Posts Tagged ‘Harry Pilcer’


Jenny Golder at the Apollo music hall, Rome

April 21, 2014

programme cover for the Apollo music hall, Rome, undated, circa 1924, when Jenny Golder (1893?-1928), Australian-born English variety theatre dancer and singer, headed the bill with her song, ‘Éléonore!’ following her appearances at the Folies Bérgère, Paris.

The popular Apollo music hall in Rome suffered a catastrophic fire caused by an electrical short circuit in December 1926. Four actresses were caught in their dressing rooms and burnt to death.

Jenny Golder‘s real name was Rosie Sloman. According to information given for the 1901 United Kingdom Census (36 Claremont Road, Tunbridge Wells, where she was boarding), she was then 8 years old and born in Australia. In 1910/11 she and Joseph Bowden (whom she married in 1914) toured United Kingdom music halls with a song and dance scena. In 1913, under her own name, she appeared as a dancer in two short films: The Cowboy Twist and The Spanish-American Quickstep; in the latter she was accompanied by Harry Perry. Miss Golder’s career began to flourish in the early 1920s when she went to Paris, where she made several recordings.

‘Jenny Golder, an English girl, with a French reputation, looks a good bet for America. But when an artiste can do low comedy a la Marie Lloyd; step dance like Ida May Chadwick, and give Ella Shields and Hetty King a run for their money as a male impersonator, she is not to be blamed for looking forward to starring with Harry Pilcer at the Palace, Paris, in August.’
(The Vaudeville News and New York Star, New York, Friday, 2 July 1926, p. 8a)

Jenny Golder committed suicide at her flat in the Rue Desaix, Paris, on 11 July 1928, by shooting herself through the heart.

Jenny Golder’s sister, Muriel M. Sloman, a quick-change artist known on the music hall stage as Myra Glen, was married in 1944 to Joseph H. Black and died in October 1971.


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.


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)