Michael Kilgarriff | Sing us One of the Old Songs


 
 
The first three sections list corrections, additions and amendments to the original hardback edition of January 1999 and the softback edition published the following autumn.  Subsequent sections list Artistes either not substantively entered or not mentioned at all in either edition.  Names in capital letters have substantive entries in the 1999 editions.

Last update: January 2007 
                                                      ------oOo------

INTRODUCTION
p.13 delete reference to Rusty Warren
 
ABERDONIANS, THE THREE
In the programme for the 1938 Royal Variety Performance these artistes are billed as Conversational Acrobats.

ADLER, LARRY

d. 2001. Par 4: Another Monarch was Jimmy Prescott, replaced in 1961 by David Conway.  Morton Fraser's d.o.b. should be 1905.
ALBA, THEA

Jacques Inaudi d. 10 Nov 1950

ALDRIDGE, IRA

final line should read: Also named for Roscius were Louis Aldrich (1874-1930) The Ohio Roscius, Master WILLIAM BETTY, Stanislaus Calhaem (fl1838-40s) Infant Roscius, Master William Lunt (fl1860s) Young Roscius, and SAM COWELL.

ALMA, Mdlle







The last par should now read:
Others to assume the appellation Human Fly have been Charles Bliss (1826-06), Olav Czarnowski (d1914), ALOIS PETERS, and William P Smith (d1919).  George Morisco (c1842-1919) had a slight variant in that he called himself Man Fly, just as Berenetta Miller was The Fly Girl, and Hervio Nano (1804-47) (a dwarf named Leach)  was billed variously as The Gnome Fly, Man Monkey, and What Is It? (see Mons. GOUFFÉ).  Hugh Gellini appeared in 1849 at the Bristol as The Celebrated Gnome Fly, which would seem to be a purloining of the recently deceased 'Signor' Nano’s billing.  Finally let us record Professor Eugene Hermann American Wizard & Ceiling Walker who flourished in the 1850s-60s (see MAGICIANS). 

    The only double-fly act of our knowledge is Ellen Nichols, professionally k.a. Lolo The Beautiful Lady Fly, and her husband Sylvester The Wondrous Fly Man who in 1877 ‘walked the ceiling, hand-in-hand, amidst breathless excitement ’.  The Lady Fly died in 1929, in Grimsby.

    This entry is not to be confused with Alma The English Marie Dressler.

ANDERSON, JOHN HENRY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

From pp327-8 Old Drury Lane Vol II by Edward Stirling (1881):
Covent Garden Theatre, built 1808, opened 1809, from designs of Sir R. Smirke, at a cost of £150,000, was totally destroyed by fire in 1856.  Lessee, the Wizard of the North - Anderson.  This extraordinary man had travelled all over the known globe, seeking adventure and gold.  A fatality attended his theatrical enterprises;  every theatre that he rented was burnt down - Glasgow, Liverpool, Covent Garden.  Was this a conjuror's trick, or chance? a question still unanswered.  Strange to relate, the destruction of his theatres never occurred in the pantomime season, always after.  Suffice it, the Wizard tried many schemes of legerdemain, but it was always out of fashion; rivals had exhibited `sleight of hand' in a new style, `without collusion'.  The last time I saw Anderson was at the Railway Hotel, Liverpool, and the Claimant of the Tichborne estates was with him, hatching conjuring tricks for Westminster Hall.  It is a curious coincidence that the Australian witness, Jean Luie, appeared on the scene a short time after this meeting in Liverpool.  Aztec children, talking fish (a la Barnum), and acting Rob Roy, filled up our Wizard's leisure hours, quite apart from his nightly magic.  Anderson died poor, as he commenced.
ANDREWS, TED

delete dates after his name

ANIMAL & BIRD ACTS


Fred Bithell.  add: From 1897-1902 with LOMAS TROUPE.

Leoni Clarke.  At the Argyle, Birkenhead, for the week commencing 1 October 1900 Clarke presented 170 Cats, Rats, Canaries, Cockatoos, Rabbits & Monkeys.  He also showed his celebrated Boxing Kangaroo `Introduced by Dick Landerman'.

ATLAS & VULCANA
 
 
 
 
 
 
Replace entire entry with:
ATLAS & VULCANA (fl1890-late 1920s)
King and Queen of Athletes
Kate Williams (1875-1946) The Champion Lady Athlete of the World  met William Hedley Roberts (1864-1946) Society Athlete at the lady's gymnasium he had established in Abergavenny, South Wales.  Despite a union which produced six children these two magnificent physical specimens lived together for over fifty years without troubling the parson.
Other carriage-trade favourites were The Pantzer Brothers (fl1900s-1920s) Society Acrobats and Equilibrists, and The Great Atroy (1873-1952) Society Juggler.

ATROY, THE GREAT

Delete this entry
AUSTIN, CHARLES

d.1944.  In London's Evening News of October 31st 1910 were announced the results of a competition for the ideal Music Hall bill.  Mr Austin with his Parker PC sketch was voted most popular number 11 turn.

BAKER, HYLDA
add: see KEN PLATT
BALL, HARRY

after William Henry Powles add: after his father's foster family.  Married Matilda Broughton.


BAMBERGER, FREDDIE

 
 


Jack Hylton's date of birth should be 1892.  Bill-matter should be Jest Artistes.  Jean (Bunnie) Bamberger (d 10 Feb 2000) toured for many years as one of The Three Redheads, having started as an acrobatic dancer in cabaret at the Trocadero in her teens.  For a time was a Betty of WILSON, KEPPEL & BETTY.

BARBETTE

after Two Misleading Ladies. add: From the early 1950s Terry Gardener (1919-2000) was also teamed with Barri Chatt (d 11 November 1971) as The Pin-Up Girls of Comedy.  Terry Gardener was often billed as Terri Gardner.

BARNES, LARRY
Delete final paragraph and replace with: For many years the doyenne of British paper tearers was the legendary Miss Terri Carol (1915-2002), an artiste of notable irascibility with whom we had the honour of appearing at the Weymouth Pavilion on Sunday, August 3rd, 1969.
BAARTMAN, SAARTJE

In February 2001 it was announced that the French National Assembly had voted to return Miss Baartman's remains to her Khoisan people for decent burial in South Africa. See The Times 23 February p.19.

BELLWOOD, BESSIE

nee Catherine Mahoney in Ireland.  Married Jack (John) Nicholson in Leeds 1884 as Kate Mahony (sic). A sister was called Annie Bellwood Mahoney.

BEMAND'S COMEDY PIGEONS,  BOB
Oswald Bemand (1891-1951)
BERLE, MILTON

d.2002.  Should be full-stop after Thief of Bad Gags.

BETTY, Master  WILLIAM

Two young female artistes in this line of business were Miss M. H. Carr The Celebrated Infant Roscia (fl c1830) and Adelaide Biddles The Infant Taglioni (fl1840s-50s). Maria Taglioni (1804-84) was a celebrated and much respected dancer, daughter of Italian ballet master Filippo Taglioni and a Swedish mother. 

BICYCLE ACTS Sam Barton (1894/5-1941)
Add:  See Joe Jackson infra

Elliotts, The (c1870-c1914)
delete `With another family'; alter k.a. to a.k.a.
The founder J. B. Elliott (d1906) and his children Mary (d1929), Dot (b1879), Thomas (d1929), James, Kate, Polly and Rose; another trouper was Ralph (Elliott Somers) (1841-1909). 

Joe Jackson
Sam Barton ultra should be Sam Barton supra

The Selbinis
On 31 October 1910 a poll of London's Evening News readers disclosed that The Selbinis were their favourite Number 5 spot in an ideal Music Hall programme.

BLACK, JOE  (1918-99) in first sentence alter to:  ...began his professional life as a juggler and tap-dancer...
BLONDIN
after the final paragraph add: In the 1880s-90s there even flourished Tamamoto The Japanese Blondin.

BONN, ISSY

at end insert:  Also see Syd Wright (TEDDY BROWN)

BRIGHT, ELLEN

after THE GREAT CARTER, add ISAAC A VAN AMBURGH

BROUGH, PETER & 
   ANDREWS, ARCHIE
Peter Brough died 1999. His father Arthur Brough lived 1883-1956
BROWN, TEDDY Add to end:
Another entertainer in this line, and one whom we knew and greatly admired, was Syd Wright (1929-99) A Joke at the Xylophone.  Mr Wright's early years were spent as Sammy, one of ISSY BONN's Finkelfeffer Kids.
See Professor CHEER, MAY ERNE, BEBE NORMA, SID PLUMMER, REGGIE  REDCLIFFE.
BURKE, TOM
His daughter was Patricia Burke (1917-2003), sparkling actress-singer.
BUX, KUDA
1910-81
CARNEY, KATE
dob should be 1869, and for Paterson in first line read Pattinson.  
CHANG & ENG in fourth par. after Millie-Christine add: McKoy.  Delete `joined sisters' and substitute `pygopagus twins'.   After `Laloo' insert 'Oudh'.  In 1877 at the Canterbury Music Hall in London there appeared Lawrence The Marvellous Double-Headed Nondescript.
CHAPLIN,  Sir CHARLES at end after BILLY RITCHIE add:  HARRY WELDON
see below for more information on TOMMY LORNE.
CHIRGWIN, G. H. Used The White-Eyed Kaffir billing from 1877
CINQUEVALLI b. 30 June 1859.  Another Human Billiard Table was Adami fl1930s.
COLLINSON & DEAN
first sentence should read: At some time in the 1940s Will Collinson (1885-1958) split with Alfred Dean and took a new partner as Collinson & Breen. Delete last paragraph.

COOPER, TOMMY

Year of birth should be 1921.

COYNE, FRED

Year of birth should be 1847 and birth-name Frederick William Rawlinson..

DEHL TRIO, THE

at end add: See RHODES & LANE

DIXEY, PHYLLIS Tracey should be Tracy.
DRYDEN, LEO
With his recording of the American version of Flag of Liberty made on 25 August 1898 (Berliner E-2029) Mr Dryden has a good claim to be the first Music Hall artiste to record commercially.
DURANTE, JIMMY

Lou Clayton (1887-1960) and Eddie Jackson (1896-1980)
d. 15 December 1999

EAGLE, GEORGE BARNADO

b. 18 December 1806.  His daughter Georgiana was born 28 November 1834 (or perhaps 1831); in 1858 she married Charles Card, a reporter and photographer.  In his will Mr Eagle stated "I give and bequeath unto Georgiana Elizabeth Eagle my eldest daughter the sum of One hundred pounds sterling together with the whole of my conjuring apparatus to and for her sole use and benefit absolutely".  In 1867, now a widow,  she married Aloysius Gilliland, a 'professor of music', who died the following year. In 1888 she married Harry Pashley, a draper who was twenty-five years her junior. She died childless and was buried 10 March 1911 in Abney Park Cemetery.

ELRICK, GEORGE

(1903-99)

EMERY, DICK
 
 
d.o.b. should be 1915.  pp98-9 should read:  When therefore Miss Emery dried in mid-medley and asked us what came next we could not advise.  We heard a few weeks later etc., etc.

EMNEY, FRED

dates should be (1865-1917)

ETHARDO, Signor Last line (p101): EMMELINE EHARDO should be EMMELINE ETHARDO. 
add: Mdlle Fleury Alphonsine (fl1890s) billed herself as Queen of the Globe and Premier Spiral Ascensionist.
FEENEY, PAT At end insert: See TALBOT O'FARRELL

FIELD, SID

After 'took his own life.' add: He left £1,388.

FLETCHER, CYRIL
1913-2005.  Married to Betty Astell (1912-2005) who wrote their pantomimes.
Marriott Edgar's bill-matter was at one time The Man in Red
.
FRAGSON, HARRY

In last paragraph mention is made of Tom F. Moss - he was half-brother to JILL SUMMERS.

FRINTON, FREDDIE
Dinner for One was recorded for television in Hamburg in 1963, not 1971.  Miss Sophie was played by May Warden, not Walden. The sketch was written by Lauri Wylie, possibly in the 1920s.  In the 1970s the tradition began for Dinner for One to be aired on German TV on New Year's Eve, and by 2003 the sketch had been shown 230 times.  It is also transmitted in at least twenty other countries from Estonia to Australia, but, for reasons which remain obscure, not in the UK.
GANJOU BROTHERS & JUANITA
Serge Ganjou d. Nov 1998 leaving £1,246,007.
GILSON, LOTTIE
add at end: Another Little Magnet was Britain's DAISY JAMES

GITANA, GERTIE

 

On 31 January 1910 the London Evening News reported that Miss Gitana had been voted most popular Number 8 spot in a poll of their readers for Favourite Music Hall Programme.

GRAYSON, LARRY In 1947, touring with an all-male revue called Come Peep Through My Porthole, this entry was allegedly billed as The Yes Yes Girl with the No No Eyes.
GREEN, HUGHIE At the Bristol Hippodrome for the w/c 5  December 1938 this entry was Supported by his Girl Friends Sadie Corrie & Jean Ray with Douglas Tanguy at the piano. 
HALL, ADELAIDE
d.o.b. should be 1901

HANLON-LEES, THE  

 


Trained by John Lees, the act was established in 1847 with the three eldest Hanlon brothers: Thomas (1835-68), George (1839-1926), and William (1842-1923).  Younger brothers to join the act were Alfred (1844-87), Edward (1846-1931), and Frederick (1845-66)).  According to Tony Staveacre in his 1987 book Slapstick (pp83-4), in 1865 Thomas suffered severe in juries in a fall from a 'human pyramid' in which 'Bone splinters in the brain destroyed his sanity.  In 1868, he intentionally dived head-first into an iron stove-pipe and killed himself.'

Another acrobat who came to a sad end was Paul McCullough (b1884) of the celebrated US team Clark & McCullough, who in 1936 cut his throat in a Massachusett's barber's shop.  Bobby Clark continued as a solo performer, dying in 1960 aged 71.

Later Hanlons were Dick (d1905), Robert k.a. Little Bob (1861-1907), Robert's son Edward (b1891) - the Bob Hanlon Troupe were billed as Eagles of the Air.  Another Hanlon-Lees at one time was Joe Ridgeway Delaney of the Griffiths Brothers.

HAY, WILL

Also in his company at various times were H. Gordon Saunders (1885-1930), Stan Fields, CHARLEY (CHARLIE?) HARVEY, Billy Nicholls, Peter Byrne, Michael Hunt and Hay's nephews Cyril Platt and Bert Platt (d1972).  Mr Hay's daughter was the comedienne Gladys Hay (1909-79).  The eccentric comedian Joe Pasquale was once heard to remark that going to a Water Rats Lodge meeting was like being an extra in a Will Hay film.

HAYES, ELTON
See  THE FOUR BROWNIE BOYS

HEARNE, RICHARD

dates should be (1909-79)

HENDERSON, EDDIE 

delete `we once' in first line and substitute `in September 1959 we'

HOWARD, SYDNEY

dates should be (1885-1946)

HUGHES, TOM E.

on last line between `his' and `was' insert: `gentleman tramp act'

JAMES, DAISY
also billed as The Little Magnet.  Formerly k.a. Daisy Martin.
See LOTTIE GILSON
JOVER,  TOMMY 
   (NENA & RAF)

The final sentence we now know to be incorrect - Senor Wences (VENTRILOQUISTS) was from time to time also a bullfighter.  Raf & Julian were also billed as Just Hanging Around.

JUGGLERS

Tom Hearn: also billed as The Emigrant Juggler

Johnny Lamonte & Suma (fl1944-5 and 1951-80)
delete `into the 1950s' and substitute `until they teamed up again in 1951'Suma (Mrs Victor Seaforth) 1927-2003.

Martyn, Topper (1923-2004)

Severus Schaeffer (1867-1950)

KERR, BILL
after `Australian comedian' insert: (though South African born)
KING OF...
 
 
 
Harold Alanza (1917-2001)
See lengthy obituary in The Independent 5 March 2001.

Reuben R. Brooks
BIRDIE BRIGHTLY should be BIRDIE BRIGHTLING

Olmar
add: a.k.a. Little Corelli.  Family name James Chadwick.  In the1860s this entry demonstrated ceiling walking at the Alhambra 90 feet up.

KORINGA

delete `two' from `between two assistants'

LANGTRY, LILLIE
After her second marriage The Jersey Lily was sometimes billed as Mrs Langtry (Lady de Bathe).

LAUDER, Sir HARRY

In the last sentence the comma between The Female Lauder and The Pocket Harry Lauder should be a full-stop.

LAWRENCE, JOE
 
add: Of possibly similar stripe was Louis Stone (d. 28 Jun 1972?) Upside Down Dancer.

LAWSON, JOHN `Humanity'


Mrs John Lawson, a.k.a. Cissie Lawson, was most unkindly referred to in The Referee as The Gutter Lady Macbeth.  Mr Lawson's famous music hall sketch Humanity was culled from a full length melodrama, originally presented at the Standard Theatre, Pimlico, London, under the title Humanity or A Passage in the Life of Grace Darling

LENO, DAN
add: One Harry Banford billed himself as The Pocket Dan Leno.  As Mr Leno was shorter than average Mr Banford must have been exceptionally diminutive,. Contemporaneously Nellie Coleman was puffing herself as The Female Dan Leno.
Other claimants to Clog Dancing Championship were FRANK RENNIE, VESTA VICTORIA and JOHN WILLIAMS.
Also see MAX WALL (The Queen's Jester) and HERB WILLIAMS.
LESLIES, THE TWO

A occasional deputy for Mr Holmes was Mervyn Saunders (1910-2000)

LEVIS, CARROLL

delete final sentence and substitute:  Three of the very few Discoveries to achieve stellar status were Jim Dale, Nicholas Parsons and the distinguished comedy writer BARRY TOOK, a thinnish but not contemptible roll of honour.

LIND, JENNY

Second paragraph: CHANG ENG should be CHANG and ENG.

LLOYD, MARIE d.o.b. should be 1870.  After `French actress' add: (Marie Lloyd-Vibart 1842-97)
LOCKE, JOSEF 
full dates should be: (1917-99).  At one time billed as Ireland's Singing Policeman.
LOFTUS, MARIE

after Cissie Loftus' dates add: The Mimetic Marvel.  This entry married Ben Brown of BROWN, NEWLAND & LE CLERQ.

LUPINOS, THE

For family see Sing Us One of the Old Songs

LYNN, Dame VERA

See SOLDIERS IN SKIRTS

LYNTON, JIMMY

 

There was also a Jimmy Lynton who worked as Charles or Charlie Parsons but we do not think these were the same gentlemen.

MACARI add billing: ...and his Dutch Accordeon Serenaders
at end add: See BILLY REID for more accordion bands.
MAGICIANS Ali Bey (1905-75)
David Charles Lemmy

Ali Bongo
Billed on TV at one time as The Magic Wallah.

Fred Brezin  (1886-1950)

Davenport, Louis (1883-1961)
The Bewilderist
Noted at the Leicester Palace, December 1924

Emerson & Jayne
delete Ted and Hilda and substitute: Jack Emerson Skinner d. 24 November 1994 and Joy Skinner d. 18 January 2006 aged 89.  They worked their flying carpet act 1953-92.

Robert Harbin (1909-78)
A Wizard if Ever There Woz 
The Magician of Tomrrow

Le Dair, Jack (with his Lady)
Matchical Entertainers
Noted at the Coliseum Feb 1929

Servais Le Roy
The Devil in Evening Clothes
A Belgian illusionist

Lucille (1903-82)
The Best Dressed Woman in the World
a.k.a. Lucille Lafarge (nee Marguerite Ingram Davidson).  Married next entry.  Not to be confused with Lucille (Barnett) The Dexterous Deceiver

The Great (Cecil) Lyle (1889-1955)
The Magical Milliner
Married previous entry

Maskelyne & Cooke
The Maskelyne family claimed kinship with Rev Dr Nevil Maskelyne (1732-1811), Astronomer Royal of England for forty-five years.

Channing Pollock (b.1926)

The Great Ramses (1876-1930)
Family name Albert Marchinski, proprietor of the Empire, Southend-on-Sea.  Came from line of East End Kosher butchers.  Worked London Palladium between 1911 and 1918.  Toured Europe and America.  At the Palladium and at Southend worked alongside Maurice Fogel.

Rayanne & Partner
Jack P. L. Martens-Moore (1897-1955)

Edward Victor (1884-1964)
Hand-Made Humour
Shadowgraphist abnd prestidigitator

Claude `Medals' Williams
should be: Brother-in-law of DAVE WILLIS

Mlle Zara
Noted at Koster & Bial's in New York in October 1899 billed as The Chameleon Lady.

