Sam Mayo, billed as "The Immobile One" performed his songs whilst remaining motionless on stage. Sam Mayo's songs are quite different from the normal run of music hall performances. With titles such as Things are worse in Russia and I feel very bad I do this may not be a recipe for optimism. However, loved by audiences then, and nowadays something of a cult figure, Sam Mayo brings the unexpected to his lyrics.
Who could resist being told (in his song The Chinaman) "This song is ridiculous, the worse that's in the land, but it's marvellous the trash that the public stands."
Sam Mayo - Album (Download) - I'm Going to Sing a Song
The Two Bobs were two Americans who visited the UK on holiday, and stayed on to pursue a major career in the British Music Hall. Their early recordings are in the ragtime vein, but as the years went by they revised their act with the later songs being more of a comic nature. Top of these later songs must be Paddy McGinty's Goat reproduced here in its 1917 form.
An early double act, they could both play the piano and sing and would take each in turns.
The Two Bobs - Paddy McGinty's Goat
Minstrel Shows were one of the most popular entertainments of the Victorian Era. The humour was of a gentle nature which appealed to those who might never enter a music hall.
The Album includes harmony songs such as Massa’s in de cold cold ground and Carry me back to Old Virginia, written by Stephen Foster and James Bland, major songwriters at the time. The Haydn Quartette, an American harmony vocal group, visited England in 1902 to make recordings and many of the tracks originate from this time.
A flavour of the style of the minstrel show is given in the later tracks which were studio interpretations made at the time.
Note: Certain words and sentiments within the songs and titles, considered innocent at the time of recording, may nowadays cause offence but are reproduced in the interests of authenticity.
Minstrels - Album (Download) - Songs of the Old Plantation
Victoria Monks, billed as "John Bull's Girl" had a dedicated following in the music hall which has been continued by collectors of the original recordings to this day. Although Victoria Monks never recorded her most popular song "Won't you come home Bill Bailey", her other recordings more than compensate.
Victoria Monks - Album (Download) - I wish I had a pal like you
This Album is an ideal introduction to the songs of the Music Hall. Including the top names, as well as some of the more obscure, it covers the range of subjects and style which made the Halls and their songs so popular. If you haven't heard any of these artists before, then this is the place to start. If you have heard them before, then you will not be disappointed with these songs.