Radio Days live vintage music

Radio Days live vintage music

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About Radio Days

Live Vintage Music~Real History

At Radio Days we know how evocative the music of an era can be in bringing to mind those distant memories, in vividly conjuring to our minds the spirit of a past age, Radio Days live vintage musicand therefore how music can as a reference point be a valuable and enjoyable resource for discovering more and learning more about our recent history.

That is why we bring to life the social and cultural history of the years c.1870 to 1939 through open-to-all ‘learning events’ in museums, schools, and libraries in which we celebrate the living memories of our older citizens and provide entertaining learning opportunities for the youngest citizens.

Based in south-west London, Radio Days collaborates with museums, libraries, local education authorities, schools and colleges, and other educational bodies in London and the South-East of England to develop and present participatory learning experiences in history, covering the years from 1900, through World War One and the inter-war years, to the end of World War Two.

Click the PACKAGES tab on the left to find out more about what we can offer you.

“Video killed the radio star”?

Don't you believe it!

Although commercial audio broadcasting began only in 1919, radio technology is as old as the 20th century itself. It was on 12th December 1901 that Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeded in sending the first radio transmission 3500 kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean, from Poldhu, Cornwall, in south-west England to a receiving station on Signal Hill, near St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

In late 2014 we added the late Victorian period, c.1870 onwards, to our repertoire and our history talks. Still calling ourselves 'Radio Days' we worried about the appropriateness of our name at the moment we ventured back in our workshops and performances to embrace the late 19th century. We need not have done so ... we find that radio was in the minds and laboratories of scientists and engineers from at least 1873.

So Radio Days now celebrates 142 years of radio through its performances of music and history talks from the late Victorians to the middle of the 20th century.

Fullscreen Image Gallery~just for fun

  • Radio Days live vintage music
  • Radio Days live vintage music
  • Radio Days live vintage music
  • Radio Days live vintage music
  • Radio Days live vintage music
  • Radio Days live vintage music

Singing The Past To Life

Our extended repertoire of popular songs now covers the entire period from 1870 to 1945. The following descriptions will give you a brief overview of the range of our material.

The late Victorian songbook

Radio Days live vintage musicNow reaching back to the late Victorians, our repertoire has been enriched with some wonderful songs from the final years of Victoria's reign, including The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery (1885), Ask A P'liceman (1889), Daisy Bell (1892), A Bird in a Gilded Cage (1900), The Rose of Tralee, and Lily of Laguna (1898).

Radio Days live vintage musicA PDF with further information about our Victorian programme will be published here shortly

The Edwardian songbook and la Belle Époque

Radio Days live vintage musicWith a repertoire of musical moods and popular songs all the way from the elegant drawing rooms of Downton Abbey to the rumbustious fun of the Music Hall, Radio Days will bring to life the social and cultural world of Edwardian England with such songs as I Do Like To be Beside the Seaside (1907), Down By The Old Mill Stream (1908), By The Light Of The Silvery Moon (1909), Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1910), and Moonlight Bay (1912).

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Edwardian programme

Songs of the Great War.

Radio Days live vintage musicFrom the recruiting songs of the Music Hall at the beginning of the war through soldiers' songs of the estaminet and the trenches, from the poignancy of Ivor Novello's stirring Keep The Home Fires Burning to the barbed pathos of the anonymous Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire, from the romance of If You Were the Only Girl In The World to the cynicism of If You Were the Only Boche In The Trench, Radio Days offers the some of the most memorable popular songs from the First World War.

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our First World War programme

The Roaring Twenties

Radio Days live vintage musicThe war is over! And it’s time to dance and go for a new look. It’s the time of the Flapper! Men and Women started dating in the 1920s in a different way than they would have before this time, and a sense of freedom grew into the lives of a growing middle class. Radio Days offers a great selection of music from the 1920s from The Charleston to popular songs like Ain’t She Sweet that reminds us of the new concept and redefinition of womanhood in that time, and dance music that represents very well the social, artistic, and cultural dynamism of that era. We will remember how many items were invented or popularized, like the use of the telephone, the hair dryer, insuline injections or traffic lights, in a time of prosperity and political tranquility in Europe that led to entertainment music such as Whispering, That’s My Weakness now, and many more!

