie Forde - Album (Download) - Join in the Chorus GBP £7.99

Marie Lloyd was famous for her "saucy" songs and is remembered today principally for the song "A little of what you fancy". She was one of the most popular music hall entertainers and became known to the public simply as as "Our Marie". After her death, Marie's daughter Marie Lloyd Jnr., continued in her tradition whilst Alice, Marie's sister, had a career in her own right. Marie Lloyd recorded a number of her successful songs, although some of her most popular numbers such as "Oh Mr. Porter" and "Don't Dilly Dally" were never recorded by her. Recordings by Marie Lloyd, Alice and Marie Jnr. are presented on this Album, together with a selection of those missing titles performed by artists who would have been alive to see and hear Marie Lloyd's stage performances. The Album contains 21 tracks, transferred from original 78 rpm records.

Marie Lloyd - Wink the Other Eye
Marie Lloyd - Album (Download) - Wink the Other Eye GBP £7.99

At the time of his tragic death in January 1918, aged 52, Mark Sheridan had been on the stage for over thirty years. An immensely popular comedian and able singer of lusty seaside songs, most notably J.Glover-Kind’s classic, “ I do like to be beside the seaside”, he was also a major presence in pantomime and featured regularly in productions across the British Isles. With his eccentric appearance, comic- patter, and delightful dancing and singing, he was undoubtedly one of the most original turns the halls had ever seen or heard. The Album contains 23 tracks, transferred from original 78 rpm records which were made between 1905 - 1915.

Mark Sheridan - One of the Boys
Mark Sheridan - Album (Download) - One of the B'Hoys GBP £7.99

George Formby was one of the first widely-known Lancashire comedians, sometimes appearing in the guise of John Willie as in the song “John Willie, Come on”. He settled in Wigan in 1900, and was credited with the popularization of the name “Wigan Pier”. His son George, apprenticed as a jockey, left racing on the death of his father and started to carry on the family stage tradition. Initially he re-created his father’s material, but eventually developed his own personality and as George Formby Jnr. was highly successful in his own right. Today, it is the son who is remembered but George Formby Senior has an appeal of his own and is often regarded as the "comedians" comedian. The Album contains 23 tracks, transferred from original 78 rpm records and phonograph cylinders which were made between 1908 - 1920.

George Formby - Standing at the Corner
George Formby Snr. - Album (Download) - Standing at the Corner of the Street GBP £7.99

Little Tich, famous for his "Big Boot" dance, made up for his lack of height with his powers of observation, which he used in a series of sketches of characters, some of which are featured on this Album.  Each of his creations was uniquely distinctive, not only in its make-up and costume, but also in his movement and presence.
The Album contains 19 tracks, transferred from original 78 rpm recordings which were made between 1911 - 1917.
 

Little Tich - In each Other s Shoes
Little Tich - Album (Download) - In each Other 's Shoes GBP £7.99

George Lashwood was a handsome and distinguished looking man who always dressed in the height of fashion, and as a result became known as “The Beau Brummel of the Halls”.  In many of George Lashwood's songs he takes the part of a “swell” out on the town for the night.
The Album contains 20 tracks by George Lashwood, transferred from original 78 rpm recordings which were made between 1905

George Lashwood - What a Don
George Lashwood - Album (Download) - What a Don GBP £7.99
 
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