Unusual Record Labels
First of a series on rare 78rpm labels. Later will follow some acoustic examples.
This Star Voice Contest record came as a set of three and dates from 1953.
They are numbered RSL905 to RSL907.
The first has Robert Beatty narrating A Queen is Crowned. Then there are clips from Desperate Moment, Street Corner, and The Titfield Thunderbolt.
Disc 2 contains soundtrack from The Final Test, Turn the Key Softly, The Square Ring, and Always a Bride.
Then the final disc with Genevieve- Dinah Sheridan interestingly speculates on a possible sequel. That's followed by Meet Mr Lucifer, then The Cruel Sea and finally Malta Story.
Variety Acts Who Made 78's Still Going -
(From the trade paper The Stage dated 2nd February 1956)
Distinguised stars at the Midland Hotel Manchester on January 26th for the Panto Ball included compere Harry Secombe with artists like Edric Connor. Jack Hylton was one of the invited guests.
First disc made by Chic Murray and Maidie "for EMI" involved a quick trip from Glasgow to London on Sunday January 28th to cut "Are You Mine?" coupled with Chic singing solo "A Satisfied Mind," with accompaniment from Phil Green. It is said that Norman Wisdom kindly met the couple at the station to take them to the studio.
Another singer announced to make a record for HMV in May was Michael Lynch, stage name Gordon Mackenzie, at time of this paper he was with the D'Oyly Carte Company in America.
Organist Donald Thorne, who recorded for Decca, made his 3,100th broadcast for the BBC. He recalled that at the height of his fame during the war, "every time I struck up my signature tune on a cinema organ, it seemed to be the signal for the sirens to wail." Currently Donald was appearing at the Empire Pool Wembley in Babes in the Wood on Ice.
Finsbury Park Empire wore a "modern look" with Lorrae Desmond, "accent on verve and thrust rather than soothing melody." Ray Burns gave "a sincere presentation of contemporary ballads."
Hackney Empire's final ever attraction was an old time Music Hall with Tod Slaughter who gave a condensed version of Maria Marten. Also on hand was GH Elliott, "still polished" singing Lily of Laguna and Silv'ry Moon.
At the Metropolitan, alongside young Bruce Forsyth and Harry Worth was Dick James with his smash Robin Hood. And "popular as ever was Herschel Jizz Henlere, telling a seemingly unending story to link dozens of tunes together, which he played on the piano." Henlere had made a few Parlophone records back in the late 1920's. However on Monday January 29th, the reviewer sadly noted "here's a first rate bill playing to a poor Monday audience."
Sandy Powell was at the Brixton Empress with a honeymoon sketch and a "cod vent act." Then there was veteran Albert Whelan who "more than holds his own, his King With a Terrible Temper being particularly polished." Of the newcomers, "Michael Holiday, Columbia's recording artist, croons very pleasantly, but perhaps his presentation in these surroundings is somewhat static and lacking in excitement."
It was reported that Scottish comedian Harry Gordon, who had suffered a heart attack in Aberdeen the previous September, was back in a Glasgow hospital after a slight relapse.
was born in Austria about the year 1870.
After an apprenticeship in George Edwardes' chorus, she rose through the ranks to become an outstanding figure at the Gaiety at the end of the nineteenth century, her first big part was Mrs Parkinson in The Shop Girl in 1894.
In 1896 she was in My Girl and The Circus Girl, then two years later had a tremendous hit in A Runaway Girl as Fraulein Ehrenbreitstein, a role that included her classic song Oh Listen to the Band, better known as The Soldiers in the Park. It is said she stopped the show each night at the Gaiety with this song.
I am not aware of any recordings made by Grace Palotta, but that eminent record dealer, the late James Crawley, did suggest that the Berliner recording of this famous song was by her. However the evidence is a little tenuous. Inevitably the newborn Berliner Gramophone Company recorded The Soldiers in the Park, once by a Miss Hart on August 11th 1899, and issued on Berliner number 3080, and then again the following year by a lady simply identified as "Mrs G," issued on Berliner 3063.
Whether this is the great Grace Palotta, who can now say, but you can find numerous photos of her on the net, that justify the description of her as "a striking looking woman with great verve and attack," and a brief clip of her is on YouTube in a Pathe film of a 1946 reunion of Gaiety Girls.
In 1900 she played Daisy Dimple in The Messenger Boy and then toured down under with the Gaiety companies where she enjoyed huge popularity with the JC Williamson Company. She also toured America.
She died in London on February 21st 1959
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