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Roaring Twenties programme

The Glamorous Thirties

Radio Days live vintage musicThe good times ended abruptly after the Wall Street crash of 1929, and much of the Thirties were under the influence of the economic downturn that started in the USA and had a big impact in Europe. A time of poverty while the richest families would try to escape reality with big luxurious parties and the poor would escape through popular entertainment, for which Radio Days have songs like Putting on the Ritz. In Britain the golden age of cinema is emerging. The 1930s is a time in which jazz thrives and swing band music is a must.

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Glamorous Thirties programme

Radio Days in the Classroom

Radio Days offers a suite of cross-curricular workshops (History, Music, English Literature ... and, yes!, ICT) for the classroom. We will also work in partnership with you in co-developing bespoke projects for secondary education and beyond.

Radio Days live vintage music

Pupils will find out more about the history of their own community, of Britain, of Europe and of the world, as specified for Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5 of the National Curriculum—for example, Social Change in 20th century Britain. (AQA, CCEA, EDEXCEL, OCR Syllabus A, WEJC). We develop a chronological overview that enables students to make connections within and across different periods and societies, in their investigation of Britain's relationships with the wider world, and relate past events to the present day.

We provide music scores and lyric sheets at our school events, working with our hosts to prepare children to sing along with the performers.

Special Themes

Our specialist learning themes include, though are not limited to:

  • the Rise and Decline of Music Hall, 1852-1922
    from Charles Morton, 'Father of the Halls', to the death of Marie Lloyd, 'Queen of the Halls'
  • Popular Music and Empire, 1878-1918
    Jingoism and empire in popular song from Macdermott's War Song to the end of the Great War
  • the Age of Technology
    the gramophone, the birth of radio, the motor car, the expansion of the railways, cinema, new musical instruments, the airplane, as well as a few cranky inventions such as the 'telephonoscope' and the 'spirit phone'
  • Science, Fantasy, and Anti-Science
    Einstein and Planck, spiritualism and the esoteric, science fiction and fantasy, the discovery of X-rays, and more
  • the Edwardian Kitchen
    the first public restaurants, Lyons Cornerhouses, tea dances, celebrity chefs, and literally dozens of songs about eating and drinking
  • the Birth of Cinema, 1880-1929
    from Muybridge to the Talkies
  • the 'Invention' of Christmas, 1843-1931
    When did Father Christmas change his coat from green to red? Discover what Christmas was like for the late Victorians and the Edwardians.
  • the History of Sound Recording, 1860-1931
    from Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville's 1860 recording of Au Clair de la Lune to the 33⅓ rpm vinyl long-playing record
  • Orientalism in Popular Music 1900 to 1930
    Rose of Egyptland, High Street Africa, Hunting Tigers out in Indiah, Sing-Song Girl Of Old Shanghai ... Britain's view of the world through popular song, cinema, and literature
  • Let's Misbehave: Life in the Jazz Age
    Music, merriment and mayhem in the Roaring Twenties

Building Better Communities

Community-building through inter-generational dialogue is a crucial part of our mission: we firmly believe that our children can not only enjoy listening to, and can be fascinated by, the vivid recollections of their seniors but can also become better citizens through immersing themselves in the childhood memories of their elders.

Booking a Learning Workshop

If you would like us to bring a learning event to your school or organisation, please complete our contact form selecting “a living history event” from the first pull-down menu.


Our Packages and Pricing Policy

We pride ourselves in never falling back on a lazy one-size-fits-all policy. And so, because no two events and no two clients are ever the same, we will work with you to tailor a bespoke package that matches your requirements and budget. The following are indicative formats for the kinds of things we do.

