February 2, 2013

Louie Sherrington (fl. 1860S/1870s)
English music hall singer and serio-comic
as she sang ‘The Dancing Belle’,
also sung by Kate Garstone, Harriett Coveney and Emma Alford.

‘Yes! They call me the dancing belle,
A fact you may all see well,
The way I now dance, you’ll see at a glance
That I am the dancing belle.’

(song sheet cover with lithograph portrait of Miss Sherrington
by Alfred Concanen, probably after a photograph,
printed by Siere & Burnitt, published by C. Sheard, London, mid 1860s)

‘Of the tavern concert-rooms [in London], one of the earliest to burst its chrysalis state, and emerge into the full-grown music hall, was the Grapes, in the Southwark Bridge Road. This establishment was also one of the first to style itself a music hall in the modern sense of the term, and under the description of the Surrey Music Hall was well known to pleasure-seekers early in the [eighteen] forties. The hall, which was prettily decorated, was capable to seating as many as a thousand persons, and in the upper hall might be seen a valuable collection of pictures, which the enterprising proprietor, Mr. Richard Preece, had secured from M. Phillips, a French artist whom he was instrumental into introducing to the British public. The hall was provided with an excellent orchestra under the direction of Mr Zéluti, while the arduous position of manage was filled with great credit by Mr T. Norris. The clever Vokes Family were among the many well-known entertainers who appeared here. The company here used on an average to cost about £30 a week. Louie Sherrington sang here on many occasions, and Willie and Emma Warde were very successful in their song “The Gingham Umbrella,” besides whom Pat P. Fannin, a smart dancer, and Mr and Mrs Jack Carroll, negro banjoists and dancers, were rare favourites with its patrons.’
(Charles Douglas Stewart and A.J. Park, The Variety Stage, T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1895, pp. 47 and 48)

* * * * * * * *

‘Early women stars were Georgina Smithson, Louie Sherrington and Annie Adams. The last two were contemporaries and mostly sang versions of the songs of Vance and Leybourne, adapted for women. For instance, “Up In A Balloon, Boys,” became “Up In A Balloon, Girls.” Louie Sherrington was a very lovely women with a delightful voice; a predecessor of Florrie Forde, Annie Adams was of the majestic type then so admired, she was “a fine woman” – there was a lot of her, with a bust to match. With her very powerful voice, rich personality, a jolly, laughing face and manner, she banged her songs across the footlights and made the house rise at her.’
(W. Macqueen Pope, The Melodies Linger On, W.H. Allen, London, 1950, p. 314)

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