Posts Tagged ‘song sheet’


Nellie Stratton as she sang ‘Give Us a Bit of Your Kilt,’ 1898/99

November 6, 2014

Nellie Stratton (1875-1947), English music hall comedienne, featured on the cover of the song for ‘Give Us A Bit Of Your Kilt,’ written and composed by A.J. Mills and Albert Perry.
(published by Francis, Day & Hunter, London, 1898; lithographic printing by H.G. Banks, London)

‘Oh! Sandy, you’ve taken our hearts by storm,
There’s no mistake about it, we are mash’d up on your form:
Oh! McGregor, you look so finely built,
If you can’t give us a bit of your love,
Give us a bit of your kilt!’

The Granville Theatre of Varieties, Waltham Green, London, week beginning Monday, 13 March 1899
‘Miss Nellie Stratton is a neat little serio, her seaside story of ”The cosy little corner,” and her description of Sandy M’Gregor’s kilt and the havoc it wrought in the hearts of the fair sex, is highly popular and instructive.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 18 March 1899, p. 18d)

The Bedford music hall, Camden, London, week beginning Monday, 10 April 1899
‘Miss Nellie Stratton, a pretty brunette, sings of ”Alice in Wonderland” – not Lewis Carroll’s little heroine, but a lass from the country, who visits Barnum and Bailey’s. In her song concerning a Highlander Miss Stratton puts Sandy in a quandary by asking ”If you can’t give me a bit of your love give us a bit of your kilt.” The hardy Scot, anxious to save that indispensable article of his wardrobe, buys a suit, hands it to his lady admirers in a parcel as a kilt, and then beats a judicious retreat.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 15 April 1899, p. 18d)

* * * * *

Nellie Stratton, one of the daughters of John William Stratton (1841-1889) and his wife Esther (née Solomon, 1839-1911), was married to the comedian Wilkie Bard (William August Smith, 1874-1944) at St. George’s, Bloomsbury, London, on 29 July 1895. The witnesses at their wedding were Francis James Peers (1867-), a musician and one of the bride’s brothers-in-law, and the actor Herbert Arrowsmith (Bert) Monks (1872-1952).


The Great Vance in character for his song, ‘Adolph Simpkins; or, The Valet de Chambre,’ London, 1865

April 30, 2014

song sheet cover for the popular song, Adolph Simpkins; or, The Valet de Chambre, ‘written composed & sung by A.G. Vance with the greatest success every where.’
‘You can see by my hair and refinement
I’m no hupstart, my manners is calm
And I hold the most noble appointment,
Of Lord Crackwitt’s valet de chambre.’
(probably based on a photograph of Vance in character; lithograph by Concanen & Siebf, published by Hopwood & Crew, London, probably 1865)

‘MR. EDITOR. – Sir, – Having seen a letter in The Era relative to Mr. Vance, styling himself the author of ”The perambulator,” I beg to say it is not the only instance of the kind. Some time ago I composed a song called ”The Valet de Chambre; or, Adolphe Simpkins,” and gave it to Mr. Vance upon the condition that he should say it was written by ”F.H.” (myself), and that if published, ”F.H.” would appear on the title-page as the author. You can imagine my surprise when I saw the identical song published by Messrs. Hopwood and Crew, and announced as ”written, composed, and sung by the Great Vance.” The meanness, to say the least, of the transaction, is apparent, and although Mr. Crayon is an entire stranger to me, it may be some consolation for him to know he is not the only victim of the great (?) Vance’s deception. Trusting to your love of fair play to insert this, and apologising for my intrusion, I remain, sir, yours obediently, FRED. HAXBY, 24, Montpelier-street, Brompton, S.W.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 10 September 1865, p. 10b)

‘MR. EDITOR. – Sir, – In your impression of last week a person singing himself Fredk. Haxby, in a letter dictated in a strain of virulence and personal animosity towards myself and my professional career which must be patent to even the most obtuse reader, accuses me of appropriating to myself the authorship of my well-known song, ”Adolphe Simpkins; or, The Valet de Chambre,” declaring that he himself is the originator of the song in question. Sir, to that false and, it may be, libellous communication I shall next week offer an undeniable and complete refutation, such a refutation as shall recoil on your ill-advised correspondent. Meanwhile, my solicitor is much obliged to Mr. F.H. For his considerate kindness in publishing the address of his present lodgings, as for a considerable period he has vainly sought it. I trust, Sir, with your wonted impartiality, you will insert this reply to a groundless attack upon my name and fame, as at this crisis, when my grand benefit at the Strand Music Hall comes off on the 22d of this month, it would otherwise do me an incalculable amount of injury with my friends and the public. – I remain, Sir, yours, A.G. VANCE.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 17 September 1865, p. 10a)

(It seems likely that Fredk. Haxby was a figment of Vance’s imagination and that the first of these letters, like the second, originated from his own hand.)


