Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Great Days Of Music Hall


A terrific LP of old music hall stars that were still around in the 20's and 30's to record these medleys of their biggest hits. I've had these on a cassette for a number of years but glad to find this vinyl version on the cheapo Music For Pleasure label that was released in the 60's and sold for 12 shillings and sixpence back then. Wee Georgie Wood writes the sleeve notes- here's the first part about Billy Merson -

"The Greatest Music-Hall Ever Assembled" is
no mean boast, yet the six stars on this album
really do represent the best of music-hall
entertainment.
I can think of no better selection of artists and
numbers with which In illustrate the talks on
music-hall immortals which I give throughout
this country and America. There were other
greats too, of course, but these six stood in the
front rank and I am proud to have been a personal
friend of them all.
BILLY MKRSON typified the individuality
and personality which marked out the great
artists of the days when, to quote George
Bernard Shaw: "The music-hall, thank God. is
part of the traditional British life acceptable.—
nay, indeed welcomed—by Ireland".
"On The Good Ship Yacki Hicki Doola" was
the popular favourite of pierrot shows, amateur
reviews for charity, and delighted countless sea-
side charabanc parties.
Merson's own particular favourite was "The
Photo Of The Girl I Left Behind Me" but
"Signora", the least successful item in his
repertoire, was nevertheless the critics choice.
Lewis Waller's performance in the well-known
drama "A White Man" inspired "A Prairie
Life".
Best known of all his numbers was of course,
"The Spaniard That Blighted My Life" and I
can remember that, during the Drury Lane
rehearsal breaks of that truly great musical "Rose
Marie" (in which Merson played the part of
Herman), the composer Rudolf Kriml would
implore Billy to teach him the trick of "The
Spaniards" opening of "O list to me while 1 tell
you" with which Billy played vocal tricks with
nuances of tremolo and almost a yodel. In 1943,
Al Jolson sang this song to the troops when we
were together in North Africa and he always pre-
faced it with a personal tribute to "That Merson
man of the music-hall". Later, when Joe Brown
parted from "The Bruvvers" to gain fame as a
solo performer, he added the song to his reper-
toire and performed it with great success on a
T.V. show filmed in colour specially for America,
when it was generally thought to be a new song!"


Billy Merson - Medley

Vesta Victoria - Medley

Charles Coburn - Medley

Florrie Forde - Medley

Harry Champion - Medley

Ella Retford - Medley

5 comments:

Bernard said...

Wonderfull stuff WP.
You have made my day. Fairground Organs and Music Hall, what more could a fellow want?
Thanks.
PS Finally bought myself a vinyl to MP3 converter. Works well, but takes ages playing all these LP's.
Only 198 to go!

wastedpapiers said...

Glad you are enjoying them Bernard. Good luck with the MP3 converting - you'll have to start your own audio blog!

Bernard said...

Funny you should mention 'clips'.
I really ought to have a bit of music, or at least some sound on my blog, but I have now idea where to start.
I'm a "Golden Oldie" and slow to pick up on these new-hi-tech-digital-thingie-me-jigs!
I have no idea how to upload to YT?

wastedpapiers said...

It's all pretty straight forward Bernard once you know which buttons to click and files to upload. Three or four years ago I had no idea either but picked things up gradually along the way. Just click on the UPLOAD button once you have joined YT and its pretty easy. Same goes for music files. So many different sorts out there now. I'm happy using Mediafire at the moment as they seem one of the easiest and they last for a while.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Paul si sinorina from Czech Rep.8.10.10 I found Florrie Forde on You Tube, the second part. I hear on BBC Czech. in 1989 Marie LLoyd and Rita Williams.