Posts Tagged ‘Billy Merson’

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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.

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Fred Barnes as he appeared as the Prince in the pantomime, The House that Jack Built, Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, Christmas, 1913

April 6, 2014

Fred Barnes (1885-1938), English music hall light comedian, as he appeared as the Prince in the pantomime, The House that Jack Built, produced at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, at Christmas, 1913.
(photo: Carbonora, proprietor Gwilym Eiriol Mills, Liverpool, 1913)

Other leading members of the cast were Gwladys Soman as Jack Durden (principal boy), Daisy Yates as Charity (principal girl) and Billy Merson as Sammy. Fred was one of many artists that Christmas to sing the phenomenally successful ‘You’re My Baby,’ written by Nat D. Ayer, with words by A. Seymour Brown. This song had been introduced to London audiences by Lew Hearn and Bonita in the revue, Hullo, Ragtime! (London Hippodrome, 23 December 1912), who recorded it for the HMV label (04108 and C558) in London on 3 July 1913.

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Mai Bacon at the time of her appearance in Whirled into Happiness, a musical farce with music by Robert Stolz, produced at the Lyric Theatre, London, on 18 May 1922.

March 10, 2014

Mai Bacon (1897-1981), English actress, singer and dancer, at the time of her appearance in Whirled into Happiness, a musical farce adapted by Harry Graham from the book of Robert Bodanzky and Bruno Hardt-Warden, with lyrics by Harry Graham, and music by Robert Stolz, produced at the Lyric Theatre, London, on 18 May 1922.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1922)

Mai Bacon played Delphine de Lavallière, a French dancer; her duet, ‘That’s the Way It’s Done,’ with Billy Merson as Matthew Platt, proved especially popular.

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Whirled into Happiness was an adaptation of Stolz, Bodanzky and Hardt-Warden’s operetta, Der Tanz ins Glück, which opened at the Raimundtheater, Berlin, on 23 December 1920. The first night of the New York production, entitled Sky High, took place at the Shubert Theatre on 2 March 1925, when the part of Delphine de Lavallière was played by Vanessi. The cast also included the English actress, Joyce Barbour.

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Elsie Prince as Cupid in Brighter London, London Hippodrome, 1923

February 7, 2014

Elsie Prince (1902-1988), English actress and singer, as she appeared in the role of Cupid in the revue, Brighter London, produced at the London Hippodrome, 23 March 1923. The cast was headed by Lupino Lane, Billy Merson and Annie Croft. Brighter London ran for 603 performances, closing on 15 March 1924.
(photo: Claude Harris, London, 1923)