Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm Arbuthnot (photographer)’


Yvonne Arnaud, French-born English pianist, singer and actress, photographed by Malcolm Arbuthnot, London, circa 1920

August 19, 2014

Yvonne Arnaud (1890-1958), French-born English pianist, singer and actress
(photo: Malcom Arbuthnot, 43 & 44 New Bond Street, London, W, circa 1920)


Elsie Janis and the American Expeditionary Force

June 30, 2013

a photograph of Elsie Janis (1889-1956), American actress and singer, at about the time of her appearances in France for the American Expeditionary Force during World War I
(photo: Malcolm Arbuthnot, London, circa 1918)

‘Wonderful Part Played by Elsie Janis in Keeping Up Morale of Troops.
‘Many a Company Has Marched to First Night in Trenches With More Gallant Swing Because Elsie Cheered Them on Way.
‘Paris. – the theater was no theater at all. It was just the great train shed which serves as the workshop and headquarters for a small army of American engineers who are lending the P.R.R. Touch to the astonished landscape of France. Though retreat had sounded an hour or so before, it was packed to suffocation with Yanks, for all that day rakish posters, turned out in the company painter’s best style, had intrigued the eye with the modest announcement:


‘And at last, with warning toots from a distant whistle and a great wave of laughter as the order was passed along to clear the track, a locomotive trundled in out of the night, in its cab a pair of proud and grinning engineers, on its cowcatcher Elsie Janis. A moment later and the engine was near enough to the stage for her to clear the space at a single jump and there she was, with her black velvet tam pushed back on her tossing hair, with he eyes alight and her hands uplifted, her whole voice thrown into the question which is the beginning and the end of morale, which is the most important question in the army:
”’Are we downhearted?”

‘The Thunderous Response.

‘You can only faintly imagine the thunderous ”No” with which the train shed echoed. And it is the whole point of Elsie Janis – as well as the whole point of all the mummers now being booked to play for the A.E.F. – that whatever the spirit of the boys before her coming, they really meant that ”No” with all there was in them, that any who might have been just a little downhearted before, felt better about it after seeing and hearing her. For, like the rare officer who can inspire his men to very prodigies of valor, so the flashing Elsie is compact of that priceless thing which, for lack of a less pedantic phrase, we must call positive magnetism. More than one company has marched off to its first night in the trenches with brighter eyes, squarer shoulders and a more gallant swing because, at the very threshold of safety, this lanky and lovely lady from Columbus, Ohio, waved and sang and cheered them on their way.
‘That is why, when the history of this expedition comes to be written, there should be a chapter devoted to the play-girl of the western front, the star of the A.E.F., the forerunner of those players who are now being booked in the greatest circuit of them all, the Y.M.C.A. huts of France.
‘For her, and for her like, there is always room. And work aplenty to do. There are troops to be fired – as by martial music – on the edge of the advance.
‘Elsie Janis (and mother) are having the time of their lives, and she meant every word of it when she cabled back to all her brothers and sisters of the stage to come or they would never know what they had missed.

‘Barn-Storming With Vengeance.

‘For Elsie it has been barn-storming with a vengeance, a tour of tank towns in more senses than one. It has meant traveling without a maid for once in a way, playing a whole season with a one-dress wardrobe, bivouacking in strange and uninviting hotels.
‘It has meant warbling as a cabaret singer among tables of some officers’ mess or mounting a bench to sing through the windows of some contagion barracks where the isolate doughboys had been tearing their infected hair with disappointment because they had heard she was in the post and knew they could not got out to see her.
‘It has meant lingering for an extra performance at some hut because a whole new audience was coming through the starlit heavens from the aviation camp down the lines.
‘In all her years on the stage she has known no such tumultuous heart-warming welcomes as are her nightly portions in the biggest time a booking office can offer to a player in the year 1918.
‘The boys swarm up on the stage and slap her on the back and vow there never was such a girl since the world began. They cheer her until they are hoarse, and she is dizzy with pride.’
(Adams County Union-Republican, Corning, Iowa, Wednesday, 17 July 1918, p. 8b/c)

* * * * *

Elsie Janis Sweetheart of the A.E.F.

This long-overdue and very welcome CD, ELSIE JANIS Sweetheart of the A.E.F., including recordings made by her between 1912 and 1919 for the Victor and H.M.V. Labels, has been issued by Archeophone Records in its Pioneers Series.