Just music

For music-only performances (concerts, parties, weddings, corporate entertainment) we can help you to mix-and-match from our five-decade repertoire (see PDFs at bottom of this page) to select with us exactly the songs you want for your event. Our music-only performances have the following formats:

  • Singer and authentic vintage backings
  • Singer with piano accompaniment
  • Two singers and vintage backings
  • DJ and playlist of original recordings

Music and Illustrated Talk

A musical presentation and talk (suitable for 11 years and older). We currently offer the choice of ten presentations (see the LEARNING tab for a listing of the illustrated talks, or click here for fuller details of our Learning Packs).

Participatory music workshops

Tailored according to age group. We offer one-session taster workshops, or work with you to develop a project that runs over several sessions at the end of which there can be a performance. These might, for example, be family workshops (from 7 years upwards), children only (different age ranges) or adults only. Please contact us to tell us your requirements.

  • Sing Music Hall
  • Sing Great War Songs
  • Sing 1920s and 1930s

Overviews of the music by era

To find out more about our repertoires for each of the musical eras, we encourage you to look at the following.

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Victorian repertoire

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Edwardian repertoire

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our First World War repertoire

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Roaring Twenties repertoire

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Glamorous Thirties repertoire

Radio Days live vintage musicView/download PDF for further information about our Fighting Forties repertoire


You Can Do A Lot Of Things At The Seaside

Penned by Charles Ridgewell and George A. Stevens, 'You Can Do A Lot Of Things At The Seaside' was a 1911 'hit' for music hall singer Mark Sheridan following the success in 1907 of his 'I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside'.

The Christmas Truce

A selection of short clips from a charity concert performed at Richmond Old Town Hall on 12th December 2014, in partnership with Singing4Health CIC and the Bloomsbury Choir.

The Edwardian Kitchen (1)

A performance at The Tea Box in Richmond to launch our concept CD The Edwardian Kitchen, a compilation of music-hall songs and spoken word readings relating to the Edwardians' preoccupation with food and drink.

If You Were The Only Girl In The World

Composed by Nat D. Ayer with lyrics by Clifford Grey, the musical revue The Bing Boys Are Here premiered at The Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Square, on 19 April 1916 and ran for two and a half years. 'If You Were the Only Girl (In the World)' is, together with 'Another Little Drink', one of the two songs from the revue that is still remembered today.

Radio Days~Sounds of the Great War

How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?, Lloyd George's Beer, You'd Better Be Nice To Them Now, and And When They Ask Us: popular songs, with commentary, from the First World War.

Penned by Joe Young and Sam M. Lewis, with music by Walter Donaldson, How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (After They've Seen Paree)? was an American hit for Nora Bayes in 1918, and in the same year a hit in the UK for music hall singer Harry Fay. Lloyd George's Beer was a 1917 UK hit for comic music hall star Ernie Mayne. You'd Better Be Nice To Them Now, written by William Tracey & Jack Stern, was another 1918 hit. And When They Ask Us is a parody, variously attributed to Cole Porter or Kit Neville, of the Jerome Kern and Herbert Reynolds love song They Didn’t Believe Me.

The Edwardian Kitchen (2)

A performance at The Tea Box in Richmond to launch our concept CD The Edwardian Kitchen, a compilation of music-hall songs and spoken word readings relating to the Edwardians' preoccupation with food and drink.

Radio Days~the Sound of History

A whirlwind tour through more than four decades of the popular music of the early 20th century.

Performances at Public Events

Radio Days at the Military and Flying Machines festival in Essex, August 2013.

Music and Memory

At Radio Days we are aware of how important music is at conjuring memories, and apart from events in schools and libraries we work with senior citizens collaborating in creating events tailored to their tastes with activities that will give them an opportunity to talk about their memories and the music they loved to listen to.

The Radio Days Time Machine

María's solo performances are ideal for small and intimate venues, or for clients with a limited budget. offering a quite unique opportunity to listen to music from the inter-war years in a self-contained and easy-to-present format.