MENDELSSOHN, FELIX 1911-52
MERMAN, ETHEL
at end add: See JOHNNIE RAY

MISCELLANEOUS

De Dio, Mdlle (1875-1951)
In Search of Faith
Nee Florence Stafford.  Sister of La Pia (Ada Stafford 1874-c1950) and Mlle Naero (Pauline Stafford 1891-1960)).  De Dio m. Percy H. (`Peppo') Boggis (1870-1950), electrical engineer, who arranged the visual effects for her dances.   La Pia's dances such as The Dance of Fire and The Spirit of the Waves were also aided by her brother-in-law's electrical expertise which included `cinematographic projection'.

Len & Bill Lowe
Len Lowe (1915-99) 
c.1950  Bill Lowe m. Jeanne Carson and went to live in the U.S.

The Three Phoites (est. 1874)
add: Established by Charles Phoite-Pinaud (Charles E. Hunt, c1846-1906), Robert D. Phoite (later k.a. Robert D. Girard), and Joseph O. Phoite.  Robert left the act in 1876 and was replaced by John Welch.  In 1880 Charles teamed up with an act called Jillson & Reed to form the Phoite-Pinauds.

Don Smoothey (b1919)
What a Life!
Insert at end: Also worked as Chester Ladd Just a Comedian. Worked 1950-6  with brother Len as Lowe & Ladd.

Wally Stanley & Edith Lester (fl c1940s)
The Chance of a Laugh Time
See Bryan Burdon infra

delete Rusty Warren - see new substantive entry for RUSTY WARREN

MONKHOUSE, BOB
1 June 1928 - 29 December 2003
MURRAY & MOONEY
delete 1948 and substitute c1950

NAPIER, HECTOR

Joan Valantyne Napier 1920-2003

OCEANA
dob: 1856. First two lines should read:  'This enchantress was born into the Cooke circus family and married into the Renz circus family - we are not convinced etc....'

O'FARRELL, TALBOT

at end add: See PAT FEENEY for more phoney Irish.

O'GORMAN, DAVE & JOE  change of dates: (fl1904-56)
PETERS, ALOIS
after The Man You Cannot Hang delete the rest of the paragraph and substitute:     Another hostage to fortune was Tayonwana The Man They Cannot Kill.

POWELL, SANDY

For seventeen years Sandy Powell's feed was Norman Meadow (1918-2000).

POWER, NELLIE

10 April 1854 - 20 January 1887


PUJOL, JOSEPH

add: Another similarly talented artiste was King Henry II's jester, Roland Le Pettour, whose speciality was `a leap, a whistle and a fart'.  And in the 5th century no less a divine than St Augustine of Hippo himself pondered on those `who can produce at will such musical sounds from their behind (without any stink) that they seem to be singing from that region'.

QUEEN OF...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bertoldi, Ena (1876-1906)
...Contortionists
Beatrice Mary Claxton. Appeared in two pioneering films in 1894 made by Koster & Bial in Manhattan, New York.  Died of drink. See SPINK & SPINK.

(The Beautiful) Jessica
...Equipoise
So billed with Hengler's Circus at Hull, 1888.

Iris Sadler
add: At one time performed an astrology act billed as What the Stars Predict.

RANDLE, FRANK

Add: See Sonny Roy

RAY, TED
Nick Nissen's dates are now: (1907-2000).  At the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, for the w/c 22 April, 1946, the programme included one Jan Tors who also had the temerity to bill himself (herself?) as Fiddling and Fooling.

RETFORD, ELLA

 

On 31 October 1910 this artiste was voted by the readers of the London Evening News their most popular Number 10 spot in an ideal Music Hall programme.

RHODES, JOAN
 
at end add: Alice Penfold (b1916?) of Bury in West Sussex was k.a. The Female Samson.

ROBEY, Sir GEORGE

at end: after BARBETTE add BASYL; after VIVIEN FOSTER add PETER MAXWELL.  On 31 October 1910 this artiste was voted by the readers of the London Evening News their most popular Number 9 spot in an ideal Music Hall programme.

ROGERS, TED
1935-2001 though d.o.b. possibly 1930.

RONALDE, RONNIE
 
 


 
 

d.o.b. should be c1918.  add: Originally billed as Ron Warren The World's Greatest Whistler.  During World War II Mr Ronalde worked for a time as a shoe-mender.  We can only wish this particular cobbler had stuck to his last.  In March 1949 he was billed at the Palace Huddersfield as Ronalde The Voice of the Whistler.  In 2003 made a very delayed come-back touring for impresario Duggie Chapman, who should have known better and lost a significant wodge on the venture.  By now RR's deafness made him unable to judge his dynamics, and the piercing fortissimo quality of his whistling had the audience wincing and stuffing their fingers in their ears.  
See STEFFANI

SANDOW, EUGENE

See Professor JOHNSON

SEATON, JACK

delete name and d.o.b. from p236 (prior to SAVEEN, ALBERT)

SHIELDS, SAMMY delete last sentence and substitute:  It has been suggested to us by JIMMY LOGAN that Speakable indicated comprehensibility to Sassenachs.
SHORT, JACK at end before ARTHUR TRACY insert: Tayonwana (ALOIS PETERS)
SKETCH ARTISTES The Bogannys
between Joe and Boganny insert: (Clifton)
Family details in Sing Us One of the Old Songs.

The Boissets
Family details in Sing Us One of the Old Songs.

The Famous Craggs (fl1872-1914)
Founded by J. W. Cragg (1846-1931).  Orig k.a. De Castro Family. At one time the act consisted of Cragg and five of his sons. A.k.a. The Alpine Monarchs. For further family details see entry for THE CRAGGS in Sing Us One of the Old Songs.  

The Leopolds
Family details in Sing Us One of the Old Songs.  The gymnast George Leopold (d. 7 January 1895) claimed a family connection but this is uncertain.

Ernie Lotinga
Second wife: Kathleen Barbor d. 20 April 1952 aged 1958.

Six Brothers Luck
Philip Luck (1874-1951)

Harry Weldon
As a soloist billed as That Humorous Johnny! Ha! Ha! and The Swell Entertainer.  This entry was married first to Mabel Holt (b1880), the grand-daughter of ALFRED VANCE, and second to Hylda Glyder who was cited as co-respondent.  With his centre-parted wig, eccentric clothes, eyes which always seemed to be shut and a voice of whistling sibilance Mr Weldon, even in those days of grotesques, cut a very strange figure indeed. 

SMITH & DALE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
delete entry and replace with:
SMITH & DALE (fl1906-68)
Dr Kronkheit and His Only Living Patient
Joe Sultzer (1884-1981) and Charlie Marks (1881-1971) met in 1898 when they collided into each other's bicycles on Delancey Street in Manhattan.  The two began developing their patient-doctor comic duologue in 1906 while part of the AVON COMEDY FOUR, running the routine for over sixty years.  `Kronkheit' is German for `unwell'.  The act was full of exchanges such as `Please, my time is liniment' - `Don't rub it in' which makes us wonder how this entry lasted as long as it did.  Smith & Dale were the inspiration for The Sunshine Boys.
STANLEY, WALLY &
            LESTER, EDITH

transfer to MISCELLANEOUS

SUMMERS, JILL

Half-sister to TOM F. MOSS

TATE, HARRY
The oft-repeated story that Mr Tate's demise was due to injuries sustained in a German bombing raid over Dundee in fact derived from a hoax report put out by Mr Tate himself some months earlier.

THURSTON, HOWARD

See  ALEXANDER HERRMANN

TICH, LITTLE

On 31 October 1910 readers of London's Evening News declared in a poll that in an ideal Music Hall programme this artiste was their preferred Number 7 spot.  His daughter, Mary Relph-Powell, died 4 May 2000 aged 82.

TILLEY, VESTA

see VESTA VICTORIA

TREWEY, FELICIEN

add to the end of the first par.:  What has survived is a tantalisingly short piece of film in which Mons. Trewey demonstrates his hat trickery.
delete the first five words of the second par. and substitute:  Chapeaugraphy is still practised,... etc., etc.

TRIPP, JACK
d.10 July 1905
UNTHAN, CARL
 
 
add: Arthur MacMurragh Kavanagh (1831-89) had no usable limbs at all but displayed remarkable resourcefulness and was known in consequence as The Limbless Wonder.

VAN AMBURGH 

at end add: Though Mr Amburgh died peacefully in his bed the same cannot be said of his daughter Faimali, whose grisly fate it was to be mauled to death by her big cats during a performance at the Alhambra, London, in 1883.

VAUGHAN, NORMAN
d. 17 May 2002.  See STEFFANI

VENTRILOQUISTS
 
 
 

Harry Benet (1926-2004
This entry does not appear to have been related to Harry Benet (1877-1948), agent and producer.  Performed in STARS IN BATTLEDRESS.

Johnson Clark (1886-1956)
The Sportsman Ventriloquist
a.k.a. Vernando.  This entry's dummy was called Hodge, hence billing of the scena Hodge at the Cross Roads.

Cole, Lieut.
King of Ventriloquists
Noted at The Foresters 1881

Edward Victor - entered in wrong category. See MAGICIANS

Le Warren fl. ca1900
The Ventriloquial Foli
Signor Foli was a renowned tenor.

Senor Wences
add:  This entry essayed the occasional spot of bullfighting.  See TOMMY JOVER (NENA & RAF).

VICTORIA, VESTA

In 1883 the young artiste was being billed as Little Victoria The Minnie Palmer of the Music Halls.  Minnie Palmer (1857-1936) was an American operetta star who early that year had caused sensations in Glasgow and Islington.  In 1885 Little Victoria's bill-matter declared her to be Champion Lady Clog Dancer of the World; two years later this entry had become, in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, The Jubilee Pet.  We have also seen her billed as The People's Idol (not to be confused with VESTA TILLEY The London Idol).

WALL, MAX

For other champion clog dancers see DAN LENO, FRANK RENNIE and JOHN WILLIAMS.  A later billing was: The Queen's Jester (cf. DAN LENO The King's Jester).

WARE, GEORGE W.

delete final sentence: It was for Miss Power's funeral costs etc.

WATERS, ELSIE & DORIS
n the final sentence `the same gentleman' is not, of course, JACK WARNER but an unknown gentleman.  We regret any inadvertent implication of incest.

WHITELEYS, THE FIVE
 

Leonora Whiteley (nee Mellors) 1875-1969.  Married Henry Whiteley 1899, Hamburg.  Children: Henry Emilio (1899), Ben (b1901), Harold (1903-2001), Paul (b1907), Leonora (b1909), Albert (b1911), Raymond (b1915).
.

WILLIAMS, BILLY

delete final sentence: We can categorically state etc.
WILLIAMS, BRANSBY in second paragraph alter `Culture to the Halls' to `Culture to the Masses'
WILSON, KEPPEL & BETTY after `there were several Bettys' add: (see JEAN BAMBERGER)
WILTON, ROBB
see HERB WILLIAMS for similar billing.
WISDOM, NORMAN should now be: WISDOM, Sir NORMAN.  D.o.b. should be 1915.
WOOTTWELL, TOM in last sentence between `artiste's' and `name' insert `family'.
WORTMAN, CHRIS
Also billed as Bright and Breezy.  See WHIT CUNLIFFE.
WRIGHT, TONY
Anthony Steel: add dates (1819-2001)
ZAZEL second paragraph should be indented

 

GLOSSARY

 ANIMAL & BIRD TRAINERS - see ANIMAL & BIRD ACTS (on one line)

 BICYCLISTS - see BICYCLE ACTS

COMICS
add RUSTY WARREN

 MUSICIANS
 add Syd Wright (TEDDY BROWN)

 SPIRAL ASCENSIONISTS
 add Mdlle Alphonsine (Fleury) (Signor ETHARDO)

 STUMP ORATORS
 JAMES UNSWORTH (should be in caps.)
 

INDEX
 Additions and corrections to Index in 1999 editions:

 Adami  CINQUEVALLI
 Alphonsine (Fleury), Mdlle  Signor ETHARDO
 Astil, Arthur should be Astill, Arthur
 Atroy, The Great  ATLAS & VULCANA
 Carson, Jeanne Len Lowe MISCELLANEOUS
 Duprez, May Moore    `Happy' FANNY FIELDS
 Faimali     ISAAC VAN AMBURGH
 Fleury, Mdlle Alphonsine   Signor ETHARDO
 Fuller, Loie   delete
 Gellini, Hugh  Mlle ALMA
 Kavanagh,  Arthur MacMurragh  CARL UNTHAN
 Layman, George should be listed before Layton, Tom
 Lolo  Mlle ALMA
 London Alhambra    ISAAC VAN AMBURGH
 Marx Brothers - should go after Marvi, Bea & Zelda
 Marx, Groucho - should go after Marx Brothers
 Massachusetts House of Representatives  RUSTY WARREN
 Mistinguette  delete
 Naero, Mlle   De Dio (MISCELLANEOUS)
 New York: Manhattan SMITH & DALE
 Pantzer Brothers  ATLAS & VULCANA, M. CANDLER
 Pia, La   De Dio (MISCELLANEOUS)
 Pierre, La  should be Piere, La and therefore go before Pieri, Antonio
 Poluskis entries should come after Pollock entries
 Ponchery, H R should come after Poluskis, The
 Pryde, Peggy  JENNY HILL
 Sinclair, Dawn  JUMPIN' JAX
 Stanley, Wally & Lester, Edith  MISCELLANEOUS
 Stone, Louis     JOE LAWRENCE
 Sylvester    Mlle ALMA
 Tayonwana     ALOIS PETERS
 Wah-Letke, Princess should be Wah-Letka, Princess
 Warren, Rusty  delete
 Weston, Bert     JOHNNY COOPER
 Willane     JOHNNY COOPER
 Wright, Syd    TEDDY BROWN

------oOo------


ARTISTES

A

ABADAROFFS, THE
Prehistoric Mountebanks

Despite the intriguing bill-matter we have no intelligence of this troupe.

ABBOTT, EDWARD B. (1882-1932)
The Boy Wonder Magician

ABEL, NEAL  (1882-1952)
The Man with the Mobile Face

ACES, THE THREE (fl1920s-30s)
Wonderful Singers and Expert Footologists
We presume that footologists were dancers, though the reference may be to the style of act popularised by Professor RISLEY qv.  The Four Aces were flying trapezists, and did not, we think, have any connection.  One of The Four Aces was George Windenny (1864-1931).

ADELINA
Female Facialist and Quick Change Artiste
See JOHN CRONOW, GEORGE F. MOORE

ADKIN  (fl1910s)
The Motoring Ventriloquist
Mr Adkin's dummy, which appeared with the artiste on-stage in a real car, was named Sammy.

AHRENSMAYER (fl1900s)
The Cowboy Illusionist
The Wizard of the Plains
A conjuring cowboy must certainly be adjudged a novelty, especially as this artiste included hypnotism in his displays.

<>ALI, HADJI - see HADJI-ALI

ALLEN, ARABELLA (b c1887)
Listed under BRANSBY WILLIAMS
In an advertisement in the (London) Entr'acte for 20 January 1906 this artiste quotes divers laudatory Press reviews of her Dickens impersonations which included, remarkably, Quilp.

ALLEN, JACK (fl c1900s)
The Colonial Ventriloquist

ALLEN, LES (1902-96)
Canada's Voice of Melody
Born London but emigrated at the age of three with his family to Toronto.  Returned c1922 as reeds player with friend HAL SWAIN.  Played and sang with HENRY HALL, JACK PAYNE, Alfredo, Sid Bright (brother of GERALDO), and Sydney Lipton.  By 1932 was Britain's most popular crooner.  Had brief partnership with Kitty Masters as The Radio Sweethearts, then formed his own groups - the Les Allen Melody Four and Les Allen and his Canadian Bachelors.  His biggest recording hit was Little Man You've Had a Busy Day.  Returned to Canada 1947.

ALMA
The English Marie Dressler
Repertoire included It's No Trouble.  Not to be confused with Mdlle ALMA (1868-1908) The Human Fly.
Marie Dressler (1869-1934) was an American burlesque and vaudeville comedienne whose homely features led to her being billed as The Ugly Duckling.

ALPINE MONARCHS, THE
See ThE Famous Craggs (SKETCH ARTISTES)

ALWYNNE, VIOLET
The Shakespeare Girl

ANDREWS SISTERS, THE
America's Queens of Rhythm
LaVerne (c1915-67), Maxene (c1916-95), Patty (1920- )

ANTHONY, JACK (1900-62)
Jack's The Joy
Nae Bother at A'
Scottish Dan Leno 
See DAN LENO

ARMSTRONG, BRENDA (1910-99)
The Immaculate Male
See ST GEORGE HUSSEY

ASHTON, MARGARET (fl c1900s)
De Premiere Qualité
Though this artiste may have been a charming songstress, French accents were not her strong suit.

ATHLETA (1867-1927)
The Champion Lady Heavy-Weight Lifter of the World
The Strongest Woman in the World 
See VICTORINA

ATKINSON, HARRY (b1866)
The Australian Orpheus
The Unhappy Medium
Family name: Fitts

AUSTIN, LILY
The Yorkshire Nightingale
For other Nightingales see JENNY LIND, also THE PERMANES.

AVON COMEDY FOUR, THE (fl1901-1922)
The New Schoolteacher
Joe Smith and Charlie Dale (see SMITH & DALE) plus Jack Coleman and Will Lester who were later replaced by Harry Goodwin (1880-1942) and Irving Kaufman.  Other sketches in this troupe's repertoire included The Professor's Birthday and Ginsberg's Stump Speech.

AZELLA (fl1868-80s)
The Female Leotard
This artiste claimed to be the first female trapezist.
See JULES LEOTARD


B

BABETTE & RAOUL (1947-61)
Jungle Fantasy
Elizabeth H. McLauchlan (1922-99) ran this snake-dancing act with her husband Hugh Duff McLauchlan (1920-2006) everywhere from Bombay to Paris until forced into retirement by an accident.

BAGA, ENA
See ENA

BAILEY, FRANKIE  (1859-1953)
The Girl with the Million Dollar Legs
Several ladies have laid claim to such valuable underpinnings, but we would suggest by her dates that this entry was perhaps the first. 
See PHYLLIS DIXEY, CARRIE FINNELL.

BAKER, BELLE (1895-1957)
America's Queen of Vaudeville 
Family name: Bella Becker (Mrs Maurice Abrahams)

BAKER, CHRIS (fl1910s-20s)
The Nippy Comedian

BAKER, JOE (d2001)

BAKER,  SARAH (1736/7-1816)
Governess-General and Sole Autocratrix of the Kentish Drama
Mrs Baker `built ten theatres at her own expense, and always made a profit in a career of over fifty years'.

BALDWIN'S, CHARLIE (fl c1920)
...Bank Clerks 
Having for two and a half inglorious years been a bank clerk ourself we cannot see the appeal of such a billing, nor are we prepared to give Mr Baldwin the benefit of the doubt.

BALE, SUSANAH (1877-1943)
Simosa San

BAMBERGER, JEAN (`BUNNIE')  (d.10 February 2000)
Toured for many years as one of The Three Redheads having started as an acrobatic dancer in cabaret at The Trocadero in the heart of London's West End while still in her teens.  For a time was Betty of WILSON, KEPPEL & BETTY.

BANDON, BUSTER  (fl1900s)
The Dandy Randy Daring Acrobat
A 1900s acrobat may well have been as dandy and daring as all get out, but we doubt whether much randiness was in evidence.

BANFORD, HARRY
The Pocket Dan Leno
See DAN LENO

BANJAHRA
The Popular Indian Bass
An Indian who can Sing and Speak the King's English
Seen on a 1912 poster

BARBOUR, ROY (1900-85)
Britain's Cleanest Comedian
The Simplicity of Genius
This artiste appeared in a Mancunian Productions 1936 film entitled Dodging the Dole.  In later life he became a turf accountant.  Further information about this entry and his family may be found in the Spring 2006 edition of The Call Boy (vol 43 no 1), the official journal of the British Music Hall Society.
See DAN YOUNG

BARKER, ERIC (1912-90)
Mr Barker was with the FOL-De-ROLS and also offered his gentle bumbling art at the WINDMILL THEATRE.  Mrs Barker was the songstress Pearl Hackney (b1917).  This humorist `never cared for vaudeville', finding it too vulgar.  Frankly, we found his comedy too anaemic though in its day it suited audiences well enough, especially BBC radio audiences.  In a variety bill at the Prince of Wales Mr Barker wrote `nor after the first few days did I find the companionship of my fellow mummers in that dressing-room particularly congenial'.  It must have been positively frightful for an old Whitgiftian to have to dress in such low company.  Mr Barker left £229,657.

