Violet Loraine & George Robey - If you were the only girl in the world
Meeting a long felt need, this Album provides instrumental versions of many famous Music Hall Songs. The first tracks have arrangements for Fairground Organ and Barrel Piano played in a traditional robust style.
The next track gives us a flavour of the popular 1930's accordeon bands, and is followed by some fine playing by Reginald Dixon on the theatre organ at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool.
An orchestral selection from The London Palladium leads on to the composer Leslie Stuart playing a number of his own compositions.
The final 36 tracks have Charlie Kunz playing Music Hall Choruses in his typically relaxed style; each tune having an individual track number for ease of reference.
Melodies of the Music Hall - Album (Download)
Don't let the title put you off - these are not sad songs. Jay Laurier had a wide ranging career from Solo Comic to Shakespearian actor. The songs on this Album include some of Jay Laurier's stage patter, which gives a period feel to the performances. A contemporary reviewer of Jay's song Swim, Sam, Swim claimed: This big voiced comedian whose claims to coyness are sometimes belied by the breezy virile voice "gets over" smartly in this diverting ditty. You'll laugh.
That's what they thought about Jay Laurier then and hopefully you will too today, some 90 years later.
Jay Laurier - Album (Download) - Let's have a Jolly Good Cry
Harry Weldon initially came to fame as part of Fred Karno's Company when he played opposite Charlie Chaplin in the sketch "The Football Match". Harry Weldon then used the character of Stiffy, the Goal Keeper, as the mainstay of his solo act. Other characters developed including his boxing skit "The White Hope".
Harry Weldon had a unique style, and frequently used the conductor of the orchestra as an extra part in his performance. Harry Weldon's conversational style and his use of the absurd makes him very accessible today.
Harry Weldon - Album (Download) - The White Hope
Harry Tate was a rumbustious comedian who used the humour attached to the early days of the motor car to great effect in his famous sketch entitled Motoring. Having established himself, he made a succession of sketches in a similar vein. Harry Tate was also the master of the catchphrase, originating How's your Father and Good-bye-ee.
The Album includes the various recorded versions of his sketches.
Harry Tate - Album (Download) Motoring
Ben Lawes started his recording career in the cylinder phonograph era, playing the part of a country yokel who apparently was none toe clever. Later in his career, Ben Lawes was a popular broadcaster and also a performer of "potted-plays" of around five minutes duration. His record The little Wireless Set I made at home is interesting for its portrayal of early broadcasting in England.
Ben Lawes - Album (Download) Because I look a Fool
Will Evans was noted for his pantomime appearances and slap-stick sketches. Included here is his famous sketch Building a Chicken House together with other comic songs and monologues. Will Evans also introduces us to Jim, a character who apears in several recordings. Plus some topical comments from 1908 on the subject of the Suffragette.
Great fun from the early 20th Century.
Will Evans - Album (Download) - Building a Chicken House
Hamilton Hill, born in Australia, came to England in 1901 and became one of the recording pioneers. His style was more that of a concert singer - he didn't dress in character but as an innovation he accompanied his music hall performances with associated magic lantern slides. This selection of his recordings include his first London disc from 1903.
Included as a bonus is the song most often associated with him Goodbye Dolly Gray, here sung by the contemporary singer Leo Stormont.
Hamilton Hill - Album (Download) - When The Boys Go Marching By