Posts Tagged ‘Gaby Deslys’


Gaby Deslys sings!

February 17, 2014

Gaby Deslys (1881-1920), the irresistible French actress, singer and dancer, was ‘discovered’ in Paris by the impresario George Edwardes, who brought her to London for a cameo role, ‘The Charm of Paris,’ in The New Aladdin, produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London on 29 September 1906. She conquered Broadway in 1911 and later that year effortlessly upstaged her co-star (although there is some disagreement on this point), the rising Al Jolson, in Vera Violetta (Winter Garden Theatre, 20 November 1911). Mlle. Deslys appeared in several films and her only known recordings, of which the present example for the HMV label (2-033039) is one of several, were made in Vienna on 17 October 1910 [see below]. Her long-time dancing partner was the American Harry Pilcer (1885-1961) and together they created ‘The Gaby Glide,’ also in Vera Violetta.

A follower, chrisz78, has kindly added the following comment: ‘The present recording (‘Tout en rose’ by Vincent Scotto, the second song is not mentioned anywhere and came as a total surprise to me!) was recorded not in Paris but in VIENNA, on 15 October 1910, as per Gramophone Co.’s original recording register. On the same day, Deslys made four further recordings, including another take of ‘Tout en rose’ on a 10-inch disc, two versions of ‘Philomène’ and one of ‘La Parisienne.’ All were issued, though apparently very briefly, so the discs are very rare.’

For further information, see James Gardiner’s biography, Gaby Deslys, A Fatal Attraction, published in 1986.


Ina Claire and Sam Bernard in The Belle of Bond Street, Adelphi Theatre, London, 1914

September 30, 2013

Ina Claire (1893-1985), American actress and singer, and Sam Bernard (1863-1927), English-born American actor, as they appeared in the roles of Winnie Harborough and Max Hoggenheimer in The Belle of Bond Street, a musical play (adapted from The Girl from Kay’s), which opened at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 8 June 1914. The production closed on 17 July 1914 after a run of 41 performances.
(photo: The Daily Mirror Studios, London, 1914)

‘Been Here Before.
‘How many London playgoers will remember Sam Bernard, who is producing and acting in The Belle of Bond Street, the American musical comedy advertised for production at the Adelphi on Saturday night? Mr. Bernard has made a big name in America, but he he was acting over here a quarter of a century ago, and appeared at the old Middlesex Music-hall.
‘The Coster Rage.
‘Those were the days when [Albert] Chevalier was making the coster song the rage of London, and Mr. Bernard was one of the earliest, if not the first, to take the coster song across the Atlantic. He bought a real costermonger’s suit to take back with him to New York, where he appeared on the stage and sang to wondering Americans of the joys and sorrow of our ”pearly” lads and lasses.’
(The Daily Mirror, London, Wednesday, 3 June 1914, p. 5c)

‘Miss Ina Claire and Mr. Sam Bernard triumphed last night at the Adelphi Theatre, and by her charm and cleverness and his broad humour overrode a foolish story, tinkling music, and a tawdry production… . Miss Claire and Mr. Bernard kept the show ”humming” from beginning to end … the night was made hilarious by the two chief performers, and an audience which included [Enrico] Caruso and Signor [Antonio] Scotti, Miss Gertie Millar, Miss Ethel Levey, Miss Gaby Deslys, Miss Vesta Tilley, and scores of Americans, shouted itself hoarse in approval.’
(Daily Express, London, Tuesday, 9 June 1914, p. 5f)


Gabys Deslys and Surye Kichi Eida in the Ju-Jitsu Waltz, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1907

August 31, 2013

A real photograph postcard of ‘Mdlle Gaby Deslys & S.K. Eida, in the new Ju-Jitsu Waltz at the Gaiety’ published in A. & G. Taylor’s ‘Reality’ series, no. 1300, 70 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1907; there were at least five photographs taken at this sitting)

Gaby Deslys and S.K. Eida introduced the Ju-Jitsu Waltz to London audiences during the run of The New Aladdin, a musical extravaganza, which ran at the Gaiety Theatre, London, from 29 September 1906 to 27 April 1907.

Surye Kichi Eida (1878-1918), who was born in Japan, appears in the 1901 Census as an assistant gardener, living in Acton, West London, with his brother, Saburo Eida (1858-1911), an importer of art, and his family. In 1909 he married Ellen Christina Brown (1886-1931) and together they toured United Kingdom music halls in a Japanese dancing and ju-jitsu act, billed as Nellie Falco and S.K. Eida.


Gaby Deslys in the film, Her Triumph, supported by Harry Pilcer

July 7, 2013

Gaby Deslys (1881-1920), French dancer, singer and actress and international celebrity
(photo: unknown, circa 1916)

Gaby Deslys in the film, Her Triumph, in which she was supported by Harry Pilcer, shown in Dunedin, New Zealand, April 1916.
‘TO-NIGHT! TO-NIGHT! TO-NIGHT! … THE OCTAGON At 8 o’clock and KING EDWARD 5.30 till 10 p.m. The wonderful Parisian Dancer, whose charms cost a King his Throne, GABY DESLYS … Appears for the first time on the screen in HER TRIUMPH, A DRAMA OF THE STAGE.
‘LADIES! … You simply must see Gaby’s Hats and Frocks. Remember, she has been quoted as the world’s fashion plate.
‘MEN! … Gaby is a charmer, and you can see her in her two greatest dance creations, DANCE DESLYS ——- And DANCE DES APACHES… In which she is assisted by her partner, HARRY PILCER, … A Dancer of International Fame. The ”Dance Deslys” is given at a fashionable reception before a distinguished social gathering, and is positively a remarkable exposition of terpsichorean skill.
‘THE GOWNS AND HEADGEAR … are an amazing spectacle to the gaze of mere man; but seen through the eyes of the fair sex they may be described as a VERITABLE ENCHANTMENT …
‘GABY DESLYS Also wears a necklet of pearls said to be worth a king’s ransom.
‘THE DANCES … Are not mere interpolations, but are appropriately wedded to the delightful drama.
‘The great fame of GABY DESLYS is world-wide. It rings throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, even to the smallest and remotest village of the Antipodes. Any attempt to describe the manifold charms and flashes of genius displayed by GABY DESLYS in ”HER TRIUMPH” would be to ”gild refined gold.”
‘Many tempting offers were made to GABY DESLYS to induce her to come to Australia and New Zealand, but all have failed. Her booked engagements in the Theatres of Paris, London, and New York date for more than three years ahead.
‘Our Prices for the Gaby Deslys Season will Remain Unchanged.
‘OCTAGON: Dress Circle, One Shilling; 1000 Stalls at Sixpence (Booking, 6d extra, at The Bristol).
‘KING EDWARD: Adults, Sixpence; Children, 3d.’
(The Otago Daily Times, Dunedin, New Zealand, Monday 17 April 1916, p. 1g, advertisement)