BARKER, RONNIE (b1929) 
Mr Barker was not included in the original editions because, alas, as he told us himself, he never really appeared in variety and so never acquired any significant bill-matter.  He did vouchsafe us a delicious story, however, which we relate here for the first time:
    The scene is BBC's Television Centre centre where a recording of Frost on Sunday starring David Frost, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett is about to take place.  This particular edition of the show includes a spoof This Is Your Life, in which Eamon Andrews, then the presenter, has agreed to take part.  The darkly-kept secret, however, is that the sketch is a cover for a genuineThis Is Your Life, with Corbett as the unwitting subject.  But on the night of the recording Corbett comes running into Barker's dressing-room.  `There are Thames TV vans outside!' he says.  `It's This Is Your Life!'  Thinking very fast Barker responds `No, Ronnie, it can't be.  If it was me - you'd know, and if it was you, I'd know.'  And Corbett swallowed it...

BARKIN, ROGER (1914-95)
The Poetic Magician
Better k.a. the film director Cy Endfield 

BARNATO, Signor
The Man with the Iron Jaw
For other usages of 'iron' see ALOIS PETERS whose entry mentions Siegmund Breitbart, Ian Colquhoun, Professor Kelly, Leroni, Proctorie, and Zulima.  Another Man with the Iron Jaw was D'Atalie (fl1870s).

BARON, BUNNY (1910-78)
Radio's Rarebit of Fun 
A Londoner, Bruce Baron's first appearance was with Sir Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss in Bluebell in Fairyland.  Originally a straight actor who "turned comedian during the war", he mounted  many pantomimes and summer seasons after the hostilities under his own management.  Still later he dwindled into an agent.

BARTINELLI, IVY (fl c1910s)
The Glorious Girl on the Golden Column
This acrobat's name we have also seen spelled as Bartenelli.

BARTY, JACK (1888-1942)
The Burly Burlesquer 

BASYL
Music from Everything
We spotted this bill-matter on a poster for the Granville Theatre of Varieties, Walham Green, London, for w/c September 2nd 1940 (a year almost to the day after the outbreak of World War II), playing twice nightly at 6.30pm and 8.45pm.  Despite the time of year the Granville was offering SPECIAL SUMMER PRICES (including Tax), and Fully Licensed Bars at Popular Prices.  The most expensive stall on a Saturday night was 1/10 (9p) and the cheapest seat in the gallery 5d (2p).  The headliner was GEORGE ROBEY and the show was presented by Blanche Littler (the second Mrs Robey). 

BAYLIS, LILIAN (1874-1937)
The Premier Banjoist and Mandolinist of South Africa
In 1929 Miss Baylis was appointed Companion of Honour for her legendary popularisation of Shakespeare at the Old Vic and of opera and ballet at Sadler's Wells.  Her younger sister was billed as The Celebrated Juvenile Whistler.

BELZONI, GIOVANNI BASTISTA (1778-1823)
The Patagonian Samson
Born Padua.  First UK appearance 1803.  Celebrated explorer of Egyptian pyramids and royal tombs.  Died Gato.

BENSON, FRANK (1877-1950)
The Great Little Comedian
Not to be confused with the Shakespearean actor-manager Sir Frank Benson (1858-1939).

BENSON, IVY (& HER GIRLS' ORCHESTRA/BAND)  (fl1940-82)
Radio's Orchestra of Charm
Ivy Benson (1913-93) played piano, clarinet, and above all alto sax.  In 1975 due to Sex Discrimination Act changed band's name to Ivy Benson & her Showband.

BENYON, THE GREAT (1902-78)
Bam-Boozalem
Edgar Benyon's own entry in The Performer - Who's Who in Variety (1950) states that his magical revue was entitled "Bam-Boo-Lalem" which seems to be a misprint;  if so then his family name, which some sources give as Beynon, may also be incorrectly spelled.

BERNHARDT & YOUNG (fl1920s)
Fellows of Infinite Jest

BERNIE, BEN (1893-1943)
The Old Maestro
Fanned himself with fiddle.  Went solo when partner, accordionist Phil Baker (1896-1963), went into navy.  SOPHIE TUCKER suggested he become band leader.  See JACK BENNY.

BEST, WILLIE (1916-62)
Sleep 'n Eat

BEY, ALI (1905-75)
Quick as Lightning - Startling as Thunder 
We knew David Charles Lemmy in the 1950s when he was a regular and welcome visitor to the backstage bar at Peterborough where we were appearing with Mr Harry Hanson's Famous Court Players at the Empire & Theatre Royal, a curious back-to-back arrangement of Music Hall and playhouse.  This magician's career was wrecked by a stage-manager who dropped the safety-curtain on him as he was taking a bow.

BLACKFORD, JOHN (c1857-1903)
The Coon from Arkansas 
See G. H. ELLIOTT

BLAIN, VIVIAN (1929-95)
The Cherry Blonde

BOB & RAY
Bob Elliott (b1923) and Ray Goulding (1922-90).  Partners from 1946 till Ray's death.  Renowned for surreal two-handed routines, e.g. Who's on First? and The Slow Talkers of America.

BOLTON, REG (1884-1955)
The Laugh Salesman
There's a Reason
See LEN WILLIAMS

BOOSEY, WILLIAM (1864-1933)
The Emperor of Bond Street
Leading member of the music publishing family

BORSTAL BOYS, THE (fl1920s-30s)
Trying To Be Good

BOSTON, ED  (b. 19 June 1898)
Black-faced Funedian
At one time worked with his brother as the Boston Bros Two Baked Beans.  At another time was area manager for Harper's automatic cigarette machines.  Went to US 1949.

BRADBURY, ROBERT (1777-1831)
The Brummell of Clowns

BROOKS, FOSTER (1912-2001)
The Loveable Lush
An American artiste famous for his drunk act.

BROWNIE BOYS, THE FOUR (fl1930s)
This team offered vocals, instrumentals, dances, and jokes.  The personnel included Ken Ashton of THE GRIMALDIS.  Another Brownie Boy was ELTON HAYES.

BRUCE, BETTY (d. 25 May1956)
Just for Fun
Mirthfully Mordern

BRUNHILDE, Fraulein
The Tallest Pianist in the World
The fratulein was allegedly 7ft 11ins tall, and demonstrated her art at the Coliseum in London sometime in the 1920s.

BURNABY, DAVY (1881-1949)
Mr Concert Party 
See THE CO-OPTIMISTS

BURNETT, AL (1906-73)
The Bad Boy from a Good Family

BURNS & ALLEN (1923-58)
Lamb Chops
George Burns (1896-1996) and his wife Gracie Allen (c1906-64) appeared with this billing at the London Palladium for the w/c 29 September 1930.  Lamb Chops was the title of their best-known routine. 

BURROWS, DENNIS
There Aren't Many Of Us Left

BURTON, WARD J. (1875-1963)
The Prince of Yodellers 

BYRON, EDWIN (1857-84)
Boy Tragedian

C
 

CANTOR, TERRY (& ADELE)
The Laughter Racketeers
Husband & wife team.  K. E. (1912-79) and Adele MacNaghten (1914-2004).  Mr Cantor a.k.a. Terry 'Toby Jug' Cantor.

CARDIFF, CHARLES (d 11 Feb 1964)
Funnily Natural - Naturally Funny

CARDINI (1895-1973)
The Ace of Conjurers
a.k.a. Valentine, Val Raymond, Professor Thas
Family name: Richard Valentine Pitchford

CARLOTTA, Mdlle (1848-1928)
Female Blondin
Family name: Charlotte Gilleno (Mrs James Fabian)
See BLONDIN

CARMO, THE GREAT  (1881-1944)
Australia's Wonder Worker
The Master Phantasist
The World's Colossus of Mystery
Family name:  Henry Cameron

CARNERA, PRIMO (1906-67)
The Ambling Alp
Heavyweight Champion Boxer of the World 1933-4.  Later became a film actor of sorts and a wrestler.

CARNEY, GEORGE (1877-1947)
Almost Human
Also toured a sketch billed The Fool of the Force

CARPENTER, TIKI (b c1910)
The Surprise Packet of Variety
Dancer and female impersonator. Born Alfred Sydney Carpenter in Sydney, Australia. In 1950 known to be working with partner as Tiki & Del England's Crazy Dancers or Those Crazy Dancers

CARTER, JACK (b1923)
Jack of all Tirades 

CASEY'S COURT
a.k.a. Will Murray's Casey's Court.  Later k.a. The Casey Circus (prop. Harry Cardle).
Personnel included Billy Baggs, Harry Beasley, CHARLES CHAPLIN, Stan Laurel, Harry Seltzer (Selser)

CHANDLER, GEORGE L. (1902-85)
The Musical Nut
See DR CROCK

CHERRY SISTERS, THE
Their bill-matter should be Something Glad, Something Sad.  One of the good ladies'  edifying, moralistic sketches was entitled The Gypsy's Warning - nothing to do with the Weston & Lee song of the same name.

CHURCHILL, BILLY (1863-1949) 
The Funny Entertainer
The Most Talked About Man
Originally appeared with his father W. J. Churchill (1842-93) as Churchill & Peter Negro Comedians.  In the late 19th century "Negro" on bills did not usually indicate a black artiste but a white performer made-up. 
See COBB & EAST

CLARK, SYLVIA (1895-1970)
Vaudeville's Little Buffoon

CLIFFORD, CAMILLE (1885-1971)
The Gibson Girl
Miss Clifford's exiguous performing talents were more than compensated for by her wondrous hour-glass figure.  The original model for society cartoonist Charles Dana Gibson's (1867-1944) idealisations of American womanhood was his wife Irene Langhorne, one of whose sisters was Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons.  Another, Nora, was the mother of Joyce Grenfell.

CLIFTON, BERNARD (1902-70)
The Singing Actor 

CODY, Colonel SAMUEL (1861-1913)
King of the Cowboys
Samuel Franklin Cowdery, a pioneer of powered flight in Britain (1908), should not be confused with William `Buffalo Bill' Cody.  Orig k.a. Captain Cody.

COHANS, THE FOUR (fl1880s-90s)
Goggle's Doll House
Money to Burn
The Professor's Wife
All sketches performed by Jerry Cohan (1848-1917), his wife Helen (Nellie) Costigan (1854-1928), and their children Josephine (Josie) (1876-1916) - who married film director Fred Niblo (1874-1948) - and George M(ichael) (1878-1942).

CONKEY, BOB (1867-1942)
Conkey's One To Fill 

CONNORS, CHUCK (1852-1913)
The Mayor of Chinatown

COOKE, WILLIAM (1808-86)
The British Voltigeur and Flying Mercury
Voltigeur is French for vaulter or tumbler;  Mercury is the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Hermes, the messenger.

COOPER, JOHN W. (fl late 19th cent.)
The Black Napoleon of Ventriloquism
The Polite Ventriloquist 
See GEORGE BARNARDO EAGLE, THE GREAT EVERHART, NAUGHTON & GOLD also NAPOLEON.

CO-OPTIMISTS, THE 
The first of a very short list of traditional-style pierrot shows to play the West End, The Co-Optimists were probably the finest of the genre.  The company opened at the Royalty in June 1921; they disbanded 1927 but were revived 1929; in 1930 they were back in the West End at the London Hippodrome.  Members included Hermione Baddeley (1906-86), Doris Bentley (d. 25 February 1944), WEBSTER BOOTH (see ANNE ZIEGLER &), DAVY BURNABY, Wolseley Charles ( d. 28 November 1962) pianist, Billy Mayerl (1902-59) pianist, Betty Chester (1895-1943), Gilbert Childs (d. 24 September 1931), Laddie Cliff (1891-1937) and his wife Phyllis Monkman (1892-1976), Anita Elson (1898-1985), Melville Gideon (1884-1933) principal pianist, Olive Groves, H. B. Hedley (1890-1931) song-writer, Stanley Holloway (1890-1982), Cicely James, Elsa MacFarlane, Austin Melford (1884-1971), Elsie Randolph (1903-83), Cyril Ritchard (1897-1977), and Babs Valerie (Mrs BILLY MERSON).
    A volume published in 1926 by Herbert Jenkins was entitled The Comic History of The Co-Optimists; the authors were Messrs Ashley Sterne (1876-1939) and Archie de Bear (1888-1970), and while these two gentlemen produced a moderately amusing book the title is a complete misnomer for there is not one jot or tittle of genuine information within its pages.  There are however excellent photographic illustrations of many of the above-named artistes.
See FOL De ROLS
 
COOTE, BERT (& CO) (1868-1938) 
A Lamb on Wall St 

COUCH, JANE (b1968)
The Fleetwood Assassin
After winning a sexual discrimination claim in 1997 Ms Couch became  the first woman to be granted a boxing licence by the BBBC.  The first professional female boxing match in the United Kingdom was Couch versus the eighteen-year-old Yugoslavian Simone Lukic, staged before a 1,500 crowd on Wednesday 25 November 1998 at Caesar's Palace in Streatham, South London.  This entry won by a technical knock-out in the second round and scooped £1,400 - considerably less than her discrimination award of £15,000.

COVAN, WILLIAM McKINLEY (1897-1989)
Poetry in Motion 
This bill-matter was also displayed by The Donna Sisters and by a gentleman called Maiberts.

COX TWINS, THE (b1927)
Aka Cox Twins & Pauline. Frank and Fred began their careers with STEFFANI'S 
SONGSTERS. Married respectively Estelle and Pauline Miles, also identical twins. Estelle d. 30 Nov 1984.  See RAF GANG SHOWS.

CRASTONIANS, THE (fl 1930s)
In the programme for the 1938 Royal Variety Performance Vic and Joe Crastonian are billed as Almost a Musical Act.

CRAZY GANG, THE (fl1931-62)
Inspired by the free-wheeling plotless revues pioneered by NERVO & KNOX with EDDIE GRAY in the early 1920s, George Black presented his first Crazy Week at the London Palladium in November 1931, starring NERVO & KNOX, NAUGHTON & GOLD, and CARYLL & MUNDY.  Crazy Week became Crazy Month when FLANAGAN & ALLEN joined the team in June 1932.  The 1933 show ran for fourteen weeks and from then until the Blitz of 1940 the Crazy Gang remained in residence.  The first production to boast a title was the 1934 edition Life Begins at Oxford Circus.  CARYLL & MUNDY left shortly after FLANAGAN & ALLEN came on board, and prior contractual obligations kept the other regulars out of the shows from time to time.  One celebrated temporary replacement for Bud Flanagan was Stanley Holloway (1890-1982).  During Hitler's War the Gang split into its component parts, performing for ENSA all over Europe, with EDDIE GRAY roaming as far as the Middle East.  The first post-War Crazy Gang show was presented by Jack Hylton in 1947 and entitled Together Again.  The Gang now consisted of Bud Flanagan (Chesney Allen had retired for health reasons), NERVO & KNOX and NAUGHTON & GOLD, and the venue was the Victoria Palace, to be their home until the final production which closed in May 1962.
     EDDIE GRAY rejoined the team in 1951, still the lowest paid member; NERVO & KNOX were always the highest paid, as their top billing indicated.  Jimmy Gold's health caused him to miss most of the final two productions, though he did put in an appearance on the emotional last night of the last show.  We saw these veteran comics in 1959 and were amazed at their energy and  enthusiasm, even after a lifetime as laughter-makers, for the job in hand.

CROSSLEY, SYD  (fl c1910)
The Lonely Comic
A Syd Crossley appeared in the 1928 Frank Capra silent comedy movie That Certain Thing, though whether this was The Lonely Comic we do not know.  We simply record the names.

CRUIKSHANK, COMICAL (1875-1956)
The Fool of the Family 
Alfred Cruikshank was a keen Freemason.   His father, T. C. Cruikshank, was a singing clown who usually appeared as a woman on tall stilts.  Alfred was married to La Mio, a beauteous poseuse.

CUMMING, JOHN (fl1940s-50s)
Don Juan of Song
Don Juan Tenorio, the legendary hero of divers plays, stories and operas, wreaked his wiles upon the women of 14th century Seville, since when his name has been synonymous with heartless libertinism.

CUMMINGER, FRANK (1876/7-1944)
The Electric Sand Dancer
Displayed his art at the Hippodrome, Colchester, in March 1906.

CUNLIFFE, WHIT (1876-1966)
Brown, Bright and Breezy
The Modern Lion Comique
Mr Cunliffe was a dapper singer of bright and breezy songs some seventy of which are listed in Sing Us One of the Old Songs.  `Brown' meant alert. A 'lion comique' (the term originated in the 1860s) was a male performer of larger-than-life size personality, good looks and panache.
See CHRIS WORTMAN

CUNNINGHAM, MINNIE (1870-1954)
A Chip off the Old Block 
The Original Italian Girl
Much of Miss Cunningham's background remains cloudy when not contradictory.  That she was immortalised in poetry by Arthur Symons and on canvas by Walter Sickert is, however, irrefutable.

CURRIE, FINLAY & COURTNEY, MAUDE
Humorous Topicalities
Mr Currie's dates are 1898-1968

D

DAGMAR, ALEXANDRA (b. c1860)
The Favorite of the Czar
Little Ray of Sunshine
Dagmar was "a lady of immense size and vivacity".  She was a popular Principal Boy in pantomime at Drury Lane, and surely one of the most strapping.

DAINTY, BILLY (1927-86)
Going Mad - Coming?
Twinkling Feet
One of the very finest comedians of his generation, Mr Dainty's comic dancing was particularly admired.  Now that he is gone that style of expert physical comedy is a lost art.  The artiste left £273,575 but we would rather he were still with us.

D'ALBERT, GEORGE (1871-1949)
The Sunshine Chap 

DALE & O'MALLEY
The Somewhat Different Comedians

DARBAN, PHIL (fl.1940s-50s)
Matchless with Boomerangs

DARE, LEONA (1855-1922)
Queen of the Antille

D'AUBAN FAMILY, THE
Black & White
The Crichtons of the Day 
The original Admirable Crichton was a semi-legendary 16th century Scottish scholar and swordsman.  The singing and dancing D'Auban troupe included John (1841-1922) and his sisters Emma (d1910) and Marietta.  Further family details are given in Sing Us One of the Old Songs.

De BIERE, (ARNOLD) (1878-1934)
Prince of Entertainers and Entertainer of Princes

DECKERS, JEANINE (1933?-85)
The Singing Nun 

DECOURSEY, NETTIE (c1869-1964)
The Little Lady with the Big Voice
Family name: Nettie Jameson
Original singer of I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now.  Survived by her husband who must have been even more aged.

De GRAY, MILDRED HOWARD
America's Original Barefoot Dancer
So was this artiste billed in the (London) Entr'acte for 9 March 1906

DELANY, NORA (d1977)
The Girl in the Uniform
Married Prince Littler (1901-73), a leading theatrical impresario.

DeLEATH, VAUGHAN (1896-1943)
First Lady of Radio
The Original Radio Girl
Began broadcasting in New York in 1920 but was challenged in court to the title of First Lady of Radio by one Kate Smith.  Miss DeLeath triumphed.  A  generously-proportioned lady of great charm and with a crooning style perfectly suited to the poor reception of early commercial broadcasting, this artiste made hundreds of recordings.  She also composed many songs, the best-remembered  being I Wasn't Lying When I Said I Loved You.  Another claimant to being the first crooner was Marion Harris, died New York 24 April 1944.

De LEON, MILLIE (1870-1922)
The Girl in Blue 

DELEVINES, THE (FIVE) (est 1884)
Flirtations
Satanic Gambols
Dan Haytor (1862-1944), his wife Annie Wilson (c1867-1919) and his brothers Percy and Harry (d. 24 Jan 1936), later joined by Letitia Minnie Winterton (d. 12 May 1911) and her sister (Nellie?).  From 1911-14 The Four Delevines included Albert Darnley jnr (Albert Dennis Darnley McCarthy, b1898) whose mother was Emily Delevanti.  Other "Delevines" were Harry Cooper and Percy Wilkinson (d. 24 March 1938). 

DELVAINE, DOT (b1926)
Glamour in Miniature
Family name: Dorothy Thirlwall (Mrs F. C. Timbs)

De LYLE, WYN (1903-53)
Britain's Premier Lady Ventriloquist
Born Winifred Fox in Sheffield.  Also publicised herself as Society Conjuror and Paper Manipulation.