This performance format is also ideal for our educational outreach programme, alternating songs and stories from the social history of those times, in collaboration with the My Life Is My Museum project. See the RADIO DAYS TIME MACHINE SHOW and take a trip in time together with Dr Christopher Hutchison!

Music Hall and Vaudeville

Extract from a concert of Music Hall songs from from the pre-Great War years by London based vintage singer Maria Hutchison.

Props and Posters for WW1 Performances


A small selection of short excerpts from our audio recordings ... (If slow in loading, please be patient as the page connects to the remote SoundCloud server.)

The Song Is Ended (1927)

Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1925)

I Wanna Be Bad (1929)

Peg O' My Heart (excerpt)

Oh How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning (1918)

Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1905)

Come Josephine In My Flying Machine (1910)

The Radio Days Team

Radio Days live vintage musicMaria Hutchison trained in classical singing in Spain, UK, and Italy, and has a degree in History from Complutense University (Madrid). Postgraduate certificate in Secondary Education Teaching, with 18 years of experience both in teaching (Escuela de Música Creativa, Madrid) and performance. She has created and sung in contemporary music video productions, operas for parents and children, corporate choirs, cabaret performances, Spanish opera, and Renaissance music. Having performed Early Music for many years and, since 2003, Contemporary Improvisation, it was her love for vintage music and history that took her into wonderful new discoveries about voice, music, fashion, society and visual arts.

E-heritage guru and incorrigible hoarder, Christopher Hutchison is the founder and curator of My Life is My Museum. He has more than 35 years experience of teaching and research inRadio Days live vintage music the cognitive and computing sciences, with special interests in e-heritage and digital curation, ethnoepistemology, and social remembering.  Initially a Linguistics graduate, with a MSc in Intelligent Knowledge-Based Systems and PhD in Cognitive Linguistics, he has lectured at the University of Sussex, Kingston University, the University of East Anglia, Nottingham Trent University, Université Mohamed V (Rabat), and the University of Amsterdam. He has worked on digital heritage projects for inter alia Historic Royal Palaces (London), the Museo della Lana di Scanno (Abruzzo), and the Plantin-Moretus Museum and City Prints Gallery (Antwerp).

Radio Days live vintage musicSharona Joshua studied fortepiano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, at the Jerusalem Music Centre with Zvi Meniker and Malcom Bilson, in Vienna with Sally Sargent and in England again with David Roblou and Richard Egarr. She now appears regularly as a soloist chamber musician on concert platform and radio, performing as soloist at major festivals all over the UK and beyond--Belgium, Poland, Spain, Germany and in the USA. She teaches fortepiano at Birmingham Conservatoire and did her recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in 2005.

Radio Days live vintage musicNoelle Vaughn is a jazz chanteuse specialising in vintage numbers from wartime anthems and popular songs from the 1940s and 1950s. With influences such as Doris Day, Anne Shelton, Peggy Lee, Julie London – and perhaps surprisingly for a female singer, Frank Sinatra – Noelle not only sings classics and jazz standards from the golden years with exceptional flair, but exhibits visual style that exudes nothing but the most sumptuous Hollywood golden age glamour.

The Blog

We so much enjoy what we do that we'd like to share with you what we're up to. So please do click the image above to read our journal of our adventures through this wonderful world of music, history, culture, stars, stories, and more.

The Radio Days Emporium

Radio Days live vintage music

Radio Days is proud to offer to our esteemed patrons for purchase an entertaining phonographic record of The Edwardian Kitchen comprising a selection of songs by Miss Florrie Forde, Mr Harry Champion, Mr Gus Elen, Mr Harry Lauder, and Mr Ernie Mayne. Please click the shop front above to visit the Radio Days Emporium.


Radio Days live vintage music

We'd just love to hear from you. So if you would like to book an event with us (or simply find out a little more about us and what we do), please click on those very helpful postmen above to go to the Radio Days contact form, drop us a line, and we'll get back to you shortly.