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This mini information magazine on old records is issued monthly and covers many aspects of collecting 78rpm records
JE Hough of Edison Bell, manufacturer of the All British Winner record, was not slow in helping the 1914 war effort, sending discs to regiments at the front, and also to others, as witness these letters of thanks:
"I thank you sincerely in sending us the records for our soldier charges. They are very much appreciated"- Chas Ross Hon Sec The Soldiers' Rest 9 Albion Terrace South Shields.
"The Officer Commanding, and Western General Hospital Manchester, gratefully acknowledges the gift of a parcel of modern records for the use of the sick and wounded patients."
"The Town Clerk of Camberwell gratefully acknowledges supply of machines and repeated supplies of modern records for the use of the Belgian refugees, now lodged in the Dulwich Baths and in the Refugee Home near the Town Hall Peckham Road, and also the personal attendance and kindness of Mr JE Hough."
Not to be outdone, other gramophone companies followed suit, including Columbia with the Prince of Wales's Fund, a royalty on Regal discs sold.
This interesting letter was sent to Hill Smith and Co of 21 Grays Inn Road, "Dear Sir, I am commanded by the Queen to thank you sincerely for your kind offer and to suggest that you send a gramophone and records to Colonel Lloyd, Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst, Hants, for the purpose of assisting the Indian soldiers in hospital there."
Pierrot (Concert Parties) on Record
Immensely popular during the first half of the last century, a few fortunately made it on to disc, notably
HG Pellissier's FOLLIES, who recorded a goodly number of sides for the Odeon company in the first decade of the century.
Harry Joseph's Littlehampton Pierrot Troupe made six numbers for the pre War One Grammavox label (see my discography below).
There were other artists who were associated with pierrot entertainment who also recorded in their own right, and foremost among them must rank Clarkson Rose as well as his wife Olive Fox (Zonophone).
Then there were Fred Allendale's PIERROTS. He recorded a number of titles for the Favorite company.
Harold Montague's VAGABONDS did not record, though Harold did on Zonophone and Pathe.
Vivian Foster's group was called THE GROTESQUES, he later became The Vicar of Mirth and made some entertaining monologues on Columbia.
North country comedian Arthur Aiston recorded for Jumbo- he had his own PIERROTS at this time.
Between the wars, Ronald Frankau enjoyed huge success, he had begun with his group THE CABARET KITTENS.
I have missed others for sure, such as Milton Hayes, Gillie Potter as well as Whit Cunlife, who according to J Wallis-Arthur was "one of the three greatest pierrots I have ever seen." I'll finish with a footnote that Jack Hylton himself began his career as pianist in CARDOW'S CADETS
Harry Joseph's records
In their Supplement No 31, at the end of 1911, the Grammavox label announced
they were presenting "A Memento of that most interesting
organised by the Evening Times Newspaper
and held at the Palladium, September 28th."
The announcement continued that the event was "for deciding by Competition the Finest Pierrot Troupe from the Troupes selected by the Public.
Mr Harry Joseph's Troupe from Littlehampton was adjudged the Best Pierrot Troupe out of all the Competitors, and secured the
Six titles were recorded by the troupe, with a piano accompaniment.
Matrix 8040 In Old Madrid (humorous variation)- Grammavox G21
8041 The Blacksmith's Wedding (with bell effects) - Grammavox G21
8042 The Arcadian's Opening Chorus (humorous variation) - Grammavox G22
8043 The Cubanola Glide - Grammavox G22
8044 Arabella - Grammavox G23
8045 The Wedding in the Moon (with bell effects) - Grammavox G23
The company policy was to reissue every possible recording to maximise its profitability, but oddly I can find no reissues of these items on the
cheaper Popular or Butterfly labels. Perhaps you can prove me wrong, or did Harry and his troupe sink into recording oblivion?
Footnote: Harry Joseph was managing the Leeds City Varieties in the 1950s and was partly responsible for bringing The Good Old Days to tv.
Acoustic Recording Artists:
Arthur Gilbert was born in St Helen's Lancashire. His first stage work was at the Strand Theatre in Aladdin. He toured in the comic opera Ermine before joining the company of Ernest Dottridge, a well known producer of pantomimes.
He also toured the music halls and appeared in pierrot shows in the summer in his native county and in North Wales.
His first recordings were made for Lambert cylinders. He went on to record for the Gramophone Company, his discs appear on the Gramophone and Typewriter label. A move to the Edison Company saw him not only performing comic songs but also acting as an assistant recorder. Having learnt this skill, he was enabled to obtain a post with the Beka Company, for whom he became their chief recording engineer. However he continued to make records, these were now under the pseudonym Arthur Osmond and examples of his numerous songs are easily found today. He was also associated with the Sound Recording Company.
In 1920 he was running a business in Keats Grove Hampstead, offering, as "Recording Expert of the late Beka Co," to make private recordings, fee two guineas plus five shillings per disc. Arthur also worked as a stage manager and producer for the Gaumont Film Company. He died sometime in the late 1920s.
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