DENIS, JOHNNY (b1913)
...and his Ranchers 

DENNIS, DENNY (1903-93)
The English Troubador 
At one time with the Roy Fox band

DEVANT, DAVID (1868-1941)
Ombromaneur
An ombromaneur is one who demonstrates ombromanie, or shadowgraphy.  Mr Devant was also a magician and an origami specialist. 
See THEO BAMBERG

DILLER, PHYLLIS (b1917)
The First Lady of Stand-Up
Our very own Margi Clark once said "I don't do stand-up.  I lie on me back wi' me legs open..."

<>DILLON, CHARLES (1866-1934)

DILLON, ERNIE (fl c1930)
On the Bounce

DORVILLES, THE KEN (fl c1950)
Ability with Agility

DOUBLES, CHARLIE (fl1930s-40s)
Enough to make a Cat Laugh 

DOWLER & WHITE (fl1932-46)
A Whirlwind of Wit
Cyril Dowler (b1906) and Kay White

DOWNEY & DAYE (fl1939-50s)
A Whirl, A Twirl and a Girl
John S. Downey (Mitchell) (b1909) and Lynda Daye (b1920)

DOYLE, BUNNNY (18961955)
Minister of Idiotic Affairs
Awarded Croix de Guerre for bravery in World War I.  A concert party and revue stalwart, this entry appeared with The Ideals (1922), La Petit Cabaret (1922), The Love Doctor (1925, The Punch Bowl (1927), Full Speed (1929), Hooradio (1932), Jubilee Revels (1935), Rates and Taxes (1936), Hot Punch (1940).  Mr Doyle was also a celebrated pantomime comedian.

DREW, PADDY (b1896)
Drawing the Laughs

DUDLEY, JOHN (b1933)
Komedy with Kandles
This act performed with a partner, name not known.  Mr Dudley is still an active magician and puppeteer.

DUKES, RONNIE & LEE, RICKI (fl1960s-70s)
Ronnie (1932-81) and wife Ricki (1938-86) Dukes.  The act included sons Don (drummer) and Perry (guitarist), also Ricki's mother Violet (pianist).  Although often referred to in the Press as The King and Queen of Clubland the Dukes' use of this soubriquet as bill-matter is uncertain.

DULAY, BENSON & COMPANY (1896-1991)
The Sorcerer & His Apprentices

DURANTE, TED & GEORGE
Music Hall's Ace Acrobats

DURBANO, SONNY (fl c1930s)
The Pocket Pianist

DUVAL, ADE (1898-1965)
A Rhapsody in Silk
Was this the Duval who in 1947 was billing himself as The Opti-Mystic?

DYER, BOB (d. 1965)
The Last of the Hill-Billies
But Homer & Jethro outlived him by six and twenty-four years respectively, and HARRY LESTER by twenty-eight years.

DYNAMOS, THE FIVE (fl1940s)
International Cycling Football Beauties
Was this act aka THE FIVE SENSATIONAL OXFORDS qv?

E

EARL, ROY (1929-2002)
The Boy Magician
Once broke both legs attempting a LITTLE TICH routine.

EATOCK, BIG BILL (fl 1940s)
You'd Be Surprised

ECKSTEIN, BILLY (c1890-1963)
Mr Fingers
Mr Eckstein, though primarily celebrated as a balladeer, was no slouch on the eighty-eights.

EDGAR, J. MARRIOTT (1880-1951)
The Man in Red
Half-brother of Edgar Wallace.  Writer and performer of monologues including The Lion And Albert, Marksman Sam, and The Runcorn Ferry.

EDGE, JACK (1891-1978)
The Brighter London Comedian
The Irresponsible 
The Royal Jester
See CASEY'S COURT, EIGHT LANCASHIRE LADS

EDWARDS, C. E. (d. 1915) 
The Happy Tramp
See NAT M. WILLS

EDWARDS, JIMMY (1920-88)
We once appeared with this entry as a Russian bodyguard in Whack O!, live on BBCtv from the Shepherd's Bush Empire.  This robust brass-playing comedian, the only Oxford University Master of Arts on the Halls, left nearly a quarter of a million pounds.

EIGHT BLACK STREAKS OF DANCE (fl1920s)
Sixteen Happy Feet 

EIGHT LANCASHIRE LADS, THE (fl1896-c1930)
Established by John William Jackson snr.  Original troupe:  John William jr (d1952), his brothers Herbert, Alfred and Stephen with their sister Rosie.  Making up the eight were George Cawley with his twin brothers Jim and Billy, one of whom fell ill and was replaced by (Sir) CHARLES CHAPLIN.  Later Lads were JACK EDGE and Tommy Handley (1894-1949).

ELLINGTON, DUKE (1899-1974)
Harlems's Aristocrat of Jazz

ELLIOTT, CHIC(K ) (b1900)
Dixie's Red Hot Mammy
Born Violet Wooll in Sydney, Australia.  Also appeared in black face billed as The Chocolate Drop.

ELLIOTT, JIMMY (fl mid-20thC)
Animal Mimic

ELLIS, DON (d. 1978) 
The Commissionaire Impressionist 

ELTINGE, JULIAN (1883-1941)
Mr Lillian Russell
In her heyday Lillian Russell (1861-1922) was the undisputed queen of American musical comedy. 
See MAUD HOBSON

ELTON, FRED (1931-60) 
Fun on the Ocean Wave

ENGLISH, ARTHUR (1919-1995)
Prince of the Wide Boys
A wide boy was a shady wheeler-dealer, a spiv.  This entry's kipper ties and fast patter made him a favourite comic on radio and the variety stage in the late 1940s, invariably finishing his turn with a rapid incomprehensible jumble of words out of which came, 'I dunno what I'm taling about. Play the music - open the cage...!'

EMMETT, FRANKIE (1876-1911)
The Little Girl with the Big Voice

ENA (1906-2004)
The First Lady of the Organ

Queen of the Keyboard

Ena Rosina Baga played for cine-variety and provided extempore accompaniments to silent movies. Her sister, Florence de Jong, also achieved considerable distinction in these fields. 

ETHERDO (1834-1916)
The Chameleon's Glen
Family name: John Johnson
See Mr HYMACK, DAN HARVEY

EVANS, DIXIE LEE (b1926)
The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque

EVELYN, CORA (d1914)
The Military Girl 
In similar vein was Eva Mudge The Military Girl.

EVERLEIGH, KATE  (fl 1870s-80s)
The Pet of Park Lane


F

FALAHA, Mr
From The Era 26 October 1851 (p10):
'London Pavilion - A novel feature in the performance was that of Mr Falaha, the Wooden Legged Dancer, as he is called, which, considering his age, weight, and loss of limb, was a feat of grace and agility...This gentleman has other claims on public notice than his theatrical performances.  A son of the Army, he was born in the 93rd Regiment of Highlanders, with which he afterwards served.  In the 40th Regiment of Foot he passed the meridian of his life, and was, in 1827, the principal means, by personal exertion, in taking the notorious M'Cabe, the bushranger, in Macquarie Plains, Van Dieman's Land.'

FALCONS, THE (fl.1950s-60s)
Dancers in the "Roar" 
Also sometimes billed as Laughter in the Roar.  See DAVE & JOE O'GORMAN
.
FALLA, CHAS
The Shrinkable Comedian

FANNAN, PETER (1899-49) 
The (E)Rector of Laughs
After his wife's death in 1939 Peter jnr worked with a new partner as Peter & Joan Fannan, appearing as flower-sellers with Peter in drag.  His father Peter Fannan snr (1870-1961) worked an act with his brother James Foreman k.a. Percy & Harold The Two Millionaires.  Foreman & Fannan were also billed as The Smells (Swells?) of Mayfair.  Other siblings on the Halls were FRANK SEELEY and Fred Hallam who originally worked together as Heeley & Hallam.

FARRELL, (ONE) BILLY
The Encyclopaedia of Coonology
In 1906 this artiste was advertised as `Touring' but not `At Liberty' until 1910.

FARRELL, MINNIE (d1941) 
The Electric Light 
See TROJA

FARRIMOND, PERCY (fl1880s-90s)
The Singing Collier
An earlier singing collier was John Rhodes (d. 1 August 1850) 

FARRINGTON, CHARLES (1878-1948)
The Jolly Englishman

FAY, ANN
The Pride of Broadway
Also worked a tumbling act with husband Raymond WHITELEY (b1915) as The Sensational Shermans.

FAY, ELFIE (1881-1927) 
The Only Brazilian Nut in Captivity 

FELDMAN, MARTY (1933-82)
The Gargoyle with Legs
The Frozen Nightmare

From the age of 28 Mr Feldman suffered from hyperthyroidism, a condition which accounted for his alarmingly goggle-eyed look.

FERGUSON, JIMMIE (fl c1930)
The Chocolate Dandy Comedian 

FERN, SABLE (1876-1942)
A Prize Packet of Ability 

FINGLASS, TOM E. (b1885)
The (Original) Cowboy Coon 
In 1942 appeared in the film biog of Leslie Stuart You Will Remember as EUGENE STRATTON.
For other "Coons" see G. H. ELLIOTT

FISHER'S, J. SHERMAN
16 Crazy Gangsteresses
So billed at the Hippodrome, Southampton, for the w/c 12 March 1934.  See THE TILLER GIRLS

FITZ, JIM  (fl c1940s)
Is That You?

FLEMING, MARC (b1926)
Your Very Own Auntie Flo
The Tart with a Heart

FLORY, REGINE (1894-1926)
The blazingly glamorous dancer, in despair at losing her drawing power, shot herself in Sir Alfred Butt's office in Drury Lane.

FLOWER, WILLIAM (fl late 19th century)
The Singing Greengrocer

FOL De ROLS, THE (fl1911-75)
The most venerable concert party of them all was founded by George Royle at the Floral Hall, Scarborough, in 1911 and taken over in 1919 by Greatrex Newman (1893-1984), a prolific writer of songs and sketches.  It was Newman who made the Fols a national institution, with companies in Eastbourne, Hastings, Llandudno, and Sandown.  In 1951 they reached the West End at the St Martin's Theatre and in 1960 the company had the honour of being included in the Royal Variety Show.  That same year Newman handed over to Hugh Charles (co-writer of There'll Always be an England and We'll Meet Again) who ran the shows for a further fourteen years.  The Fols' last performance was at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, at the end of the 1975 summer season - an unparalleled run of sixty-four years.
    The muster-roll of performers who started their careers with the Fols includes DON ARROL, ARTHUR ASKEY, ERIC BARKER, LESLIE CROWTHER, CYRIL FLETCHER, Bill Fraser (1908-87), Pearl Hackney (Mrs ERIC BARKER), Harry Hanson, Doris Hare (1906-2000), GEORGE LACY, TOM MENNARD, Richard Murdoch (1907-90), DAVID NIXON, JACK TRIPP, JACK WARNER, Mona Washbourne (1903-88), Dorothy Wayne, ELSIE & DORIS WATERS, Kathleen West (1906-96) and Denny Willis (1920-95).  With these last two artistes we worked in pantomime; we have to report that Miss West's eccentricities as dame in Tom Thumb (see JIMMY CLITHEROE) were not an undiluted success.
See THE CO-OPTIMISTS, SPLINTERS

FOOTE, SAMUEL (1720-77)
The English Aristophanes
Father of Burlesque
Aristophanes (c448-c380 BC, Greek comic dramatist and poet.  See PHILIP ASTLEY for other 'Fathers', also JOHN BROUGHAM.

FORD, HARRY (1875-1955)
The Inquisitive One 
The Logical Comedian

FOREMAN & FARREN  - see PETER FANNAN

FOWLER, GUS 
The Watch King 
Always Doing Time 
Birmingham born.  President of the British Magical Society 1919-21 and 1927-8. Specialised in illusions with watches and clocks.

FOX, JANET
Pulling the Strings
Another puppeteer, Rene Strange, displayed identical bill-matter.

FOY, EDDIE (1856-1928)
...and the Seven Little Foys
Fun in the Foy Family
Slumwhere in New York
Family name: Edwin Fitzgerald.  First appeared in vaudeville with his children 1913.

FOYS, THE FIVE  (fl1900s)
The First of April (Tom Foy and a Donkey)
Fun in a Fiacre 
Family troupe which included Tom's wife Ernestine Matthews.
See TOM FOY

FOY, TOM  (1879-1917)
The Yorkshire Lad 
See THE FIVE FOYS

FRANCIS, SYD (1943-2006)
Britain's Wonder Boy Trumpeter
Forsook the trumpet to become a comic

FRANCOIS, JACK (1911-97)
Anything Goes 

FRANKLIN, IRENE (1876-1941)
The Most Popular Woman Vaudeville Artiste

FRASER, KATE (c1850-68)
The Little Wonder

FRASER'S HARMONICA GANG, MORTON
You Won't Stop Laughing
Eight-handed act founded by Morton Fraser (Emmanuel Fish - 1905-82) after World War II and a stint in STARS IN BATTLEDRESS.  Ran until the 1960s.  Personnel over the years included Don Cameron, Ronnie Cresswell, Jim Garside, Ken Howell, Michael Jackson, Stan Kaye, Dave King, Nat Lees, Peter March, Clem Ratcliffe, Walter John (Tiny) Ross,  Tony Rouse, Henry Samuels, Harry Simms, and Johnny Stafford.  Three others, Gordon Mills, Don Paul, and Ronnie Wells formed their own act called The Viscounts.

FREEMAN, GORDON  (fl1920s-30s)
The World's Worst Inventor

FREEMAN, HARRY (1858-1922)
Member No 1 of the Grand Order of Water Rats

FRIGANZA, TRIXIE (1870-1955)
The Champagne Girl
My Little Bag O' Trix

FRISCO, JOE (1890-1958)
Creator of the Jazz Dance
Family name: Marie Louise Fuller

FROWDE, JAMES (1831-99)
A Man of Many Forms

FULLER, LOIE (1861-1928)
Butterfly Clouds
Also danced to such titles as Fire and Lily.
Family name: Marie Louise Fuller


G

GARDNER, CHARLES A. (1847-1924)
The Sweet Singer of the Fatherlands 
a.k.a. Karl Gardner

GAYE, GLORIA  (fl1940-50s)
...and her Glamour Girls Band
...and her All Ladies Orchestra
Sweet Music and Hot Rhythm
a.k.a. Gloria Gaye All Girls Band
Family name: Marjorie Newman

GIBSON, PERLA SIEDLE (1888-1971)
The Lady in White 
Mrs Gibson is the only artiste in this archive whose memory is honoured by a public statue (in Durban, South Africa).

GIRARD, GILBERT
The Human Harp
So billed at the Canterbury, 1906 (see Era 26 May).

GILLINGS, DAVE (1864-1947)
The London Musical Comedian 
a.k.a. GEORGE MOZART

GLENN, ROSA (b1870) 
Cornet and Coach Horn Soloist 

GLOSSOP & WEBB (fl1941-50s)
Stars without Stripes 
Barney Glossop (né Fox) (b1906) and Olive Webb (b1922)

GODFREY, TOMMY (d. 24 June 1884)
The Perfect Fool
See ED WYNN

GOLDBERG, MAX (1905-90)
The Canadian Cockney 

GOLDFADEN, ABRAHAM (1840-1908)
The Yiddish Shakespeare

GOLDIN, HORACE  (1873-1939)
The King's Magician (from 1902)
The Peerless Illusionist
The Royal Illusionist (from 1902)

GOLDING, JOYCE (b1922)
Creating an Impression
This bill-matter also used by MAX BYGRAVES.  In 1949 Miss Golding married Captain Freddie Squires (1918-55), brother of DOROTHY SQUIRES

GONELLA, NAT (1908-98)
...and his Georgians
Britain's Ace Trumpeter
Britain's Hottest Quintette
The British Red-Hot Combination
Played in bands led by BILLY COTTON, Roy Fox, and LEW STONE

GOODWRIGHT, PETER
It's Only Me

GORDON, ARCHIE (fl1940s-50s)
The Star Boarder from Colney Hatch
Colney Hatch in North London was celebrated for its lunatic asylum.

GORDON, BERT (c1895-1974)
The Mad Russian

GORDON & COLVILLE
Vic Gordon (b1911) and Peter Colville  (b1918)

GOSNEY, BARRIE "Twinkletoes" (b.1926)
The Droll Scamp

GRAHAM (fl c1890s-1910s)
...and his novel Fantoché act
The Human Marionette
The Liliputian Wonder
Impersonated Leybourne, Vance, Robey, Tich, Lauder, Coborn, etc.

GRANADAS, EL (fl1929-50s)
Gaucho Stars
Mexican Speciality
With Their Ropes & Whips
Husband & wife team: Cecil (1903-71) and Lila (b1908), originally k.a. La-Rope & Lady.  From 1943 the act included their son (b1928) and was k.a. EL GRANADAS & PETER; in 1949 they were joined by his wife Dorothy (b1928).

GRANDE & MARS
Not Quite Themselves
Gary Grande (d. 13 August 1987) and David Mars

GRAY, GILDA (1901-59)
Queen of the Shimmy
Orig. k.a. Mary Gray

GREENE, GENE (1881-1930)
The Ragtime King
` - whose sensational personality and style conquered America - causing overflowing Houses everywhere he appeared.  His thousand and one inflections of voice, his electric mannerisms, the fascinating verve and swing of time and tune make each song by him a living riot of tune and wit. His recent success at the Palace Theatre was truly phenomenal. '   From advertisement in The Play Pictorial for January/February 1913 (number 127.)

GREENFIELD, ELIZABETH (1807-76)
The Black Swan

GREGORY, DAN (1874-1955)
The Royal Clown
Sometimes billed with his wife as Dan Gregory & Lydia (née Maldavan).  Raymond Daniel Gregory was a son of Mdme GREGORY.

GREY, NIXON (fl1920s-30s)
The Comedian who Goes wherever He Goes 

GRIBBON, HARRY (1886-1961)
Silk Hat Harry

GRIMALDIS, THE
Kenneth Austin a.k.a. Ken Ashton (1911-99) and his wife Audrey (1917-99) (née Vera Grimaldi).  In 1954 Audrey was billed at Chessington Zoo, Surrey, as The Queen of Versatility and Kenneth as The King of the Clowns.   Both were killed in a car crash in Florida.
See GROCK, BEBE NORMA, THE FOUR BROWNIE BOYS.

GROCK (1880-1959)
King of the Clowns 
Family name: Karl Adrian Wettach
See THE GRIMALDIS, DAN RICE

GWYN, FRED (fl 1930s)
The Clown Prince
See WYN CALVIN


H

HADJI-ALI  (1892-1937)
The Amazing Regurgitator
The Egyptian Enigma
See MAC NORTON.  Also see http://www.mikedash.com/extras_water_spout.htm

HAGUE, CHARLES (30 Jan 1896 - 5 Aug 1993)
Something New in Ventriloquism
This entry spent nearly twenty-four years as a police officer before turning pro.  He flourished on the Halls 1944-c55.

HAGUE, CLARENCE
Gems from Shakespeare's Diadem

HAIG & HAIG (fl c1900)
Spirits of Fun
Brothers Tom and Will Haig

HALA (fl c1880-1908)
The Shooting Star 
Family name: Robert Barton

HALL, GEORGE F. (1867-1934)
The Yankee Story Teller

HANDLEY, TOMMY (1894-1949)
The Disorderly Room 
This was his most celebrated sketch prior to his legendary wartime radio series ITMA ("It's That Man Again" - a reference to one Adolf Hitler).  The sketch was written by Eric Blore, later to make a corner in snooty butlers in Hollywood.

HARMONICA RASCALS  (fl1926-50s)
Originally k.a. Borrah Minevitch's Harmonica Rascals.  Founded by Minevitch (1904?-55) in 1926. From 1939 led by Johnny Puleo (1907-83).
See LARRY ADLER, RONALD CHESNEY, THE THREE MONARCHS

HARRIS, DOREEN (1914-2003)
A Sweetheart of Song
For several years this entry was the companion of the comedian Leon Cortez.

HARRIS, DUMP (& PARTNER)  (fl1950s)
Britain's Laurel & Hardy
Ralph Harris (b1907).  Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) were the cinema's most popular comedy duo.  Mr Harris impersonated Mr Hardy and his partner, sometimes billed as Stan, essayed Mr Laurel.

HARRIS, FREDDIE & CHRISTINE
There a Trick In It
Mr Harris' dates are 1908-92

HARRIS, JERRY (fl c1950)
Born to Impress

HARRITY, RICHARD (1807-73)
Boy Wonder 

HARVEY BOYS, THE CELEBRATED
Boxing Comedians, Patterers and Dancers
Edward (d. 24 August 1906) and Frank? (d. 14 February 1942)

HARVEY, CHARLIE (d. 16 December 1945(?))
The King of Pierrots
Spent many years with Adeler & Sutton Pierrots.

