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Queenie Leighton’s visit to the studios of The Gramophone & Typewriter Co Ltd, London, December 1904

August 6, 2014

Queenie Leighton (1874-1943), English singer, actress and pantomime principal boy
(photo: unknown; colour halftone postcard published by A. & G. Taylor, London, ‘Orthochrome’ series no. C.O. 213, circa 1905)

Queenie Leighton is thought to have made only one recording: the song ‘Love’s Gramophone‘ for the Gramophone & Typewriter Co Ltd of London. Her first attempt at recording, on 14 December 1904, was a failure, but she returned to the studios two days later and the result was eventually issued in February 1905 as a 10” black label ‘Gramophone Concert’ record, matrix no. 6382b, catalogue no. 3577.

‘The talking machine figures in Drury Lane Pantomime in Miss Queenie Leighton’s song, ”Love’s Gramophone,” now reproduced on the instrument itself. Messrs. the Gramophone and Typewriter Co., Ltd., of 21, City Road, E.C., have just been awarded the Grand Prince for Talking Machines and Records, Department of Liberal Arts, Group 21, St. Louis Exposition, 1904.’
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 14 January 1905, p. 74c)

This short report was indeed correct. Miss Leighton’s inclusion of ‘Love’s Gramophone’ in the Drury Lane pantomime, The White Cat, which opened on 26 December 1904, was one of the features of the show. While she played the part of Prince Peerless, the cast also included Marie George as Cupid; James Welch as Prince Plump; Johnny Danvers as King Ivory; Fred Eastman as Prince Plummett; Hugh J. Ward as Simeon; Tom Wootwell as Populo; Harry Randall as Fairy Asbestos; Ruth Lytton as Aristo; Tom Hearn as Snale; and Whimsical Walker as Clown.

* * * * *

The framed photograph on the wall above the gramophone is by the Biograph Studios, London, of Miss Leighton as she appeared as Dona Teresa in the musical play, The Toreador, which opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 17 June 1901.

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