Teddie Gerard sings ‘Hawaiian Butterfly’

February 26, 2013

song sheet cover for the song ‘Hawaiian Butterfly,’
lyrics by George A. Little and music by Billy Baskette and Joseph Santly,
sung by Teddie Gerard in Andre Charlot’s successful ‘musical entertainment,’ Bubbly,
produced at the Comedy Theatre, London, on 5 May 1917
(photos: left, Malcolm Arbuthnot; right, Wrather & Buys, London, 1917)

Miss Gerard, accompanied by a chorus and the Comedy Theatre Orchestra conducted by Philip Braham, recorded ‘Hawaiian Butterfly’ for the Columbia label (L-1188) in London during May 1917.


Peggy Harris and Vincent, winners of the Embassy Club Competition, London, 1920

January 19, 2013

the cover of the August 1920 edition of The Dancing Times, London,
with a photograph of Peggy Harris and Vincent, winners of the Embassy Club Competition
(photo: Malcolm Arbuthnot, London, 1920)


Lubov Tchernicheva of the Diaghileff Ballet Company as Cleopatra, photographed by Malcolm Arbuthnot, London, 1918

January 12, 2013

front cover of the December 1918 issue of The Dancing Times, London,
with colour halftone portrait of Lubov Tchernicheva (1890-1976), Russian ballet dancer,
of the Diaghileff Ballet Company in the ballet Cleopatra
(photo: Malcolm Arbuthnot, London, 1918)

‘Australians who visited London in the years just before the war will remember the vogue of the Russian ballet – the joys of Pavlova’s dancing, the manly form of M. Mordkin, the grace and agility of Nijinsky, and the stately beauty of Mdlle. Karsavina (writes a London lady). For two years Russian has been in eclipse, even from the stanpoint of art. However, there is now a change for the better, and a Russian ballet is once more being performed at a London theatre. M. Diaghileff’s company, which charmed London seven years ago, has returned to the Coliseum with a wonderful combination of dance, music, spectacle, and dramatic miming. The well-known ballet, with music by Arensky, covering a version of the Cleopatra myth, is given in the afternoon, and a comedy-ballet, with music by Domenico Scarlatti, is staged in the evening. The story of the evening production is based on a play by Goldini. The scene is laid in Venice in carnival time. It deals with the merry pranks of 18th century carnival keepers, and includes a wonderful supper scene. Imagine a company of dancers gyrating through a supper. Yet the Russian ballet company do it with perfect grace and charm. Mdlle. Lydia Lopokova, the principal dancer, is as delightful as any of her predecessors, and is splendidly supported by the company. The delight of the Russian ballet, of course, lies in the fact that it is not a ballet. It is a mixture of arts, as Wagnerian opera is a blend of music, drama, epic poetry, and spectacle. The ballet dresses, designed by Bakst, are alone worth a visit. The music is as delightful as anything to be heard at a West-End concert room; the plot of the ballet is far more complex and amusing than most comic operas. The miming of Mdlle Lydia Lopokova, Mme. Lubov Tchernicheva, M. Leonide Massine, and M. Idzikovsky is much more entertaining than most efforts on the London state at present. The Russian ballet, therefore, offers something for all tastes.’
(The Daily News, Perth, Western Australia, Wednesday, 27 November 1918, p. 3a/b)


December 26, 2012

Teddie Gerard (1892-1942), Argentinean-born American actress and singer (photo: Malcolm Arbuthnot, London, circa 1916)


‘Teddy [sic] Gerard Objects to Publicity Given Her Case While in Reno (Special Dispatch to The Call)

‘RENO, Nev., Oct. 15 [1909]. – After elegantly furnishing a cottage in Holcomb street in this city, Mrs. Theodora Raymond, known in New York as Teddy Gerard, the actress, has returned to New York. She has taken her friend, Miss Broderick, with her, and her attorney, James Boyd, reports that she will not return to this city, although it was her intention to sue for a divorce after staying here the required length of time.

‘Mrs. Raymond spent more than $2,000 furnishing her home in this city and her other expenses during the month were about $1,400.

‘Attorney Boyd says that undue publicity caused Mrs. Raymond to leave Reno. He declares that the reporters and correspondents in Rena are driving many wealthy divorcees from the city by their persistent practice of publishing facts concerning their plans.’ (The San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, Saturday, 16 October 1909, p. 11d/e)