HATTON, WILL & MANNERS, ETHEL (fl1932-47)
Hot Dogs of Comedy
Will Hatton (d. 1947) & Ethel Manners (d. 1956)
See JOE YOUNG

HAVERLY'S MASTODONS (fl1878-85)
Forty Minstrels - Count 'Em!  Forty!
Established by Christopher Haverly (1837-1901) the troupe was also k.a. Haverly's American United Mastodon Minstrels.  Two members who came over to Britain and stayed were R. G. KNOWLES and EUGENE STRATTON.  In the early 1880s Mr Haverly briefly ran Haverly's Coloured Minstrels, the first of such companies to feature actual black artistes.

HAWTHORNE, SISTERS
The Willow Pattern Plate
Noted at the London Hippodrome, Jan 1901

HAYES, EDMUND J. (1866-1921)
The Wise Guy 

HAZARD, HAP (fl1930s)
Careless Comedian 
Mr Hazard was a wire-walker

HAZEL, AGNES (1867-1913)
A Bonnie Bough Of British Beauty
Beauty, Grace & Talent
Married to MICHAEL NOLAN

HEART, JAN & KELLY (fl.1960s)
Two Hearts with a Crazy Mixed-up Beat
a.k.a. Jan & Kelly.  These ladies were Helen Wilson and June Hunt, the latter nowadays far better k.a. Jan Hunt.

HEATON, TONY (1905-65)
The Gloom Chaser
Never a Dull Moment

HECATE (1850-1902)
Possibly a chapeaugrapher
See FELICIEN TREWEY

HEELEY & MARBA (fl1890s-1900s)
The Two Original Cocoanuts

HEPBURN BROTHERS, THE (fl1930s)
James Hepburn (1907-95) and his younger brother John.  Originally k.a. The Two Madisons

HERITAGE, JOE (& CO) (fl1940s-50s)
The Home Guards who wouldn't Stand Down 

HERMAN, THE GREAT (MAX)  (fl1926-46)
a.k.a. George Franklin (1887-1954)
Not to be confused with the next entry.

HERRMANN, ALEXANDER (1844-96)
Trans-Atlantique Vaudevilles
Sometimes styled The Great Herrman or Professor Herrmann, this entry should not be confused with The  Professor Eugene Hermann or with the previous entry.  When Herr Herrmann died his widow Adelaide Herrmann (1854-1932) took over the act, as did the relicts of Leopold Fregoli (1867-1936) and CARL HERTZ and the daughter of Cingalee (see ROY LESTER).   Alexander Herrmann's uncle Professor Carl Herrmann (1821-87) was also a magician, as was his nephew Leon Herrmann (1867-1909). 
See HOWARD THURSTON

HIGGINS, CHARLIE (1897-1978)
A Fool if Only He Knew It

HIGGINS, JOHN (d1935) 
The Human Kangaroo 

HILTON, SAM (1885-1956)
The (Cheerful) Chap in Chintz

HILTON, TODERICK (fl c1950)
The Singing Jackaroo

HINDE, JOAN
Britain's Premiere Lady Trumpet Player

HINDUSTANIS, THE SEVEN ROYAL (fl late 19th cent.)
Stand up and Sing

HOBSON, MAUD
The English Lillian Russell
Niece of John Hollingshead (1826-1904), theatrical manager and playwright.  Lillian Russell (1861-1922) was the leading American musical comedy artiste of her day.
See JULIAN ELTINGE

HODGKINSON, JOHN (d. 1805)
The Provincial Garrick
David Garrick (1717-79) was incomparably the finest actor of his day.
See CHARLES LAURI jnr

HOLLAND, WILLIAM (1837-95)
The People's Caterer 
Earned his title not as a performer but as a Music Hall manager, impresario and entrepreneur.

HOLT, CLARANCE (1826-1903)
England's Humourist 
Declaimed bleeding chunks of Dickens and Shakespeare under such titles as All The World's a Stage, Cameos from Dickens, Shadows of the Past, and Shakespeare at Home

HOLT & MAURICE (fl 1930s-50s) 
Shredded Wit 
Louis Holt and Bert Maurice

HOMER & JETHRO
The Thinking Man's Hillbillies 
Jenry D. Haynes (1920-71) and Kenneth Barnes (1920-89)
See BIG BILL CAMPBELL, BOB DYER, HARRY LESTER.

HOPE, NAT & RAY, DOREEN (fl1923-40 and 1949-50s)
Just a Friendly Argument
Wagsters & Gagsters 
Frederick Gould (b1896) and his wife.  Originally k.a. Nat & Doreen Brennan.  As a solo performer Mr Hope billed himself as The Comfortable Comedian.  His grandfather wss CHARLES SLOMAN.

HOPPING, BERT (b1892)
The Australian Singing Cartoonist
A Mountain of Mirth

HOUGHTON, A. B. (1866-1925)
Upside-down trick pianist.  Latterly also worked under his real name of Stanley Waller Buttons at the Piano.
See Will H. Fox (WINIFRED ATWELL)

HOWARD, BILLY (1903-52)
United Notions
Member number 200 of the Grand Order of Water Rats.

HOWARD, JENNY (1902-96)
The Generator of Electric Radiance

HUGH, FRED (b1899)
High, Wide and Humorous
Family name: Frederick Hugh Ling

HULLETT, CICELY
The Essence of Comedy

HURLEY, JOAN (fl1930s-50s)
Big Bundle of Fun 

HYLTON, JACK (1892-1965)
The Singing/Golden-Voiced Mill Boy (as a child)
Bolton-born Jack Hilton initially achieved celebrity as a dance-band leader - in 1929 his records sold six million in one month alone.  At one time his featured singer was Doreen Stephens (1922-65) and the band included JACK JACKSON and Paul Fenhoulet (of the SKYROCKETS ORCHESTRA).  By 1940 he had abandoned the baton to become an impresario, reuniting the CRAZY GANG at the Victoria Palace in 1947.  His lack of height, podgy figure and pudgy face belied an exceptionally amorous nature, and he lived in a maelstrom of carnality.  This entry's first wife, the formidable Ennis Parkes (c1882-1957), toured her own band as Mrs Jack Hylton's Orchestra.  His second wife, thirty-nine years his junior, was Australian model and beauty queen, Beverley Prowse (1932-2000).  One of his singers was his sister Dolly Elsie (1916-61), whose husband Hugh Ferry ran his business empire.  Dolly also sang with BILLY COTTON.  Mr Hylton left £242,228.
Also see MAGGIE WALSH.


I

INCLEDON, CHARLES (1763-1826)
The Wandering Melodist

ISAACS, SLIM  (fl1930s-40s)
Dark Cloud of Joy 

J

JACKLEY & JEE
Happy-go-Lucky
Seen on a poster for the Palace Huddersfield, March 14th.,1949.  Possibly  Joy Jackley (sister of NAT JACKLEY) and her husband Seth Jee (d1972).

JACKSON, ED & BROWN, DOT (fl c1940s)
Doughboy meets Doughgirl 
Jackson was possibly Eddie Jacobs (1896-1980)

JACKSON, ERNEST
Asking for Trouble

JACKSON, JACK (1906-78)
Quiet, Tiddles
This London born trumpeter began his working life with all the leading Metropolitan dance bands, including Ambrose and JACK HYLTON.  In 1932 Mr Jackson was running his own band at the Dorchester Hotel, also playing in shows, revues and variety (one of his singers was SAM COSTA).  By degrees this entry became something of a radio personality, his late night radio programme Record Round Up being especially popular.  In 1949 he returned to variety as a single act - we clearly remember his surprising capacity for what is now known as gurning - but remained a popular broadcaster till his death.  "Quiet, Tiddles" was a catch-phrase.

JANE and her dog Fritzi (fl1940s-50S)
...of the Daily Mirror
The second and tremendously successful model for Norman Betts' cartoon character Jane was Mrs Chrystabel Leighton-Porter (1913-2000), a beautiful blonde who in 1939 at the London Palladium was voted Britain's Perfect Girl.  Her enormous contribution to maintaining the morale of British troops was recognised by Churchill himself when he described her as `Britain's secret weapon'.

JAY, LARRY (d. 16 January 1961)
Actions Speak Louder Than Words

JEANS, Professor WALTER CERETTA (c1877-1942)
My Head and Hands Against the World 
This entry was obliged to give up performing due to a skin disease of the hands caused by his original occupation as a metal moulder in West Bromwich.  He then managed The Panoptican, a Leeds magic shop cum museum-waxworks-peepshow.  His wife was Mdme Veronica (also d1942) a palmist whose real name was Edith. 

JEES, THE (FIVE)
The Musical Smithy
Extended family of entertainers including James Henry (1849-1906), Joseph (1841-90), Frederick (1870-1932), James H. (1873-1930), Harry (d. 7 July 1934), Frederick (1932-68).
See EGBERT BROTHERS

JEFFERSON, STAN (1890-1965)
He of the Funny Ways
Later k.a. Stan Laurel of Laurel & Hardy.

JEWEL, JESSIE (fl1930s-60s)

The Comedy Gem
Radio's Ginger Girl

JOHNSON, Professor (1838-77)
The African Hercules 
Hercules was a legendary Graeco-Roman hero of superhuman strength.  Similar claimants to inordinate musculatory power were George Frowde (b1832) and John Marx (fl c1900) who like EUGENE SANDOW were billed as The Modern Hercules. Peter Ducrow (1765-1815) - father of Andrew Ducrow - was The Flemish Hercules and Fred Paulsen The American Hercules.  Finally we note the existence of Mr William Bankier (1872-1949) who described himself, and who shall say him nay?, as The Scottish Hercules.

JONES & THOMAS (fl1930s-50s)
Men were Deceivers Ever
Domestic turmoil act

JOY, JENNIE (fl1880s)
Everybody's Joy 
Married Arthur Craven (John Edward Davies) (d. 20 April 1894)

JOY, PAULINE (fl late1940s)
Playing the late Teddy Brown's Xylophone
See TEDDY BROWN

JOYCE, ARCHIBALD
The English Waltz King 

JOYCE, TEDDY (1904-41)
 ...and his Girl Friends
Family name: Edmund John Cuthbertson

JULIEN, VICTOR
The Flying Man 

K

KAYE, JOE (d. 25 December 1987)
The Wonder Fool

KEAN, KEMBLE (b1899)
Public Nuisance No 1 
Family name: Thomas William Bourne

KEAN & MATHER (fl1930s-40s)
"Wit" and "It" 
Ken Kean and Laurel Mather

KEARTON, CHERRY (d. 25 June 1915)
The Man who Dared 
A celebrated explorer and lecturer.

KELLER, JULES  (fl. c1890s)
Pedomanual Phenomenon
This artiste was born without the use of his legs;  his act demonstrated remarkable manual strength and dexterity.

KELLINOS, THE
Alfred (c1825-93), James jr (1869-1942), Venetia, William Philip (b1872) who married Bella Fothergill of THE FOTHERGILL FAMILY, Jack(?) (1875-1927).  Also Bob Kellino, clown, noted at J. H.Cooke's Circus, Edinburgh, 1889-90 season.

KELLY, WALTER C. (1873-1939)
The Virginia Judge 

KENDAL, ALEC (d. 1945)
Simply Natural
Comedian and songwriter - "I'm Twenty-One Today" (1911) being his best remembered opus.

KENNA, CHARLES (1859-1929)
Street Fakir
a.k.a. Charles A. Mack.  The American periodical Variety printed two obituaries, the second giving this entry's date of birth as 1874 which, since he married in 1886, is obviously wrong.

KENNA, CON (& PILOT)
The Flying Fools
The Funny Airman (Airmen)
Sky-Larking
Up The Pole 
Con Kenna (né Fredericks) (1889-1953) and Jim Graham (d. 16 November 1942).
Sometimes the act was billed as The Kenna Brothers or Con Kenna & Partner.  In 1947 Mr Kenna appeared, somehow, at the London Casino in Mother Goose

KENNEDY, CALUM (1928-2006)
The Golden Voice of the Highlands
The King of the Highlands

KENNEDY, JEAN (1897-1965)
Scotland's Queen of Comedy

KENWAY & YOUNG (fl1930s-40s)
Very Tasty - Very Sweet
Nan Kenway (1905-2001) and her husband Douglas Young

KERSAN (d. July 1915)
The Shining Star of Black Minstrelsy 

KEYS, THE FOUR (fl1940s-50s)
Locked in Harmony

KING, BEN (d. 6 April 1894)
The Michigan Bard
a.k.a. Bow Hackley

KING, CHRIS (& PARTNER)  (b c1910)
You Take a Piece of Paper
Family name: Charles Dennison

KING, GERRY  (fl1950s-60s)
Out of Thin Air

KING, JAMES (fl c1870s-80s)
Bottle Equilibrist 

KING, JOE (1900-67)
Family name: Cecil Emmott

KING, RANDOLPH (fl1910s)
The One Man Programme

KISBEY (1879-1968)
The Call Boy
Herbert Joseph Kisbey, comedian. Born Kent, England.

KORAN, AL (1916-71)
Television's Man of Magic
The World's Fastest Mind Reader 
Family name: Edward Doe
See THE BEWILDERING ZODIAS

KRANDON & KARNA (fl 1939-67)
Art in the Balance
Life in the Balance
Norman Krandon (27 November 1906 - 19 April 1967) and Mrs Krandon (b.15 November 1916)

KUNZ, CHARLES (1896-1958)
Clap Hands - Here Comes Charlie
Radio's Wizard of The Piano
A man for whom the word dapper might have been invented, this musician tended to play in old-fashioned Chopin rhythmic style, with the left hand slightly preceding the right.  Kunz rhymes with prunes.
See WINIFRED ATWELL

KURKAMP, JOHN  (fl c1910)
The Singing Conductor 
Bus or orchestral?

L

LABOUCHERE, HENRY (1831-1912)
Bounding Buck of Babylon
Liberal MP, Radical MP, editor, wit, diplomatist, but best remembered for introducing a Parliamentary amendment which condemned male homosexuals to eighty years of furtive criminality. The bill-matter refers to his time as a circus acrobat.  Married to the actress Henrietta Hodson (1841-1910).

LAHR & MERCEDES
What's the Idea? 
Bert Lahr (1895-1967) - the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz - and his first wife Mercedes Delpino (1897-1965).

LAIDLER, FRANCIS (1870-1955)
The King of Pantomime
Producer of the nation's finest pantomimes.  Married GWLADYS STANLEY.

LAINE, FRANKIE (b1913)
Mr Rhythm

LAMAR, LEONA (d. 1941)
The Girl of the 1,000 Eyes

LAMBERT & ROSS (fl c1968-88)
Willie Ross (1938-2000)

LANE, SANDY (1908-84)
Yorkshire Relish

LA RUE, DANNY (b1927)
After service in the Royal Navy this entry made his professional début in Soldiers in Skirts. We once asked Mr La Rue what his bill-matter had been in the dear dead days of Variety. "Oh, I never had any bill-matter," came the airy reply. "I was always just Danny La Rue...!  That was all I needed."
See TED ROGERS

LAUBE, MAX
The Human Bird

LA VIER, JACK & MORGAN, RUTHIE (fl1934-48)
The Man on the Flying Trapeze
La Vier's family name: John W. Cover (1897-1967)
See LEOTARD, JULES

LAWRENCE, CURLY (b1913)
England's Craziest High Diver
Also one of The Saltos, his own comedy trampolinist troupe

LAYTON & JOHNSTONE (fl1922-35)
Turner Layton (1894-1978) and Clarence `Tandy' Johnstone (d. 1953)

LEAMY, THE SISTERS (fl c1900)
Electric Revolving Cycle Trapeze Act
Noted at the Empire, Sept 1899

LEE, GERRY (1917-99)
A Kitten Among Cats 
Legendary pantomime cat.  Also circus horse rider.

LEE, LES (d. 6 Feb 1945)
Versatility Unlimited 
Family name: Haselden

LENTINI, FRANAK (1889-1966)
The Three-Legged Football Player
This entry also enjoyed a complete double set of genitalia.

LEON & LUCETTE
A Brother to Assist 'Er
This bill-matter is a play on the celebrated 1910 Drury Lane sketch A Sister To Assist 'Er.

LEONIE, ANNIE
The Tinker's Sweetheart
m. Edward Colley (d. 15 January 1899)

LERONI
The Man with the Iron Jaw
Rannin the Cingalese was The Man with the Iron Skin; for other iron usages see Signor BARNATO etc

LESTER, CLAUDE (fl1920s-30s)
Manufacturer of Mirth
Assisted by Doreen Andree

LESTER, HARRY (1895-1993)
...and his Hayseeds
Early Country & Western band which included Goofus and Arabella.  This team were popular broadcasters whose hill-billy style was no bar to appearances in pantomime.  And why should it have been?  The Hayseeds included Jackie Dawson, Glyn Evans, Duggie Dufton, Eddie Goofus Brown, George Hopkins, Syd Snow, and Jimmy Gilbert aka Ferdi the Frog.
See BIG BILL CAMPBELL

LESTER, ROY (1908-88)
Hi-Ya, Pals!
Wise and Otherwise Cracks 
Married the daughter of Cingalee (see ALEXANDER HERRMANN).

LEVANDA & VAN (fl1947-50s)
Feats with the Feet
First appeared with her family troupe (the Moxons).  Van is her daughter, born 1932.

LEVEY, ADELE (b c1875)
The Famous and Popular Raconteuse
Originally one of the Three Levey Sisters;  went solo 1910.

LEWIS, NELLIE (d. 12 September 1930)
The Factory Girl

LILBURN, CHARLES (fl c1900s-1920s?)
The Man who Stopped a Panic at the Old Mogul
The  Middlesex Music Hall in Drury Lane  was always known by its pre-1851 name of the Old Mogul or the Old Mo.  Mr Lilburn, it seems, averted a panic by continuing to perform a comic song when fire broke out in the Hall.  But such heroism availed him naught for he ended his days turning a handle on a street-piano, though still proclaiming himself as The Man who Stopped a Panic at the Old Mogul.

LINFIELD, SAM (b1898)
Boot Villa
HMS Lively
No Man's Land
Sketch artiste.
See THE BOGANNYS, THE FIVE X-RAYS

LIPPARD, MATTYLEE
Song Cycle with Trimmings 

LLOYD, ALICE (fl1870s)
England's Female Tenor 
Not to be confused with Marie Lloyd's sister.

LOMAS TROUPE (fl c1900)
A Traveller's Troubles in Monkey-land
Company included Bob Pender (1871-1939) and Fred Bithell (ANIMAL & BIRD ACTS).

LOMBARDO, GUY (1902-77)
...and his Royal Canadians 

LORNE, TOMMY (1890-1935)
Scotland's Charlie Chaplin
Family name: Hugh Corcoran. In the early 1920s partnered with DAN YOUNG and billed as Inside and Outside a Theatre.
See Sir CHARLES CHAPLIN

LORRAINE  (fl1930s-50s) 
The Singing Cartoonist 
Could this be Rex Lorraine (Harold Ready, b1902) who retired from variety due to injuries sustained while serving in the RAF during World War II?

LOWELL, JACK
The Juggling Limit

LUTCHER, NELLIE (b1915)
The Real Gone Gal
Derived from her hit song He's a Real Gone Guy.

LYONS & FAY (fl1930s)
The Bombs of Mirth 
Eddie Lyons (1887-1969) and Joe Fay

M

MACCABE, FREDERICK (1831-1904)
Begone, Dull Care!
Vanquished Villainy
The first billing was the title of this entry's celebrated one-man show.
See HARRY LISTON.

McANDREWS, KEITH (1940s-50s)
The Boy With The Whirlwind Feet 

MacASKILL, ANGUS (1825-63)
The Cape Breton Giant
At his death poor Mr MacASKILL  stood 7'9" tall and weighed 500lbs.

McCALLA, DOLLY & MADGE (fl1900s)
England's Ideal Babes

McCOMB, BILLY (1921-2006)
The World's Smallest Leprechaun
Award winning international magician.  1949 m. June Cochrane k.a. June Merlin.

McKAY, NEIL (d.1952)
The Real McKay

MacMILLAN, VIOLET (1885-1953)
The Cinderella Girl 

McNAUGHTONS, THE
For family see Sing Us One of the Old Songs

MACNORTON - see HARRY NORTON

MACS, THE TWO (fl1880-93)
Tapping a Man for Beer
Sketch comics - for family see Sing Us One of the Old Songs.

