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Maud Courtney

February 9, 2013

Maude Courtney (Mrs Finlay Currie, 1884-1959),
American variety theatre entertainer
(photo: Hemus Sarony, Christchurch, New Zealand, circa 1911)

Maude Courtney at the Colonial, New York, week beginning Monday, 15 October 1906
‘Maude Courtney, who used to sing the old songs, and who has been in Europe and other parts of the word for the past four years, made her reappearance and was given a very cordial welcome. She opened with a song called ”Au Revoir Hyacinth,” following it with a ditty called ”Put a Little Bit Away for a Rainy Day,” both of which are the hits of the present day in London. It must be recorded that they did not hit the fancy of the Colonial patrons to any extent. Miss Courtney’s personality and manner made as strong an appeal as ever which was proven when she recited ”Didn’t She Jim?” and sang a medley of songs that were once popular here and which she had sung in London. In her last selection she was assisted by a man in the gallery [probably Harry Calvo], who joined in very harmoniously. When Miss Courtney finds good substitutes for her first two song her speciality will be as attractive as ever, as she is an accomplished and gifted artist.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, New York, 27 October 1906, p. 18a) (The song ‘Au Revoir, My Little Hyacinth,’ by Herman Darewski, with words by A.E. Sidney Davis, was featured as an interpolated number in the popular musical comedy, The Beauty of Bath, which was first produced by Seymour Hicks at the Aldwych Theatre, London, on 19 March 1906. The star of that show, Ellaline Terriss recorded the song for The Gramophone & Typewriter Co Ltd of London on 10 January 1907, but it was it was rejected. The same company, however, had already issued a recording of the song made on 16 November 1906 by Phyllis Dare. The latter, who had not appeared in The Beauty of Bath, was well known through professional ties with Ellaline Terriss and her husband, Seymour Hicks. C.W. Murphy and Dan Lipton’s ‘Put a Little Bit Away for a Rainy Day’ was among the first songs recorded by the English music hall comedienne, Ella Retford; she cut it three times during 1906, twice for the Sterling label and once for Odeon. Michael Kilgarriff, Sing Us One of the Old Songs, Oxford, 1998, states that Carlotta Levey, another English music hall artist of the period, also sang ‘Put a Little Bit Away for a Rainy Day.’)

2 comments

  1. Hi there,
    I was wondering if there was any way of getting this song either written or on cd/tape,
    Just that my dad past away last year and I always remember him singing part of this to me as a child to get me to save, bless him, wish I had listened more at the time.
    If you could help it would be very appreciated,
    Many thanks,
    Samuel Wade


    • It would help if you could say which song you remember your father singing.
      ‘Put a Little Bit Away for a Rainy Day,’ by C.W. Murphy and D. Lipton, which was published by Chappell & Co. Ltd., London, in 1905, should not be confused with ‘Put Away a Little Ray of Golden Sunshine for a Rainy Day,’ composed by Fred Ahlert, with lyrics by Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young. You will find a nice version of the latter recorded for the Victor label by Aileen Stanley in New York City on 9 September 1924 here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efP6XARtYx8.



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