Archive for August, 2014


Connie Gilchrist as The Slave of the Lamp in Aladdin, Gaiety Theatre, London, 24 December 1881

August 13, 2014

Connie Gilchrist (1865-1946), English artist’s model, dancer and actress, as she appeared as The Slave of the Lamp in Aladdin; or, the Sacred Lamp, a burlesque by Robert Reece, produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 24 December 1881. Other members of the cast included Edward Terry, Nellie Farren, E.W. Royce, Kate Vaughan and J.J. Dallas.
(photo: W. & D. Downey, London, 1881/82)


Toots Pounds and chorus in The Flower Garden scene in Palladium Pleasures, London Palladium, 1926

August 11, 2014

Toots Pounds (1897-1976), Australian actress and singer, as she appeared with chorus in The Flower Garden scene singing ‘Mary Mary, Quite Contrary’ in Palladium Pleasures, a revue produced at the London Palladium on 24 February 1926. The cast also included Toots Pounds’s sister, Lorna, with whom she sang the popular song, ‘Valencia,’ Billy Merson and George Clarke. Also in the cast was Leslie Stuart, composer of a string of hits at the turn of the century, including ‘The Lily of Laguna,’ ‘Little Dolly Daydream,’ ‘The Soldiers of the Queen‘ and ‘Tell Me, Pretty Maiden.’
(photo: The Stage Photo Co, London, 1926)

Toots Pounds, whose real name was Dorice Sophie Mary Pounds, was born at Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne, NSW, Australia on 17 November 1897. She and her sister, Lorna first appeared in London at the Palace Theatre in the summer of 1912. Thereafter they made regular appearances in the United Kingdom in a number of revues and at variety theatres. At the height of their popularity in the late 1920s, Toots decided upon a professional change of name, to Maria Linda after which she appeared for a while as a concert singer, making her debut at the Aeolian Hall, Wigmore Street in 1935. She was married in 1945 as his second wife to William Buchanan-Taylor (d. 1958), an expert in advertising who for some 20 years had been head of publicity for J. Lyons & Co Ltd and was responsible for naming the firm’s waitresses ‘Nippies.’ During the 1950s Toots was seen in small parts in several films, and in 1953 was understudy to Cicely Courtneidge on a tour of the revue, Over the Moon. (The Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, NSW, Thursday, 3 December 1953, p. 8b)
Toots Pounds died in Brighton, Sussex, in January 1976.


Clyde Cook, Australian comic actor and acrobatic dancer and comedian in London, 1915, and California, 1924

August 9, 2014

Clyde Cook (1891-1984), Australian comic actor and acrobatic comedian and dancer, at about the time of his appearance in 5064 Gerrard!, an André Charlot revue which ran at the Alhambra, Leicester Square, London, from 19 March until the end of August 1915.
(photo: unknown, circa 1915)

Clyde Cook in The Misfit, USA, released 23 March 1924 (courtesy of Undercranck Productions


Gertrude Lawrence advertises Ciro Pearls, London, 1925

August 8, 2014

Gertrude Lawrence (1898-1952), English actress and singer, advertising Ciro Pearls, London, 1925
(photo: unknown, probably London, circa 1925; advertisement published in The Magazine-Programme, London, [circa mid September 1925], p. 12)

At the time of the publication of this advertisement, Gertrude Lawrence was playing in the successful Charlot’s Revue, which opened at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 30 March 1925 and closed after 303 performances the following 19 December. Other members of the cast included Leonard Henry, Peter Haddon and Beatrice Lillie. The Misses Lawrence and Lillie, however, left the cast before the end of the run to appear in the New York version of Charlot’s Revue, which opened at the Selwyn Theatre on 10 November 1925. The cast included Jack Buchanan, with whom Gertrude Lawrence sang ‘A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You,’ which they recorded for the Columbia label in New York on 17 November 1925.

Jack Buchanan and Gertrude Lawrence singing ‘A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You,’ which they recorded for the Columbia label (Col 512-D) in New York on 17 November 1925.


Laddie Cliffe and Barry Lupino in The Millionaire Kid, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1931

August 8, 2014

Laddie Cliff (1891-1946) and Barry Lupino (1882-1962), English actors and singers, as they appeared as Albert Skinner and Charlie Bang in the musical comedy, The Millionaire Kid, with music by Billy Mayerl, which opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 20 May 1931 following a suburban preview at the Wimbledon Theatre, south west London, on 27 April 1931.
(photo: Stage Photo Co, London, 1931)


Edith Day sings ‘Alice Blue Gown’ from Irene, recorded for the Columbia label, London, on or about 15 April 1920

August 8, 2014

a Columbia Graphophone Co Ltd advertisement for several of its Columbia label 10” and 12” discs issued in 1920, including Edith Day’s London recording of ‘Alice Blue Gown,’ made on or about 15 April 1920.