MACE, JEM (1831-1910)
The Swaffham Gypsy 
Though from Norfolk the renowned boxer was not a gypsy.

MACK, ARTHUR (1877-1942)
The Cheery One 

MALONE, DANNY (b1909)
Ireland's Ambassador of Song

MANNING, BERNARD (b. 13 Aug 1930)
The Singing Greengrocer
This entry eventually abandoned singing for comedy, at which his talent was subsumed by a vicious attitude to minority groupings. He must be the last comedian in the world still doing jokes about World War II.

MARCELINE (1872-1927)
The Droll

MARCO, WILLIAM (d. 31 July 1951)
The One-Legged Marvel
See PEG-LEG BATES for other monopedes.

MARKS, ALFRED (1921-96)
Born Alfred Edward Touchinsky.  We twice had the pleasure of working in pantomime with this exceptionally fine comedian, who was also a trained operatic baritone.  He married the comedienne-impressionist Paddy O'Neil, and a highly combustible relationship it was.  We personally witnessed this abrasiveness more than one occasion during the 1959-60 run of Humpty Dumpty at the London Palladium, when Miss O'Neil (The Queen of Hearts) refused to go on, leaving her husband (The King of Hearts) to say both their lines. This was especially trying for Alfred during the 'Punch & Judy' sequence.

MARTEL, JAY (fl1950s-60s)
The Blithe Spirit

MARTELL, JACK (1886-1955)
Vaudeville's Cocktail

MARTIN, CHARLIE (fl1940s-50s.  d. 19 November 1975?)
Nearly a Half Wit

MARTIN, GEORGE (1922-91)
The Casual Comedian
The Boy Baritone (as a boy)
After wartime service with the RAF in Canada Mr Martin notched up a record 2,280 performances as resident comedian at the WINDMILL, and was also a favourite at the London Palladium.  A prolific writer, he supplied comedy material for the likes of DAVE ALLEN, TOMMY COOPER, Keith Harris, Rolf Harris, DAVID NIXON, JIMMY TARBUCK,  and HARRY WORTH. 

MARTINETTI, PAUL (& COMPANY)  (fl1875-c1910)
Mime sketch troupe.  For family details see Sing Us One of the Old Songs.  L(o)uis Martinetti appears on film in an 1894 one-reeler. For details and stills URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/papr:@field(NUMBER+@band(edmp+4028))

MARTINE, RAY
d. 19 Jul 2003 aged 73.

MARTY, EILEEN (& FRED) (fl 1940s)
Wired for Laughs

MARX BROTHERS, THE FOUR/THREE
Sketch artistes.  For family details see Sing Us One of the Old Songs. At one time Gummo (Milton) Marx was billed as The World's Slowest Whirlwind Dancer.

MARX, SYD  (d. December 28th 1999)
Fool Marx for Comedy
Very funny little rotund man who looked Jewish but was in fact a Goy.  "Sh!" he'd say,"I like 'em to think I'm Jewish - all those weddings and barmitzahs..."

MATTHEWS, Sir STANLEY (1915-2000)
The Wizard of Dribble
A great sportsman and gentleman.  His father, a keen amateur boxer, was k.a. The Fighting Barber of Hanley.  He was appointed CBE in 1957 and in 1965 became the first football player to be knighted.

MAVIS, MABEL (fl c1910)
Greatest of all Glassophone Players

MAX, AL (& ANNETTE)
A Fool and his Dream

MAXWELL, PETER (b1927)
The British Prime Minister of Mirth 
It seems curious to choose this billing as (Sir) GEORGE ROBEY had been The Prime Minister of Mirth since the 1890s.

MAYNARD, BILL (b. 8 Oct 1928)
Billed at the age of nine as Little Billy Williams Leicester's Own George Formby. A comedian turned actor, Mr Maynard's arrogance and confrontational manner know no bounds.  His departure from the ITV series Heartbeat was greeted with deep sighs of relief from cast and crew alike.

MAYNE, ALICIA
Australian Dramatic Orthoepic Songstress
What 'orthoepic' is intended to imply is anyone's guess.

MENDOZA, DANIEL (1764-1836)
The Light of Israel

MENDOZA, EDDIE `Tash' (with Bette Carole) (fl1947-1950s)
...and his Archer St `Spivs'
Edward Middleton (b1913).  For an explanation of spiv see ARTHUR ENGLISH.

MERRILEES, JESSIE  (fl c1890s)
Chanteuse Eccentrique
Eldest of the three Sisters Merrilees, Miss Jessie married one William B. Wood whereupon the act was disbanded.  Mrs Wood, however, went solo and acquired her Gallic bill-matter after appearances in the French capital.

MERRITT, JACK  (c1894-1919)
The Bounding Marvel 

MILLER & DEANE
Believe It Or Not
Fred Miller (1886-1943) and Millie Deane
See LANE BROS

MILTON, VERA  (c1909-1952)
The Dumb Blonde

MINIATURE MARIE (b1886)
The Merry Maid of the Moment
From 1902 this entry, a mimic and `American and French dancer', sometimes called herself Mina Marie.

MIRANDA, CARMEN (1909-55)
The Brazilian Bombshell 
Queen of the Samba 
Senorita Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha (Mrs David Sebastian) was born in Portugal but raised in Brazil.  This entry's enormous charm, flashing eyes and Latino vivacity combined with an idiosyncratic use of the English language propelled her to Broadway in 1939 and swift Hollywood stardom.  In 1940 Senorita Miranda was David Selznik's highest-paid female contract artist, hugely popular world-wide except in Brazil where she was thought to project a demeaning caricature of her fellow-countrywomen.

MIRFIELD, FREDDIE (fl c1950)
...and his Garbage Men

MIRZAH (fl c1900s)
The Man in Green
The artiste was a banjoist

MISTINGUETTE (1875-1956)
La Môme Flora 

MONKHOUSE, BOB
Britain's Latest Thrill
See ROMARK

MONTAGUE BROS (fl c1900s)
A Sculptor's Dream
These fine muscular specimens appeared in what appeared to be nothing more than a fig-leaf, but most artistically posed.

MONTAGUE, DICK (b1891)
A Fool if ever there Was One 
Family name: Harry R. Willats

MONTAGUE, LOUISE (1859-1910)
The $10,000 Beauty

MONTAGUE & STONE (fl1885-1917)
Eccentric Blackface Comedians
David Craig Montgomery (1870-1917) and Fred A. Stone (1873-1959).  As a child Mr Stone appeared briefly as Mdlle Amy D'Artago; more significantly he was one of the eight founder members of The White Rats of America (1900).

MOONEY & HOLBEIN
Give Me The Book
Ida Holbein (d. 3 January 1937)

MOORE, GEORGE F. (1850-1890)
The Facial King 
See ADELINA, JOHN CRONOW

MORAN & MACK
The Two Black Crows
Originally k.a. Swor & Mack: John Swor (1883-1965), replaced 1917 by `Moran' - George Searchy (1881-1949).  Other personnel included Harry Summerson (1875-1949) and Charles E. Sellers (1887-1935).

MORETON, TREVOR (d. 9 October 1972)
A Mister who is Always a Miss

MORETON, VICTOR (d. 3 March 1940)
The Domestic Bunch of Trouble

MORTON, JAMES J. (1862-1938)
Vaudeville's First Master of Ceremonies

MOSS, ERNIE (fl1940s-50s)
'E, I'm a Bad 'Un!

MURPHY & MACK (fl1934-44)
The Major's Reflection
Frank Murphy (d1944) and Ernest Mack (Ernest Madelle Stone) (c1885-?).  Murphy was at one time with FRED KARNO (1905-12).  The act showed a drunk whose shadow moved in opposite directions.

MURRAY & COHAN (fl1940s-50s)
Sense & Nonsense

MURRAY & HOBBS (fl1937-1950s)
Crazy People
Family names: John (Jack) Buchanan and his wife Connie Hobbs

MURRAY, ROB (1926-89)
Juggling under Protest

MY FANCY  (1878-1933)
The Finest Sand Dancer in the World
Winter, Spring and Summer
The World Renowned Dancer
Family name: Mae Rose Baker (Mrs Harry Bawn)

N

NAVARRE (fl1930s-40s)
International Prince of Mimics 
Alec Navarre went solo c1935.  His remarkable vocal versatility permitted impersonations of such diverse singers as the renowned Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), the equally renowned Irish tenor Count JOHN McCORMACK, and the French boulevardier Maurice Chevalier (1889-1972). 

NELSON, ARTHUR (1811-60)
The Clown King 

NIBLO, WALTER (fl1920s-50s)
The Mighty Atom
Yorkshire's Gift To Variety
Yorkshire's Premier Comedian
See BOY BRUCE. For persons of restricted growth see JIMMY CLITHEROE.

NIXON, DAVID (1919-78)
It's Magic
Mr Nixon was with the FOL De ROLS but became hugely popular through his television shows entitled It's Magic, whence his bill-matter.  This tall, balding, soft-spoken, undemonstrative conjurer left £124,944.

NIXON & DIXON
Never a Dull Moment
Noted at the  Empire, Edinburgh, w/c 19 November 1956.

NOLAN, MICHAEL (1867-1910)
The Prince of Irish Comedians
Married To AGNES HAZEL

NORTH & STOYLE
Radio's Bride and Groom
Jack North (1939?-61?) and Pat Stoyle

NORTON, GEORGE
Oceans of Notions

NORTON, MAC (1876-1953)
The eminent regurgitator was born in Lyons as Claude Louis Delair.  In Grace Beauty & Banjos we stated that
this remarkable artiste was a.k.a Harry Norton; we now know this to be erroneous, and that we confused Mac Norton with another regurgitator called Harry Morton.  The latter could down up to 300 small mugs of beer in his act; he was at his peak in the 1920s.  See HADJI-ALI.

NUFFIELD CENTRE

This establishment was founded and funded by Lord Nuffield to provide service personnel at a loose end in central London with a cheap meal and entertainment untainted by the moral hazards only too readily available, then as now, to the unwary.
    Originally in Piccadilly the Nuffield Centre moved to Adelaide Street behind St Martin-in-the-Fields, its doors offering a haven for many years after World War Two to National Servicemen.  Among the artistes who found the canteen a useful shop-window were ARTHUR ASKEY, MICHAEL BENTINE, Ronnie Corbett, TOMMY COOPER, CHARLIE DRAKE, JIMMY EDWARDS, BENNY HILL, FRANKIE HOWERD, BILL PERTWEE, Steve Race, and NORMAN WISDOM. 
    In the late 1950s we also worked there, not as an entertainer but as a kitchen-porter, cleaning the pots and scrubbing the floors.  In this menial work we shone, however, for within a very short time we had achieved promotion to the senior post available to part-timers: serving in the officers' mess.

O

OLGO (THE MIRACLE MIND) (1901-79)
The Mental Marvel 
a.k.a. Professor Olgo

O'NEILL, TERRY with PEGGY HAIG
Smile Awhile
Peggy Haig was Mrs Terry O'Neill.  Mr O'Neill's d.o.b. 12 December 1922.

ORTONS, THE FOUR (fl1920s-30s)
Following the Straight and Narrow Path
Wired Up for Laughs 

OVERBURY, REY (& SUZETTE)
The Musician with the Twinkling Feet
Suzette (d.16 October 1979) was Mrs Overbury.

OXFORDS, THE FIVE SENSATIONAL (fl1940s)
Comedy Football on Cycles
Was this act aka THE FIVE DYNAMOS qv?


P

PALMER, JAY (& DOREEN)
Jest Magic
Mr Palmer's dates: 1900-70.

PARK, LOLL (b1899)
The Lad of Laughter 
This entry also worked with his wife as Loll Park & Tina Trent (b c1900) Boosting the Women.

PARLA, ALICIA (1914-98)
Queen of Rumba

PARRY, RON (b1921)
PASTRANA, JULIAAs Sane As You Are

PASTRANA, JULIA (1832/4-1860)
The Baboon Lady

Born in the forests of Mexico with the face of an ape and a body covered with dense black hair.  Died in childbirth - her baby son was also thickly hirsute.  Both were embalmed and their corpses may be viewed, if such is your predilection, at the National Hopital in Oslo.  See JOE LAWRENCE.

PAUL (1857-1913)
The Handcuff King
Family name: Louis Braham
See HOUDINI

PAULINA, PRINCESS (1878-1895)
The Human Doll
The Living Doll
Paulina Musters was born in Dutch village of Ossendrecht. Achieved maximum height of 17 ins. Parents and siblings of normal height. Extremely pretty, charming and acrobatic.  Toured the world and swiftly accumulated a large fortune.

PAULINE & EDDIE (fl1950s)
The Chocolate Soldier on the Wire
We seem to recall seeing this bill-matter as The Chocolate Soldier on the Slack Wire; either our memory is at fault or the introduction of the Slack Wire was a later refinement.

PAYNE, FREDDY & PEGGY (fl 1930s)
Depression Dispellers 

PAYNE, HALL
The Disappointed Crooner 

PAYNE, MILLIE (c1890-1917)
The New Low Comedy Queen
So advertised in the (London) Entr'acte 20 April 1906

PAYNE, TOM
The World Famous Music-Athlete

PEABODY, EDDIE (1901-70)
King of the Banjo

PELL & LITTLE (fl late 1920s-50s)
A Pair but How Different
The Parson and the Kid
Stan Pell and Stan Little né Robert Stanley Thompson (1910-2000).  Stan Little originally billed as Just a Boy.

PENROSE & WHITLOCK
Making a Night of It
Charles Penrose (1876-1952) & Billy Whitlock (1875-1951).  These two artistes also recorded as The Jolly Jesters and The Two Old Sports.  As a solo artiste Mr Whitlock's bill-matter was The Phonetic Comedian.

PEREZOFFS, THE (fl1890-1910)
A Supper at Maxims 

PERMANES, THE (fl1920s-30s)
Tourtship
Charles `Tina' Permane (d. 15 May 1940) and Henri (d. 24 May 1939).
For other Nightingales see LILY AUSTIN.

PERTWEE, BILL (& MARION) (b1926)
Comedy Cocktail
Husband & wife team: Marion was at one time k.a. Miss Vitality

PETHERS, BILLY
The Man in the Chair

PETRIES, THE TWO (fl1890s)
Singing and Dancing Plantation Cane Dancers
Willie and Alfy

PHILIPPE, DON (& MARTA) (fl1940s-50s)
Design to Delight

PICON, MOLLY (1898?-1992)
New York Symphony 
Miss Picon may have been born as early as 1890.

PICTON, CHARLES  (fl1930s)
Britain's Wonder Voice

PIKE, Captain (fl c1890)
...with his Performing Fish

PIM'S NAVY  (fl1930s-40s)
The Bouncing Sailors

PIRATES, THE TWO (fl1940s)
Oh, No There Isn't!  Oh, Yes There Is!

PITCHER, ORVILLE
American Negro Comedian and Stump Orator
Mr Pitcher is known to have appeared at Argyle Theatre of Varieties Birkenhead w/c 1 October 1900. 
See UNSWORTH

PLATT, KEN  (1921-98)
Born in Leigh, Lancashire, this flat-capped comedian's celebrated catch-phrase was "I'll not take me coat off - I'm not stopping".  In his teens his bill-matter was The Pocket George Formby. Mr Platt declared that his twenty-two week run with HYLDA BAKER in Not on your Nellie at the North Pier Blackpool in 1976 was "a living nightmare".  Started with STARS IN BATTLEDRESS.

PONTI, FRANK P. (d. 23 September 1987)
The Vagabond Tenor

POTTER, MAUREEN
The Comedy Queen of the Gaiety
This was the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

POUISHNOFF, LEV (1891-1959)
The World's Greatest Chopin Player
Usually billed by surname only, this supreme pianist made his debut at the age of five.  His bill-matter dates from 1922, two years after leaving his native Russia.  Internationally acclaimed for masterly style and technique, Maestro Pouishnoff settled in England and was naturalized in 1931.

POUPÉE, LA PETITE  (d July? 1949) 
Doll of the Air 

POWELL, BARNEY
Xylophone Extraordinary
This entry appeared at the Palace Huddersfield for the w/c Monday March 1949.  Could he be Alfred John Baden-Powell (b 15 October 1900) who was also a xylophonist and at one time ran the A. J. Powell Banjo Octet?

PRAEGER, LOU
First broadcast Cruising Down the River on 30 July 1945, the winning entry (of 73,853) in a song-writing competition organised by the Hammersmith Palais.  The singer was Paul Rich (1921-2000).  Other vocalists with Praeger at this time were Lynn Shaw and Rita Carr.

PRESS, LESLIE  (fl. c1950s)
Magic with a Punch

PRETORIA (fl1920s-1930s)
The Gilded Shadow Girl 

PREVOST & BROWN (fl c1920s)
Watch the Corkscrew Kid
Eddie Prevost and Joe E. Brown (1892-1973)

PRYDE, PERCY (d. 1970)
...and his Phono-Fiddle

PYNE, LOUISE (1832-1904)
The English Sontag
Henriette Sontag (1806-54) was the finest German soprano of her day.


R

RADCLIFFE, JACK (1900-67)
Airdrie's Own Komik

RADIO REVELLERS, THE (fl1946-50s)
Four Men One Song
Founded by Art Reed 1935 as The Four Crotchets with Freddie Holmes (1914-2000), Harry Hawes and Jack Hazleton, this close-harmony Mills Brothers-style quartet turned professional as The Philco Four.  When their association with Philco Radio ceased in 1937 they became the Radio Revellers, only to disband on the outbreak of World War II during which Mr Hazleton died in action as a bomber pilot.  On the cessation of hostilities the quartet was revived with Messrs Reed and Holmes joined by Alwyn Fernhead and Stan Emeney (b1911).  Deciding to quit while at the top the group split up after appeaing in These Foolish Kings with the CRAZY GANG at the Victoria Palace.

RAF GANG SHOWS
Ralph Reader's celebrated Boy Scout Gang Shows were established in the 1930s;  his wartime Gang Shows were formed from serving RAF personnel to supply entertainment where Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) was unable to reach.  In 1946 Mr Reader linked up his organisation with STARS IN BATTLEDRESS to become Combined Services Entertainment (CSE).  Artistes in the shows included JOE BLACK, COX TWINS, BILLY DAINTY, REG DIXON, DICK EMERY, Sgt TONY HANCOCK, Rex Jameson (Mrs SHUFFLEWICK), David Lodge, Len Lowe, LAC ROBERT MORETON, Cpl PETER SELLERS, Cardew Robinson, Rex Roper, VICTOR SEAFORTH, Arthur Tolcher.

RAIE, HAL & FIELD, RAY
The Act of Tone and Note

RA-LESLIE, ETHEL (fl c1900-1910s)
The Famous Irish Beauty
King of Principal Boys
Queen of Comediennes
The third soubriquet was also used by MARIE LLOYD and LILY MORRIS.

RANDALL, LESLIE
A Fool Among Friends

RAOUL (b1897)
To Amuse and Confuse
Wonders without Words
In 1950 Ralph Chart was declaring himself to be Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star, Vice-President of International Brotherhood of Magicians, Fellow of Institute of Magicians (London), and a Member of Syndicat International des Artistes Prestidigitateurs (Paris).

RAUSCHLE
Impersonator of History Makers
This startlingly dull bill-matter was noted at the Oxford in Apr 1914.

RAYMOND, BOB E. (1904-85)
The Immaculate Feed
This artiste was, as his bill-matter implies, a light comedian.  We were apprised of his details by his son, that excellent actor Gary Raymond.

RAYMONDS, THE WRANGLING
Domestic Blitz

REDFERN, SAM (1851-1915)
The Black Boss of the Benighted Bohemians
Black-faced music hall writer/composer and performer of comic songs. Said to have been a strong influence on EUGENE STRATTON.

REDHEADS, THE THREE - see JEAN BAMBERGER

REID, BILLY (1902-74)
...and his Accordion Band with Dorothy Squires
With Miss Squires this entry was also billed as The Composer and The Voice. Other accordion bands popular in the 1930s-50s were MACARI and Primo Scala (1898-1955) ...and his Accordion Band. 
See DOROTHY SQUIRES

REID, DONALD (b c1890)
Breath of the Hielands

REID TWINS (b1923)
Britain's Ace Twin Act
Marjorie and Constance Reid

REILLY, BILLY
The Gallant Hussar

RENALDI & KARINA
The World's Oldest Acrobats
Wyn Smith (1917-98) and husband Reg (b1909)

RENNIE, FRANK
Irish Comedian and Champion Clog Dancer of Scotland 
See DAN LENO, VESTA VICTORIA, JOHN WILLIAMS for other clog dancing champions.