Eva Fallon sings ‘It’s Moonlight On the Rhine’ in the musical comedy, One Girl in a Million, which had its Chicago premier at the La Salle Opera House on Sunday, 6 September 1914

April 27, 2014

song sheet cover for It’s Moonlight On the Rhine, words by Bert Kalmar and Edgar Leslie and music by Ted Snyder, as sung by Eva Fallon in the musical play, One Girl in a Million.
(photo: unknown, USA, probably 1914; artwork by A.W. Barbelle; published by Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co, New York, 1914)

One Girl in a Million was first produced at the Davidson Theatre, Milwaukee, playing for three nights from 3 September 1914, before its Chicago premier at the La Salle Opera House on Sunday, 6 September 1914. A tour followed.

‘The La Salle Opera house again comes to the front with a brand new musical play that possesses a dandy good gingery swing – and an abundance of fetching tunes that keeps one whistling after hearing them. The new piece is called One Girl in a Million, and along with the lively comedy and pretty music quite an interesting story is told, in fact there are several cleverly constructed dramatic situations. The comedy is clean and plentiful – a regular laughing festival is this new piece. There is a plot.’
(Chicago Live Stock World, Chicago, Saturday, 19 September 1914, p. 3c)

One Girl in a Million has undergone several changes since its birth at the La Salle. Comedy scenes are added to the first act, and Eva Fallon and Felix Adler have a patter song. The song, ”Comedy of Love,” is another addition.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 26 September 1914, p. 18c)

The Illinois Theatre, Chicago, Saturday, 28 November 1914
One Girl in a Million, the freshest musical comedy product of the La Salle theatre, Chicago, had its initial tri-city presentation at the Illinois Saturday, when matinee and night performances were given, both of which was generously patronized. The piece has taken to the road after an extended run at the La Salle, where it is said to have prospered better than many of its predecessors. One Girl in a Million departs somewhat from the time-worn musical comedy text. There are no far-away islands or kings and queens, or American warships. The story concerns a society crook who gets into a home of wealth under the guise of a distinguished painter. Of course it is altogether improbably, but it makes a thread to hold the narrative in such continuity as to interest the audience. And of course the former crook marries – One Girl in a Million – after she has taught him, without her knowing he is a bad man, what love is and after he has refused to steal her $5,000 diamond necklace. The cast is headed by Felix Adler, who is the crook; Miss Eva Fallon, who is the girl, and Miss Eva Leonora Novasio, who is her sister. It was Adler’s first visit here as a star, and he made good, proving himself one of the best entertainers seen on the Illinois stage this season. He impresses you as an actor who is an actor without affectation of those who have come into prominence in that profession. He goes through the play without an iota of makeup, wearing an ordinary business suit. At his first appearance you do not regard Adler as a comedian. Rather you imagine he is to be the villain, but it you give him time he will wake you up to the fact that he has the goods. In the second act he got his audience so strongly under his spell that it was with difficulty he was able to conclude his speciality, which was just a bunch of nonsense, talking, singing, dancing and grimacing. Miss Fallon makes a sweet and delightful opposite to Adler. All of the principals are well cast. The comedy was given at Davenport last night and will be at the Moline tonight.’
(The Rock Island Argus, Rock Island, Illinois, Monday, 30 November 1914, p. 9b)


The Hess Sisters featured on the song sheet cover of ‘My Brown Eyed Baby Boy,’ 1911

November 15, 2013

Hess Sisters (active circa 1907-1915), American vaudeville singing comediennes and dancers, featured on the cover of the song ‘My Brown Eyed Baby Boy,’ with words by Stanley Murphy and music by Henry I. Marshall, published by Charles K. Harris, New York, Chicago, Toronto, 1911
(photo: unknown, USA, circa 1911)


Marilyn Miller – ‘Peter Pan (I Love You)’

April 9, 2013

Song sheet cover for ‘Peter Pan (I Love You)’ by Robert King and Ray Henderson. Marilyn Miller (1898-1936), American actress and dancer, as she appeared in the title role of Charles Dillingham’s revival of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, which was produced at the Knickerbocker Theatre, New York, on 6 November 1924.
(photo: unknown, USA, 1924; published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co Inc, New York, 1924)


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.


Mrs Howard Paul – ‘What Our Girls are Coming to’

February 23, 2013

colour lithograph song sheet cover of ‘What Our Girls Are Coming To,’
a satirical ballad, sung by Mrs Howard Paul (1833?-1879)
(published by Simpson & Weippert, 266 Regent Street, London, W, circa 1870)