Edith Day and Pat Somerset as they appeared in the London production of Irene, Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, 7 April 1920
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1920)


Ruth St. Denis at the London Coliseum in her ‘Hindoo Temple Dance,’ ‘Radha,’ April/May 1909

August 7, 2014

Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968), American pioneer of modern dance and teacher, as she appeared for a short season at the London Coliseum in 1909, beginning Monday, 19 April, in her ‘Hindoo Temple Dance’ entitled ‘Radha.’ The accompanying music was adapted from the ballet music of Delibes’ opera Lakmé
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, circa 1909)

‘Miss Ruth St. Denis was seen at the London Coliseum last week in the most picturesque and imaginative of the Indian temple dances that she has made her peculiar domain. This is the one in which as the reincarnated Rhada, wife of Khrishna, she symbolises for the watching worshippers the mortifying of the flesh by the renunciation of the five senses, and the consequent attainment of final peace. Always graceful and always significant, her dancing has in this instance an almost austere restraint that accords perfectly with its ritual intent and its temple frame. The audience showed a thorough appreciation of the artistic character of the dance, and Miss St. Denis was warmly called at the close.’
(The Sunday Times, London, Sunday, 25 April 1909, p. 5f)


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.


Song sheet cover for ‘Leander,’ from the musical comedy, Katja, the Dancer, as sung by Gene Gerrard accompanied by Ivy Tresmand at the Gaiety Theatre, London, in 1925.

August 3, 2014

song sheet cover for the song, ‘Leander‘ from the first English production of Katja, the Dancer, a musical comedy with original music by Jean Gilbert, which opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 21 February 1925, with a cast including Gregory Stroud, Bobbie Comber, Gene Gerrard, Dennis Hoey, Ivy Tresmand, Rene Mallory and Lilian Davies. ‘Leander’ was recorded in London by Gene Gerrard with Ivy Tresmand, accompanied by the Gaiety Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Arthur Wood, for the Columbia label (3628) about 11 March 1925.
(published by Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew Ltd, London, 1925)

Katja, the Dancer was based on the operetta Katja, die Täzerin, which was first produced at the Neues Operetten-Theatre, Berlin, on 2 February 1923. It was also produced in Budapest (1923), Sydney, Australia (1925) and New York (1926).


Herbert Darnley and company on tour during 1917/18 in the United Kingdon in Mr Mayfair

August 2, 2014

Herbert Darnley (1872-1947), English actor manager, song writer, composer and playwright, on tour in the United Kingdom in 1917/18 in Mr Mayfair, a musical comedy written by himself and Wal Pink. The piece was first produced at Leamington Spa on 10 September 1917 before the tour began at the Hippodrome, Willesden, north London on 15 October; the original cast included Herbert Darnley and Dan Leno Jr. (top photo, respectively centre and far right), Violet Parry, Wyn Blundell, J. Spry-Palmer, Line Hicks, Basin Hambury and Iris De Villiers. The cast list dates from the same tour.
(photos: unknown, 1917)

Herbert Darnley, whose real name was Herbert Walter McCarthy, enjoyed a busy career, both as a performer and writer. He began his theatrical career in the late 1880s on the music hall stage as one of the Darnley Brothers (Albert and Herbert), patter and sketch comedians, singers and dancers; they also appeared in a number of pantomimes. He afterwards appeared as an actor on his own account as well as producing plays and sketches and continuing his work as a writer and composer, particularly of songs and material for music hall performers like Dan Leno, for whom he co-wrote ‘No More Fancy Balls for Me!‘ and ‘The Tower of London,’ and alsoAda Reeve. Darnley himself made a number of recordings for Berliner and The Gramophone & Typewriter Co Ltd between 1900 and 1903, including ‘My Next Door Neighbour’s Garden‘ (which owes a good deal to Gus Elen’s ‘If it Wasn’t for the ‘Ouses in Between’). In spite of his talent and efforts Darnley was not financially successful and found himself in the Bankruptcy Court in 1909 and again in 1917. He died after a long illness at his home in Clapham, south London, on 6 February 1947.

* * * * *

The Richmond Hippodrome, Richmond on Thames, Surrey, originally the Richmond Theatre and Opera House is now known as the Richmond Theatre.