RETTER, DEZSO
The Man who Wrestles with Himself

REYNOL, TINY TOMMY (1922-2000)
A Half Pint of Fun

RHODES & LANE (fl1934-c52)
Comedy Dancing Racketeers
It's Alright for You!
Husband & wife team: Billy (Timperley) Rhodes (1914-67) and Chika Lane (1915-1996).  From 1934-6 Mr & Mrs Timperley teamed with Fred and Gladys Dell (later of THE DEHL TRIO) and Leslie Drecker as The Five Maloffs.

RICHARDS, NELLIE (1864-1932)
America's Pride
The American Violet

RINALDO (1884-1927)
The Wandering Violinist
Baptismal name: Joseph

RING, RUBY (1921-2002)
Mother of the Oversplit
Celebrated American contortionist, Ruby Norr D'Imperio's billmatter refers to a stunt in which she stood in a  backbend with her feet on two chairs and then slid them apart.

RISKIT, JACK `DENTAL' (1879-c1954)
The drag appearance alluded to under BARBETTE was a short-lived interlude in Australia in 1902, just a brief part of a lengthy career as gymnast and aerialist.  With his first wife Holly King (1888-1918) whom he married in 1906 John Richard Evans devised an act in 1914 k.a. The Dental Riskits, a title suggested by HARRY LAUDER.  After Holly died he continued the act until 1938 with his second wife Betty (1897-1986). Ended his career as manager of the Theatre Royal, Bilston, West Midlands. See lengthy entry in Who's Who in Variety (1950).

RISTORI, HARRY (& PARTNER)  (fl1920s)
Must be a Topping Act 
Punch, Personality & Pep
Comedian, Protean artiste and dancer Harry Ristori (or Ristorie) died in 1974.  Starting in the family act (Protti), he later worked for many years with his wife Marjorie Fitzalan (1904-89) and Harry & Marjorie Ristori.

RITCHIE, ADELE (1874-1930)
The Dresden China Doll 

ROBBINS, JEAN  (1904-77)
The Girl with Possibilities
Mr Robbins was a female impersonator

ROBERTS, LOUIS (b1899)
The Tatler

ROBINSON, W. V. (1871-1926)
The Canadian Entertainer
Married Lily Smith, swimmer.

ROGERS, HOWARD  (d1971?)
Not So Bad 
The Popular Padre 

ROGERS, JOHN R. (1842-1932)
Yours Merrily

ROMAINE, CLAIRE (1873-1964)
London's Pet Boy

ROMARK (1927-83)
Family name: Ronald Markham
Served a prison term for forging his mother's signature on cheques.  BOB MONKHOUSE claims to have given up smoking due to Romark's hypnotic powers.

ROME, LESLIE & LEONARD, CONNIE (fl c1930s-40s)
All in Fun
See WISER & WARD

RONEZ
The Broken Cellist.  Only Man in the World Playing Cello and Walking About!

ROSE, WILL
The Radical Representative
fl. late 19th cent?

ROSS, MAUDE (d. 6 February 1922)
Serio-Comedienne & Top-Boot Dancer
For other serios see ANNIE ADAMS

ROUSE, WILLIE (1877-1928)
Wireless Willie

ROXY, AL (& GLENDA) (fl1940s-50s)
The Hick and his Chick

ROY, HARRY (AND HIS BAND)   (1900-71)
Ambassadors of Mirth & Music
The King of Hot-Cha
See IVOR MORETON & DAVE KAYE

ROY, SONNY (b1922)
The Funny Boy
Worked for many years with FRANK RANDLE

ROZE, LELIA (fl c1900)
A Dressing-Room Dream

RUSSELL, BERT (fl 1930s-1940s)
Dusky Prince, The
A Man of Many Parts
Another Man of Many Parts was Max Imber.

RUSTY & SHINE
Messengers of Mirth 
See Clark & Ritchie (BICYCLE ACTS)

S

SABEL, JOSEPHINE (1866-1945)
American Eccentrique

SABU (1924-63)
The Elephant Boy

SADLER, FREDDIE (d. 21 April 1994)
It's in the Gag
The Wit to Woo 

ST CLAIR, BUNTY (b1928)
Neatest of the Neat
Staircase Dancer
Family name: Valerie St Clair Bell

ST CLAIR, F. V. (1860-1922)
The Human Song Machine
Vocalist and prolific topical song writer. One of his effusions in 1915 was Kitchener! Stand By Him, to be followed in 1916 by the melancholy Kitchener! Gone But Not Forgotten.

ST CYR, LILI (1917-99)
The Most Beautiful Body in the U.S.A.
The Anatomic Bomb

SALAMONSKY (fl c1900s) 
The Golden Knight 

SALES, FREDDIE (1920-94)
Selling the Goods 
Family name: F. Harry Walker

SALMO, `Happy' HARRY
The Australian Laugher 

SAMUELS, RAE (1887-1979)
The Blue Streak of Vaudeville
A Blue Streak of Lightning
Miss Samuels' repertoire included our favourite song-title: It Takes  Long Tall Brown-Skin Gal to Make a Preacher Lay his Bible Down (1906), sung by this white artiste in black face.
.

SANBORN, FRED (& CO) (d. 15 March 1961)

The Speechless Comic

SANDERS, LANE
Drunk of Drunks
For other stage inebriates see JOHNNY COOPER

SANDS, BILLY (1911-84)
The Little Bundle of Comedy 

SANTLEY, JOSEPH (1886/9-1971)
America's Greatest Boy Actor

SAUNDERS, SAM
The Toole of the Music Halls 
J. L. Toole (1830-1906) was Britain's best-loved low comedian.

SAVONAS, THE SEVEN MUSICAL  - see The Elliotts & Savonas (BICYCLE ACTS)
J. B. Elliott (founder) d. 22 May 1906, Ralph Elliott d. 7 Aug 1909, Thomas Elliott d. 2 Sep 1929, May Elliott d. 5 Sep 1929.

SCOTT, TERRY (1927-94)
The More You Laugh
The most unpleasant and gratuitously offensive man we have ever had the misfortune to work with. His bullying and rudeness took our breath away, yet his wife, whom he betrayed publicly and humiliatingly, was the nicest woman imaginable. The More You Laugh was spotted on a 1954 poster for the New Tivoli, Hull.

SCOTT, TONY `Silly Thing' (b1922)
Basic Boloney

SEAFORTH, VICTOR (b1917)
The Man of a Thousand Voices
The number of voices depended upon the whim of his agent or the theatre manager where he was playing;  as well as a thousand it could vary between ninety-nine, a hundred, or a hundred and one.  Mrs Seaforth was on the Halls as Suma of Johnny Lamonte (& Suma) (JUGGLERS).
See PAUL J. BARNES, HAROLD BERENS, MEL BLANC, JOAN TURNER

SEAL, DAVID (1849-98)
Champion Leaper of the World
Prince of Jesters

SEARS, GEORGE W. (1840?-1868)
The Lion King
See THE GREAT CARTER

SEATON & O'DELL
Tumbling Tomboys 

SEDDON, MOLLIE
A Thrill to your Eyes, Ears and Heart

SEEL, CHARLES (d. 20 December 1903)
A Man of Many Characters

SEELEY & WEST
The Nigger and the White Man
W. R. Seeley and Jack West.   Bill Seeley (black-face) married the hugely popular Music Hall male impersonator Bessie BONEHILL (1855-1902).  Jack West was her eldest son by her first husband Lou Abrahams, manager of The Queen's Poplar, East London.  In the (London) Entr'acte  for 13 April 1906 Seeley & West are advertised as Comedians & Instrumentalists.  A Funny Study in Black and White.

SEELEY, BURTON
Radio's Toreador
Quite what a 'radio toreador' did to entertain remains unknown.  This entry appeared with Blanche Coleman and her Girls Band at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, for the w/c 22 April, 1946.

SEELEY, FRANK (d. 11 March 1913)
Unrelated to the above, this entry started on the Halls with his brother Fred as Heeley and Hallam.   He later became a popular comic soloist who died leaving a daughter and a wife, WINIFRED WARD.  He was son-in-law of Mrs Will Poluski, and brother-in-law of Gus & Lottie McNaughton and of Will jnr and Sam Poluski.  See Sing Us One of the Old Songs for his repertoire.  Also see PETER FANNAN.

SEGAL, HARRY (d. 29 May 1963)
Fugitive from a Brainstorm 
As Sapper Harry Segal in a World War II troop show his bill-matter was He Who Gets Slapped, a reference to the traditional commedia dell'arte fall-guy.

SELTZER, HARRY (1909-2004)
The Snappy Chappy
This artiste also on occasion spelled his name Selser.  Began as boy ventriloquist with Casey's Court.

SEMPRINI, ALBERT (1908-1990)
Born in Bath of an English mother and an Italian father this tinkler of light classics was usually billed, a shade pretentiously, by his surname only. 

SENTER, BOYD (b1899)
The Jazzologist Supreme 

SETZ, VAL (b. 1 November 1911)
The Talking Juggler

SHAMVAS, THE (fl c1940)
Pastimes of the West

SHAND, Sir JIMMY (1908-2000)
The Laird o' Muchty
Not the least of this button-board accordionist's honours was in 1998 to be made first Freeman of the Kingdom of Fife.

SHAW, AL (1894-57)
...and his Blue Hawaiians

SHELTON, ANNE (1923-94)
The Golden Voice of Two Continents

SHERIDAN, ANN (1916-67)
The Oomph Girl 

SHIELDS, JIMMY (1861-1933)
One-legged dancer & comedian
See PEG-LEG BATES

SHIELS, HARRY (1906-1980)
The Minister of Enjoyment
Family name: Thomas Dowell

SHIRLEY, JUDY (1907-96)
The Singing Commere

SHRIMPTON, BERT (b1893)
The Musical K'nut 

SINCLAIR, PETER (1900-94)
Cock of the North
See KEN DODD

SISSLE, NOBLE (1889-1975)
The Ace of Syncopation
Black American lyricist, singer and record producer.  Also ran a band called Sissle's Sizzling Syncopators.

SKYROCKETS ORCHESTRA (fl1942-50s)
Music in the Modern Manner 
Founded in 1942 from volunteer RAF musicians, this ensemble stayed together after demobilisation as a co-operative, playing regularly on BBC Radio, at the London Palladium, and in three consecutive Royal Variety Performances (1946-8).  Paul Fenhoulet (1905-80), who had been with CARROLL GIBBONS and JACK HYLTON, was elected first musical director and Les Lambert the first business manager. Paul Fenhoulet was succeeded in 1947 by Woolf Phillips (1919-2003).

SLAP, JOHNNY
Entertainment with Balls
This gentleman is, of course, a juggler.

SLAUGHTER, BESSIE (fl c1910)
The Phenomenal Contralto

SLOAN, FRED  (fl1950s)
The Voice of the Forest 

SLYTER, CLARENCE  (fl1930s-40s)
A Magician's Night Out

SMETHURST, ALLAN (1927-2000)
The Singing Postman
Enjoyed a brief vogue in the 1960s with comic songs performed in his native Norfolk dialect, including I Miss My Miss From Diss, Oi Can't Get A Noice Loaf Of Bread, and his biggest hit which won an Ivor Novello award for best novelty song in 1966 Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy?.  Alas, Mr Smethurst suffered from severe stage fright and spent his last twenty years as an alcoholic in a Salvation Army hostel in Grimsby.

SMITH, BESSIE (1895-1937)
Empress of the Blues

SMITH BROTHERS, THE FIVE (fl1932-60s)
Mr & Mrs Smith's Five Little Boys
Close harmony singing group: Alfred Roy Smith (b1912) with his brothers Martin, Harold Andrew (b1916), Roy (b1918) and Stanley (b1914).  Martin was killed in a car accident in 1936 and replaced by Ronnie Culbertson (b1919).

SOLDIERS IN SKIRTS
Every Hit a Miss
Post-World War II all-male revue.  Alumni include DANNY LA RUE and MRS SHUFFLEWICK, also Louis Hayden, Eric Lloyd The Forces Sweetheart, and Ronnie Stewart.
See SPLINTERS

SONYA (fl1940s-50s)
Lady of Lions
Sometimes billed as Sonya Allen
See ELLEN BLIGHT, PAULINE DE VERE, CLAIRE HELIOT, POLLY HILTON

SOTHERN, KAY (fl1940s-50s)
A Smile and a Song
See DICKIE HENDERSON 

SPARKS, Prof (and THELMINA)  (fl1940s-50s)
Washing The Electric Baby
We dimly recall the Professor asking for a gentleman volunteer from the audience.  The hapless individual would then be asked to bath a `baby', a doll wired up to an electrical current.  The volunteer's contortions as he endeavoured to fulfil his task roused the greatest hilarity.  Either the entire act was phoney, volunteer included, or if genuine appallingly dangerous.

SPARROW, MARIE
The Irish Bird 

SPEAR, BERNARD (b1919)
Appointment with Spear 
This billing inspired by the spine-chilling BBC Radio 1940s drama series Appointment with Fear 

SPENCE & DAVIES
Nearly Musicians
John Richard Spence and William Charles Davies (b c1900?)

SPINK & SPINK (fl c1890)
The Nautical Knockabouts
Albert George Spink (1869-1947) and brother Fred.  From the 1890s Albert worked as Dandy George & Dog Rosie.  M. (1) Ena Bertoldi (see QUEEN OF...) (2) Lilian Ethel Newman (c1894-1953), singer/dancer.   Dandy George & Rosie appeared in a version of their stage act in a pioneering British sound film in 1927.

SPLINTERS (fl1918-37)
This revue group was formed by soldiers serving in France in 1918.  Originally k.a. The Splinters, they became Les Rouges et Les Noirs in 1919 but toured Britain until the late 1930s as Splinters, the personnel remaining exclusively male.  Its World War II counterpart - SOLDIERS IN SKIRTS  - never achieved the same éclat.  Artistes who appeared in Splinters include SYDNEY HOWARD, Chris Shinfield (FORD & SHEEN), Reg Stone, Hal Jones, Harry Tracey, Dan Richards, Bina Leopold, Roy Byng, Gus Aubrey, Jimmy Slater, Vivian Taylor, and George Ellisa The Perfect Lady.  In 1928 the show was touring as Super Splinters. Other all-male revues which toured in the post-World War II years largely featuring ex-servicemen were Forces Showboat, Forces in Petticoats, Boys Will Be Girls, Misleading Ladies, This Was The Army, and Tokyo Express. In 1929 a film version of Splinters starred Reg Stone, Nelson Keys, Hal Jones, Lew Lake, and SYDNEY HOWARD.
See THE CO-OPTIMISTS, THE FOL De ROLS, THE RAF GANG SHOWS, STARS IN BATTLEDRESS.

SPURGATS, THE THREE (fl1932-5)
The Crystal Wonders 
From 1929 Leo Spurgat and Walter Pozorski (see WALTER COLBERG) were k.a. Leo & Walter, changing to The Three Spurgats when Leo's wife joined the act in 1932.  Identical bill-matter was displayed by The Colbergs (fl1936-50s): Walter Colberg (Pozorski) (b1904) and his step-daughter who retired on her marriage in 1946.  Her successor's name is not known.

SQUIRES, DOROTHY (1914-98)
Miss Squires was celebrated as much for her bitter, cantankerous and combative nature as for her singing.  Her strident glamour, court-room theatrics and excesses of her private life made her a gay icon, and, according to a gay acquaintance of ours, the sibilance of the audience at her London Palladium concerts made the stalls of that great auditorium sound like 'a snake-pit'.  Four years after her death John Lloyd, the Hon Sec of the Dorothy Squires Fan Club, described her in print as The Iron Lung of Show Business, a very rum encomium indeed.
See JOYCE GOLDING, BILLY REID

STAFFORD, STAN (fl c1950s)
The Silver Voiced Navvy
Harry Coates (fl1880s-1900s) was, less vaingloriously, The Singing Navvy.

STANFORD & McNAUGHTON
Wise Jesters

STANLEY, GWLADYS (d1974)
Queen of English Pantomime 
Married the renowned pantomime impresario FRANCIS LAIDLER.

STANLEY, NORMAN (fl. c1950)
He's Clean Crazy

STAPLETON, CYRIL (1913-74)
Mr Music
Another popular British conductor of light music billed as Mr Music was Eric Robinson (1909-74).

STARR, HARRY (1868-1952)
The Sweet Singer of Two Worlds
Family name: Henri Rostand

STARS IN BATTLEDRESS (1942-1946)
A.k.a. The Central Pool of Artists, Stars in Battledress were an organisation of Army personnel founded by Captain George Black RA, Major W. H. (Bill) Alexander, and Lt Col A. Basil Brown who entertained their comrades-in-arms where the civilian performers of ENSA could not penetrate.  In 1946 SIB joined with Ralph Reader's RAF GANG SHOWS as Combined Services Entertainment (CSE).  The Royal Navy, being largely at sea, had no equivalent and was reliant for its own marine-flavoured entertainment on special broadcasts and the Navy Welfare Organisation of whom Jon Pertwee was a modest-sized wheel.
     SIB personnel included Harry Benet (VENTRILOQUISTS), Faith Brook, Janet Brown, CHARLIE CHESTER, Kenneth Connor, Margaret Courtenay, Frederick Ferrari (see CHARLIE CHESTER), MORTON FRASER, SPIKE MILLIGAN, SID MILLWARD, Stella Moray, Ken Morris, KEN PLATT, CARDEW ROBINSON, RONNIE RONALDE, HARRY SECOMBE, DON SMOOTHEY, TERRY-THOMAS, Bruce Trent, JACK TRIPP, REG VARNEY, and NORMAN VAUGHAN.

STEFFANI (1904-74)
...and his Silver Songsters
Originally k.a. Freddie Northcoat, Frederick William Wisker began his professional career as a pianist and singer.  His Silver Songsters were founded in 1933; their success was founded perhaps on novelty rather than any inherent musical excellence, for boys' choirs were a rarity on the Halls. (The only precedent we know of is The Eton Boys Choir, a twenty strong group under the guidance of Bert Collins, which flourished ca1916-ca1930.)  Nevertheless they toured widely both in the UK and on the Continent; they made records, appeared in a feature film, and made numerous radio broadcasts.  A celebrated alumnus of the Songsters was RONNIE RONALDE, who soon became the troupe's star performer. Another was NORMAN VAUGHAN. The COX TWINS also began their careers as part of the 21-voice group.  After the Second World War stringent new regulations concerning child performers made the act unviable and the Songsters chirruped their last in 1947.  Mr Steffani then became then became RONALDE's manager and accompanist, even following the eminent siffleur into retirement on Guernsey.

STETSON, CLIFF (1913-97)
The Mad Hatter

STEVENS, ROY (fl1940s-60s)
The Whispering Pianist
See WINIFRED ATWELL

STEWART & MATHEW
Perpetual Commotion
Noted at the Empire, Edinburgh, w/c 19 November 1956.

STOCKS, JACK (1888-1950)
The Woman Hater
Family name: J. W. Hibbert 

STOLTZ, ROBERT (1880-1975)
The Last of the Waltz Kings

STONE, REG (d. mid-1960s)
A Lady of Quality 
See BARBETTE

STOOGES, THE THREE
Moe (Horwitz) Howard (1897-1975) and his brothers Shemp (Samuel) (1895-1955) and Curly (Jerome) (1903-52).  From 1917 Shemp and Moe worked as a double act, to be joined in 1922 by Ted Healy (Charles Earnest Nash) (1886-1937).  The next three decades saw many comings, goings and re-groupings, Larry Fine (Louis Fineberg) (1902-75) becoming involved from 1925 and Joe Besser (1907-88) from 1955.

STOREY, JACK
I Told You, Didn't I?
Ya Do, Don't Ya!
You Do, Don't You!
Could this have been Jack Story, husband of PHYLLIS DIXEY?

STRAND, JACK (1897-1981)
The Cherry Comedian

STRANGE, LESLIE (fl1940s)
Never the Same Man Twice

STUTHARD, JOE & KAY
Canadian Funatics 
Edgar Joseph Stuthard (b. 16 September 1911) and his wife (?)

SULLIVAN, DAN  (1861-1914)
The Tipperary Wonder 
The Wonder of the Age
See Marzella (ANIMAL & BIRD ACTS)

SUMMERS, JILL (1930-90)
Summers Here!

SURRATT, VALESKA (1882-1962)
The Belle of the Boulevards

SWAIN, HAL (1894-1966)
...and his Swing Sisters 
Mr Swain and his saxophonistes toured the Halls "to great acclaim" in 1949.
See LES ALLEN.

