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Gertie Gitana, billed as "The Star that never fails to shine" had a sweet voice and was said to have something of a flighty manner.  A pretty and feminine lady, she enjoyed a cult following.

Her best known song "Nellie Dean" is here presented in two versions, the first before it became something of a drunkard's anthem.  Many of the other songs with which she is associated are included on this 23 track Album.

Gertie Gitana - Sweet Nellie Dean
Gertie Gitana - Album (Download) - Sweet Nellie Dean GBP £7.99

Billy Merson was a man of many talents.  He had an excellent voice unusually combined with acting and acrobatic skills.  He appeared in both Music Hall and Review and was for a time manager of the Shaftesbury theatre.
His character songs are full of wit and with lively tunes soon become etched in the memory.
All his most famous songs together with some lesser known numbers are included on this 26 track Album.

Billy Merson - The Spaniard That Blighted My Life
Billy Merson - Album (Download) - The Spaniard That Blighted My Life GBP £7.99

Ernie Mayne was a giant of the Music Hall - 20 stone in weight to be exact.  His style was similarly loud and exuberant.  Under the tag "The Simple One", Ernie's down-to-earth songs are of simple pleasures, mainly connected with food and drink.  The song "What d'ye think of that" was later used as the basis for Lonnie Donegan's famous skiffle number "My Old Man's a Dustman".
Ernie Mayne was the first Music Hall Artist to broadcast on the Radio when he performed "Wireless on the Brain" on 11 October 1922>
Ernie Mayne's most famous song "You can't get many pimples, on a pound of pickled pork" leads this 25 track Album.

Ernie Mayne - Fried Fruit Fritters
Ernie Mayne - Album (Download) - Fried Fruit Fritters GBP £7.99

Zona Vevey, whilst almost unknown today, was top of the bill in 1910. She was described as "Britain's Daintiest Comedienne". Zona Vevey had a fine clear voice and performed with her husband Max Erard who both accompanied her and composed most of her dainty songs.
Max Erard was famous himself for his touring cathedral organ which required eight lorries to transport it round the country.  On this 25 track Album, Zona sings of love and reminiscences, particularly for the country life.

Zona Vevey - I Recall the Days
Zona Vevey - Album (Download) - I Recall the Days GBP £7.99

Harry Champion, that famous cockney comedian, delights us with more of his songs.  His final (and complete) version of Any Old Iron starts the proceedings.
 His topics include many tales about trousers - darning them, losing them, and keeping your wife out of the pockets.  Difficulties with a coconut also feature.
To complete the entertainment, Harry visits a marriage agency in <I>Any Old Thing will do</I> whilst in My Wife's Sister's Pussy Cat the cat rapidly loses his nine lives.  Great delivery at breakneck speed.

Harry Champion - Down came the Blind
Harry Champion - Album (Download) - Down came the Blind GBP £7.99

Ella Retford was a vivacious comedienne and a Principal Boy in Pantomime. 
She was the originator of a number of well known songs, including She’s a Lassie from Lancashire.  She was born in Sunderland, and a number of her songs such as Yorkshire, One of us and We’re all North Country Lads and Lassies have a "Northern" feel to them.  Other songs on this 26 track CD are of particular topicalities, such as Take me on the Flip Flap which relates to an amusement ride popular in 1908.

Ella Retford - My Girl Up North
Ella Retford - Album (Download) - My Girl Up North GBP £7.99

Bradford born Jack Pleasants, billed as "The Bashful Limit" played the part of the gentle fool.  On this CD, his two most famous songs -  I'm shy Mary Ellen, I'm shy, and I'm Twenty One today sit alongside other gems such as Watching the Trains Come In.  Much loved in Lancashire and around the Northern Halls, Jack had a wide repertoire of songs which are represented here.

Jack Pleasants - Im shy Mary Ellen Im shy
Jack Pleasants - Album (Download) -I'm shy Mary Ellen, I'm shy GBP £7.99

Tom Clare, famous for "Songs at the Piano", sang topical songs which are full of social comment. From the opening track taken from a 1906 cylinder to the final recording from 1926 there is always plenty of interest.

The early tracks have the carefree atmosphere of the Edwardian days, but these move onto the black humour of such songs as "What did you do in the Great War Daddy?"

Tom Clare - The Fine Old English Gentleman
Tom Clare - Album (Download) - The Fine Old English Gentleman GBP £7.99

Known as "The Hamlet of the Halls", Bransby Williams had a long and distinguished career.  Today Bransby Williams is mainly remembered for his portrayal of various characters from the novels of Dickens which he performed well into the television age.  In his performances on the Halls, his specialism was as a quick change artist and mimic.  A fine example of this is given in "The Stage Door Keeper" where Bransby uses the storyline to introduce a superb variety of artistes.  Also included is the classic rendering of Milton Hayes "The Green Eye of the Yellow God". As an aside, "The Caretaker" contains the first mention of "Jack the Ripper" on a recording, which coming only 24 years after the murders, would surely be thought controversial today. A fascinating insight into another side of the entertainment of the Music Hall.

Bransby Williams - The Stage Door Keeper
Bransby Williams - Album (Download) - The Stage Door Keeper GBP £7.99

This Album features a number of top line music hall entertainers, including the Lancashire Lad, Morny Cash.
Harry Fragson starts the proceedings with his famous song "Hello! Hello! Who’s Your Lady Friend".  Now remembered for the chorus, the words of the verses, here sung to Fragson's piano accompaniment are great fun and bear careful listening.  Vesta Tilley, the London Idol, brings her male impersonation to a number of characters, including "Algy, the Piccadilly Johnny with the Little Glass Eye" where the early cylinder recording captures her at her best.  Morny Cash, had a similar style to George Formby Snr. and Jack Pleasants.  Here he sings six of his cheerful songs.  Vesta Victoria adds to her repertoire with 4 songs including the great "Look what Percy’s picked up in the Park".   Tom Wootwell is up to no good on "Wait a minute" where various scams are unfolded.  George Brooks and Herbert Campbell take us right back to the early days of music hall recordings, whilst Barclay Gammon gives us "The Suffragettes Anthem" from 1910.  Fred Earle completes the Album with two more witty songs.

From the Footlights
From the Footlights - Album (Download) GBP £7.99
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