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This mini magazine on old records is issued approx monthly and covers many aspects of collecting 78rpm records
As I haven't been invited on to Desert Isle Discs, here are the records I would happily share for ever with myself on my Desert Island.
Jay Whidden: Didn't I Tell You? Imperial 1956
Jay's band were given an extraordinary amount of licence by the Crystalate Company, who made Imperial Records. The band offers some great short solos, and Phil Arnold's vocal is in a class all of its own.
TALKING MACHINE SOCIETIES
Here is an account of another early meeting of a society in:
Chiswick, West London
This society was one of the earliest to be formed. Here's an account of their wartime gathering on October 15th 1914 at the Chiswick College of Music.
CH Howell esq was in the chair, he was manager of the Scala Record Company. He provided "a splendid batch of their records," including their rare to find today Scala Ideal 12 inch classical discs which retailed at 3s 6d. Even more interesting, some artistes who appeared in person, Miss Bessie Gates contralto, Miss Clare Holdaway elocutionist, and Mr Edward Tilson pianist. Miss Holdaway's presence is perhaps explained by the fact that Mr A Holdaway was Secretary and Treasurer. "The society expressed a wish to hear Miss Gates' voice on the gramophone, for members thought she would be a worthy addition to the ranks of gramophone artistes." But I cannot find any evidence that any of these three did actually record.
A collection was made for the Prince of Wales' Fund "with substantial results." It was added that "membership is open to ladies as well as gentlemen."
Lionel Brough (1836-1909)
It would be idle to pretend that the recordings made by this eminent Victorian actor are easy to listen to, or are of great historical worth. The titles made for the Gramophone and Typewriter Company towards the end of his life are hardly inspiring! The first to be made was in September 1906, titles from this session were Triplets and Dogs in Church (GC1324),
The Story of Charlie Bacus and Tony Pastor (GC1323) and The Pigeon Story (GC1308). A session in November 1906 yielded two further titles First Sunday After Ascot, Sampling Beer, Cut 'Isself Shaving (GC 1365) and Limberger Cheese (GC 1367) as well as one unissued title, Calves' Head. His final visit to the Gramophone Company's Studio was in June 1908, when he made A Curate Story (GC 1403) and A Christian Science Story (GC 1404). He also made cylinders.
Lionel was born in Pontypool, his brewer father had suffered to the verge of poverty for his Tory views, writing under the stage name Barnard de Burgh. At the age of 12 Lionel worked as office boy on the staff of Illustrated London News, but in December 1854 his brother William's play Prince Pretty Pet and the Butterfly opened at the Lyceum, and Lionel was given a small role.
However Lionel's work saw him appointed as an assistant editor on the new Daily Telegraph, and one of his innovations was to introduce 240 paper boys selling on the streets, an innovation that was to become commonplace.
Robert Brough's production of The Siege of Troy at the Lyceum in December 1858 saw Lionel appearing under the pseudonym Lionel Porter and though he continued his day job on The Morning Star, his stage work gradually took over his life. In 1862 he began his monologues at the Regent Street Polytechnic and made a tour of the provinces with Pepper's Ghost. He was spotted by Alexander Henderson of of the Prince of Wales Liverpool and he played there for the next two years. Down to London and recognition for his role as Ben Garner in Dearer than Life and then his biggest success in October 1869 in playing Tony Lumpkin, the part for ever associated with his name. He played it 777 times.
After the part of Paul Pry, he appeared in the Holborn in La Vie Parisienne. His own production of Babil and Bijou at Covent Garden established him as the principal low comedian there.
After six years at Covent Garden, he joined Marie Litton at the Imperial Westminster with roles that included an acclaimed Touchstone. In 1884 we became joint lessee of Toole's, his first part as Bill Booty in the Babes, which ran for over a hundred performances.
Then in 1894 he began his long association with Herbert Beerbohm Tree at the Haymarket, most notable were his roles as the Laird in Trilby (1895) and Bardolph (1896). When they moved to Her Majesty's, he played Picolet in A Man's Shadow, Sir Toby Belch, Brunno Rocco in The Eternal City and Trinculo (1904). His last part was as Moses in The School for Scandal in the year of his death.
For many years he had lived at Percy Villa South Lambeth and it was here that he died on November 8th 1909
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