SWEET, CHARLES R.
The Tramp Burglar 

SWOR & MACK - see MORAN & MACK

T

TALLIEU, MADAME
The Distinguished Prestidigitatrice
The Only Female Magician in England
Noted at the Cremorne Gardens, 1852

TENUTA, JUDY (fl c1950)
Goddess of Comedy

TERRENCE TWINS, THE (fl1930s)
Twists & Turns
Fifi (Ethelia Frances-Holmes) and Babs

TERRY SISTERS, THE (fl1930s)
There Are No Others 
Violet Terry (b1912 - Mrs Johnnie Riscoe) and her sister.
At one time billed as The Terry Sisters & PEGGY DESMOND

TERRY TWINS, THE (fl1910s)
The Duplicate Comedians who Cannot be Duplicated
Together We Stand Alone 
These artistes were identical twins.  One was Frank, who died 5 Oct 1951 aged 67.

THACKRAY, JAKE (1938-2002)
The Yorkshire Noel Coward

THELMA, Mdlle (fl c1900s)
The Original Lady Clay Modeller

THOMAS, ALF (1878-1957)
Mrs Thomas's Favourite Husband
100% British
The Peal of Frivolity

THOMAS, GWEN
A Queen Among Vocalists and a Ruling Power in the World of Song

THOMPSON TRIO, THE (fl1884-98)
Refined Musical Jokes
Harry G. Thompson (1850-1937), his wife Mary Horwood a.k.a. Marie Mandeville (1852-1914) and their son PERCY HONRI.  From 1890 k.a. The Royal Thompson Trio. 

TIMOTHY, AL
Mr Excitement 

TOOK, BARRY (1928-2002)
The Lanky Londoner, London's Longest Laugh
Mr Took was 6ft 2ins.  See obituaries in The Times and The Independent for 1 April 2002.  See CARROLL LEVIS, DONALD B STUART.

TORBAY, CHARLES (fl1910s)
Comedy Silhouettist

TOSTIA, LA  (fl1900s)
The World's Greatest Mandolinist 

TRACY, LOUIE (1883-1952)
The Dapper Dandy Boy
Sang such titles as Wait Till I'm As Old As Father and The Bad Boy of the Family.

TREE, Mr & Miss (fl1920s)
The Miss Tree Mystree
Musical Mentalists
In Lord Delfont's Curtain Up! The Story of the Royal Variety Performance - disgracefully lacking an index - a photograph purporting to be Mr Tree, who took part in the 1925 show, is in fact a photograph of the great actor Beerbohm Tree.  How Sir Herbert would have laughed!

TRENET, CHARLES  (1913-2001)
Le Fou Chantant
This bye-name we have seen translated as The Singing Madman, which does not really capture M. Trenet's especial flavour.  The artiste wrote over six hundred songs including Boum and La Mer, the latter being used at one time by Japanese radio as its signature tune.  Such are the sometimes wayward ramifications of fame and talent.

TROJA (fl1890s)
The Electric Spark
This entry was a vaudeville chanteuse whose repertoire included such dubious titles as Oh, She Knows a Bit and She'll Never Have The Chance Again.
See MINNIE FARRELL

TUBB, ERNEST (1910-84)
The Texas Troubador 

TUCKER, LORENZO (1907-86)
The Colored Valentino 
The film actor Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) epitomised smouldering cinematic sex-appeal.

TURNER, FLORENCE (1885-1946)
The Vitagraph Girl
Vitagraph was a leading Hollywood film company in the 1920s and 1930s.

TURPIN, BEN (1874-1940)
The Happy Hooligan
After many years as a slapstick vaudevillian this entry enjoyed a lengthy career as a film comedian, his boss eyes being especially effective in camera close-up.  In 1933 his private address was 602, Kenyon Drive, Hollywood, California.

TYLER, RICH (fl c1910)
The Whistling Ventriloquist

U

ULRICK (1866-1950)
The Barrel King & Trancka Wonder
Trancka = trinka - see Professor RISLEY

V

VALENTINE, DICKIE (1930-71)
Britain's Top Singing Personality

VALLEE, RUDY (1901-86)
...with his Connecticut Yankees

VALLIERE (and Assistants) (fl c1930)
The Modern Eve
The Venus of Vaudeville

VAN BIENE, AUGUSTE (1849-1913)
The Actor Musician
Born Ezekiel van Biene in Amsterdam.  Discovered by Michael da Costa playing cello in the street and given job playing in Covent Garden opera orchestra.  Became musical director at the Gaiety.  Went on Halls with dramatic musical sketches, one of which, The Broken Melody, ended with him dying over his cello as the curtain fell.  On Thursday, 23 January 1913, at the Brighton Hippodrome, with exquisite timing, he actually did die as the curtain fell.  His great-grandson, the actor Roland MacLeod, to whom I am indebted for this information also tells me that Auguste 'spread his image about a bit', and that a letter from Bransby Williams said 'Whenever I was on the bill with Van Biene he always seemed to have a different Mrs Van Biene with him'.  

VANCE, CLARICE (1871-1961)
The Southern Singer 
Born Louisville, Kentucky.  Unusually tall.  Married (and divorced) Mose Gumble, head of Remick Music Publishing.  Died unknown in an institution some forty years after retiring.  What happened in those intervening years is a mystery.

VAN DER VENN (fl c1930s)
...and his Dutch Band
See MACARI and Happy FANNY FIELDS for other Nederlanders.

VANDY (fl c1900)
England's Greatest Juggler
The Novelty of Novelties

VARICK, DOROTHY (fl c1920)
The English Diseuse 
The titles of some of this entry's recitations give an idea of the nature of her art: Reflections of a Penny, Soliloquy of the Fire, and We 'Ain't 'Arf Proud o' Dad.

VARONA, OLGA (1921-2004)
Australia's Queen of the Air 

VAUGHAN, FRANKIE (1928-99)
Mr Moonlight
Mr Show Biz
See VIC OLIVER

VELDA & VANN (fl1925-50s)
Comically Concocting Comedy
Emely (Crosbie) Velda (b1906) & Thomas Valintine Wood k.a. Tony Vann (b1893).  Miss Velda was originally one of Miss Clara Coverdale's Nine Dainty Dots.

VENTO (1832-99)
The Squire of Haslemere
Family name: Harry Aylward

VERDINI (1909-94)
L'As Des Prestidigitateurs
Continental Magician
b. Frank Hladik in Stara-Vozice, Czechoslovakia.

VERNON, HARRIETT (1852-1923)
The Prince of Principal Boys
Cheer Up, Buller!, The Grand Old British Lion, and Sailor Jack were three typical songs from this strapping artiste's extensive repertoire.  General Sir Redvers Buller VC fought in China (1860), in the Red River expedition (1870), in the Ashanti War (1874), the Kaffir War (1878),  the Zulu War (1879) and the Boer War where he raised the siege of Ladysmith (1900).

VERONICA, Mdlle (fl1930s)
The World's Champion/Fastest High Kicker
Family name: Veronica Evans

VERSATILE THREE, THE (fl1920s)
London's Favourite Society Entertainers
A. A. Haston, C. W. Mills, A. Tuck;  also Julius Maceo Covington (1891-1927).  There was also a favourite ensemble called The Versatile Five, whose signature tune was Thanks a Million.  They were favourites on BBC radio and the Stoll-Moss variety circuit, as well as making numerous recordings.  Their pianist, Jack Wilson, died 12 January, 2006, aged 98, but whether the two ensembles had any connection with each other we do not know.

VICTOR, ERIC (fl1920s)
?The Unique Lady?
Another female impersonator to use interrogatives was ?Lind? (see BARBETTE).

VICTORY, JOHNNY (fl1940s-60s)
Scotland's Son of Fun

VINCENT, ROBBIE (1895-1968)
Enoch of BBC Radio's `Happidrome'
See CASEY'S COURT, HARRY KORRIS

VINING, LOUISA
The Infant Sappho
See NELLY LENNOX & KATE RALEIGH

VOLTAIRE (1910-86)
Out of this World
Family name: Bobby Arrendoff. 
See FRED ALLEN

W

WAKEFIELD, DUGGIE (1899-1951)
...and his Gang 
Married Edie, sister of GRACIE FIELDS

WALDEN, HAROLD (1889-1955)
Daft and Proud of It
Only Me Knows Why
That's All

WALKER, JOHNNY  (1885-1924)
The Spirit That Cheers 

WALKER & MAY
These 'Coloured comedians and dancers' are featured on page 6 of the 20 January 1906 edition of the (London) Entr'acte;  Walker is stated to be 'stone blind'. 

WALKER & WILLIAMS (fl1893-1909)
Two Real Coons
George W. Walker (1873-1911) and Egbert (Bert) Austin Williams (1874-1922).  Sometimes billed as Williams & Walker.
See G. H. ELLIOTT

WALLENDAS, THE GREAT (fl1922-78)
For the 1935-6 London season k.a. The Five Carlos.  This most celebrated of all highwire troupes included the founder Karl Wallenda (1905-78), his wife Helen (trampled to death in the 1944 Big Top fire in Hartford, Connecticut), his brothers Willi (1906-36), who died in a fall, and Herman (1902-85).  Other Wallendas were Joseph, Herman's son Gunther (1927-96), Margarita Caudillo (Gunther's wife, killed 1959 after a fall), Gene Mendez, Jane Schepp, and Yetta (1920-63) who was also killed - her husband was Karl's half-brother, Arthur Grotofent.
    In 1962 there were two deaths in performance - Richard Faughman, 29, and Dieter Schepp, 23 - and Mario, Karl's adopted son, was paralysed in the same incident.  Another member of the troupe was killed 1972 and Karl also met his death in a fall in 1978, finally releasing the family from his Svengali-like thrall.

WALLER, FATS (1904-43)
The World's Greatest Rhythm Pianist 

WALSH, MAGGIE (fl1900s)
The Lancashire Mill Girl
The Singing Mill Girl
Blazed a trail for GRACIE FIELDS to follow. Also see JACK HYLTON.

WALSH, SAM (1877-1920)
The Actor at the Piano 
See WINIFRED ATWELL

WARD, BERT (1908-83)
The Gay Deceiver
Cardi was another Gay Deceiver, as was Saphrim (MAGICIANS).

WARD, MARION  (d c1892)
The Fair Unknown 

WARD, WINIFRED (c.1880-1975)
The Immaculate Boy
Daughter of Will Poluski senior.  At one time worked with sister Lottie as the Sisters Govett.  Married FRANK SEELEY.  For repertoire see Sing Us One of the Old Songs.

WARREN, RUSTY (b1930)
The Knockers Up Gal
This lady's exhibition was not, as has often been suggested, as a Lassie from Lancashire awakening mill workers by knocking on their bedroom windows with a long pole, but something far removed from so innocent and valuable a public service. Miss Warren (nee IIene F. Goldman) was a New Yorker who, we regret to report, revelled in the grosser passions, and the female bosom featured largely in her patter.  `Knockers up!  Knockers up!  Come on girls, get those shoulders back, get those knockers up!  Now, doesn't that make your navel tingle?'
      The artiste referred to herself as open, brash and aggressive, though never vulgar.  In 1978 Miss Warren received a Woman of the Year Humanitarian Award from the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

WATSON, CHARLES (c1831-61)
The Hibernian Clown & American Jester 

WATSON, LAURIE (fl1940s)
Lancashire's Living Marionette 

WE THREE (fl1920s)
Styles & Smiles
Sisters Susie (d16 Jan 1966) and Dorothy Belmore with Vera Vere

WEBKIN & KRISTINA (fl1950s)
Remnant Revelry

WELCH, LESLIE (1907-80)
The Memory Man 

WELLINGTONS, THE TWO
Versatility Unlimited 
Henry Thomas Clark (b1894) and his son Henry Thomas Clark jr (b1920)

WELLS, BILLY (1909-89)
The Second Hand Rose of Washington Square
This was the Billy Wells who presented a drag act, not the US vaudevillian Billy Wells (1900-49) nor Bombadier Billy Wells (1888-1967), a British boxing champion who went on the Halls.

WENSLEY & DALE (fl1920s)
Snacks of Versatility
Ivy Wensley and Leslie Dale appear to have died in 1966 in Florida where they had been settled for some years.

WENTLEY, W. P.
The White Highlander 

WENTWORTH, FANNY (c1849-1934)
At The Piano 
See WINIFRED ATWELL

WENTWORTH, WALTER  (b c1925)
Packanatomicalization
This artiste was a contortionist who married Miss Grantly The Albino Princess.

WEST, ALF (fl1910s)
Silence is Fun 

WEST, BILLY (fl1938-50s)
...and his Harmony Boys
Family name: William Fretwell (b1903).  This soi-disant producer-pianist-comedian is not to be confused with the Chaplin impersonator of the same name.

WEST, MAE (1888?-1980)
Vaudeville's Youngest Headliner
Originally k.a. Baby Mae and The Baby Vamp.  At one time this vigorously libidinous artiste was billed as The Original Brinkley Girl. Nell Brinkley (1886-1944) was a popular American newspaper cartoonist and magazine illustrator.

WESTERN, GEORGE (d. 1857)
The Great Western
The Great Western Railway, then still in its inchoate state, but well enough known to provide this artiste with his bill-matter.

WHEATLEY, MAUD (b. 25 September 1890)
Youngest sister of MARIE LLOYD; worked a double act with brother Sydney Wood (b 1 April 1885).

WHEELER & WILSON (fl1929-41 and 1945-9)
The Sailor & The Porter
JIMMY WHEELER and his father Ernie Wilson (family name: Remnant).  Frank Wheeler of the original Wheeler & Wilson team died 29 February 1924, and it would appear that some five years later `Wilson' revived the act with his son.

WHIDDEN, JAY & CONRAD, CON
Ragtime Royalty 
Con Conrad (1889-1938)

WHITE & SIMONE (fl1940s)
Comedy in Cameo
This team comprised the versatile Jack Le White (1912-1999) and his second wife Pauline Fairchild.  A son of the great HENRY WHITELEY, Mr Le White was thoroughly trained in many of the circus disciplines as an acrobat, tightrope walker, clown, and musician.  In later life he became a familiar figure on the nation's television screens as a capable character actor, being especially remembered as Grandad in BBCtv'sThe Liver Birds

WHITEFORD, JOCK (1877-1951)
The Electric Scot
The Scotch Coon
This gentleman's repertoire of songs included The Football Match and Keep On Doing It Sandy.

WHITFIELD, DAVID (1925-80)
Though vastly popular this strangulated tenor, who was discovered as a £7 a week builder's labourer, had the stage personality of a bollard.  Mr Whitfield's fortunes took a very swift downturn when the Great British Public was apprised of his penchant for underage girls.

WHITLOCK, BILLY - see PENROSE & WHITLOCK

WHYTE, MAVIS (fl 1950s-60s)
She's Got Everything
The Tiddley-Winkie Girl 
In March 1955 this entry's photograph was stolen from a 'padlocked showcase from the front of the Oldham Empire. She thinks it might be connected witrh mysterious boxes of chocolates she had been received.' - The Stage

WILEY, DORA (1853-1924)
The Sweet Singer from Maine

WILLANE (1900-1955)
The Immaculate Inebriate
See JOHNNY COOPER

WILLIAMS, Master ERSKINE (fl1880s-90s)
The Baby Lightning Cartoonist

WILLIAMS, ESTHER (1921-2000)
Hollywood's Mermaid
Queen of the Surf

WILLIAMS, FRANK (1882?-1940?)
The Evening Shadow

WILLIAMS, HERB  (1884-1936)
The Funniest Man in the World  
Billed as such at the Hippodrome, Brighton, 1928.  Born in Philadelphia, Herbert Schussler Billerbeck was renowned for his collapsing piano act.  Others similarly billed were WILKIE BARD, TOM BURKE, DAN LENO and ROBB WILTON.

WILLIAMS, JOHN (fl1880s-?)
The Transatlantic Comedian and Champion Clog-Dancer of the World 
See DAN LENO, FRANK RENNIE and VESTA VICTORIA for other claimants to clog dancing superiority.

WILLIAMS, KEITH
Billed at the Pleasure Gardens Folkestone in March 1947 as The Man About Town.

WILLIAMS, LEN (b1910)
The Joke Salesman
See REG BOLTON

WILLIAMS, NELLIE (LITTLE NELL)  (1858-1923)
The California Diamond 

WILLIAMS, NORA
America's Whistling Songstress 
See SIFFLEURS & SIFFLEUSES

WILLIAMS, OSWALD
England's Foremost Illusionist

WILLIAMS & WALKER - see WALKER & WILLIAMS

WILLS, NAT M. (1873-1917)
The Happy Tramp
See C. E. EDWARDS

WILSON, ALY (b1909)
It's Clean Anyway! 

WILSON, CHARLIE (1881?-1922?)
The Loose Nut
At one time teamed with George Penter (1887-1924)

WILSON, ROBERT (1907-1964) 
The Voice of Scotland

WILSON, SYDNEY (b1903)
The Singing Ventriloquist 

WILTON BROTHERS (fl1935-1950s)
...introducing their Mother 
Mother was Monica Wilton (Goulding)

WILTON, EMMA
Empress of Euphony
Sam Collins' Only Pupil
Emma's uncle was John Wilton (1821-81) of Wilton's Music Hall, Stepney.  Sam Collins (1827-65) though a Londoner was a popular singer of Irish songs.

WINCOW, MURIEL (fl1910s)
The Little Peacock of Vaudeville

WINSOR & WILTON
Don't Take Them Seriously
Noted on a bill for the Royal Hippodrome, Dover, w/c 27 November 1939.  Still working 1954.

WISER & WARD (fl c1930)
All in Fun
See LESLIE ROME & CONNIE LEONARD

WOOD, PHIL (fl1940s-50s)
Oor Heilan' Sinatra
Frank Sinatra (1915-98) was unquestionably the greatest crooner of the last century.

WOOLF, GIPSY (fl1900s-10s)
...and her Six Piccaninnies

WRIGHT, BOBBY (& MARION) (fl1925-50s)
American Screwballs of Comedy
Husband & wife team: Bobby (b1891) and Maryanna (b1902) Wright

WRIGHT, HAL (fl c1930)
The Convulsing Comedian

WRIGHT, HENRY (fl1890s-1900s)
Ready Rhyming Referee and Topical Tipster 
Wrote songs for his wife Nellie Gannon (d. 30 January 1926), also for DAN LENO.

WYNN, ED (1886-1966)
The Perfect Fool 
Clem Dawe and Tommy Godfrey (d. 24 June 1984) also used this bill-matter.

X

X-RAYS, THE FIVE (fl 1910s)
The Mad Athletes
Sketch troupe whose personnel included Jack Clifton (founder) and his nephew Sam (b1898) who later ran his own company as SAM LINFIELD.  Jack Clifton also ran The Six Ceylons.  Clifton was the family name of The Bogannys (SKETCH ARTISTES).

Y

YOLANDAS, THE TWO
Impossible Interlude 

YORK, CHIC & KING, ROSE (& CO)
Aristocrats of Hokum
Husband and wife team:  Chic (or Chick) York (1887-1969)

YORK, DORIS (d. March 1996)
The Girl with the Violin Voice

YOUNG, DAN 
The Charming Fool
This artiste appeared in a Mancunian Productions 1936 film called Dodging the Dole.
See ROY BARBOUR, TOMMY LORNE

YOUNG ENGLAND BROTHERS (fl1870s)
Children of the High Trapeze 

YOUNG, JOE (b1887)
The Hot Dog of Vaudeville
With his own company presented the famous sketch Buying A Theatre.
See WILL HATTON & ETHEL MANNERS

YOUNG, LEN  (1910-87)
The Singing Fool 
See Tommy Fields (GRACIE FIELDS)

YOUNKMAN  (fl c1930s)
...and his Famous Czardas Band

Z

ZEEDA
The Snake Man 
See Sells & Young (VALENTINE)

ZELLINI (1887-1953)
The Comedy Juggler
The Human Chimney
Family name: Arthur Wilkinson

ZENORA (fl c1880-c1920)
The Child of the Sun

ZETTER, HARRY (fl c1910s-30s)
Eccentric Russian Dancer 
The Loose Man in Tights 

ZIEGLER, ANNE & BOOTH, WEBSTER 
Sweethearts in Song
Husband & wife ballad-singing team: Irene Frances Eastwood (1910-2003) and Webster Booth (1902-84).  Sang their last duet, I'll See You Again, in Llandudno, June 1983.

ZYRANI (fl1890s)
The American Marvel 


  Michael Kilgarriff | Sing us One of the Old Songs