Something a bit different from Radio Days today, and perhaps still topical in its way. Not a song but a short British Movietone clip featuring crime writer and author of the Fu Manchu series, Sax Rohmer (nom de plume of […]
It’s surprising that, in light of their long and successful career together, the all-singing all-dancing Peters Sisters from Santa Monica, California, are not better known today. The earliest recordings I know of date from 1936, as does the clip below, […]
This week’s Song of the Week, Twilight in Turkey, comes in the context of the work I’ve been doing over the past month or so in putting together a programme of songs, stories, film, and ephemera for ‘The New Orientalism’ […]
Although there have survived some very short silent film clips of music-hall stars from the turn of the last century, we sadly (though pretty obviously) have no audiovisual records of performances from the era. We do, thankfully, have on film […]
I’ve always been a big fan of Harry Roy, but had not seen either of his two films until serendipitously finding this clip. Enjoy the slightly surreal spectacular!
A song from the pens of the brilliant and prolific songwriting team of R.P. Weston (lyrics) and Bert Lee (music) (who else could ever rhyme “Persia” with “curse ya”?), A Proper Cup of Coffee was, to my knowledge, first performed […]
I imagine that Yip Harburg is unlikely to be the first name to spring to your lips if asked to name a famous American songwriter from the Thirties. So you’ll probably be surprised to discover that you know many of […]
We love this clip! Filmed on 7th March 1931, this Fox Movietone News Story shows scenes from a French amateur dance competition (“championat de France de danse moderne amateur”). We especially love the guys dancing solo from minute 4:00 onwards–I […]
I’m always fascinated at the way that songs can seem to take on a life of their own, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, as they pass from generation to generation. P.J. Proby’s 1964 recording of Hold […]
Many orchestras recorded Limehouse Blues but none, in our opinion, ever matched that of Bert Ambrose.
I guess the place we have to start this week is with a 1932 cartoon. I’ve been an ardent fan of Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons since I discovered them as a schoolboy in the 1960s (there’d been a Popeye […]
First recorded in October 1932 by Jack Hylton and his Orchestra with Phyllis Robins on vocals (though first performed in the theatre in August 1932 revue Words and Music by Joyce Barbour, Steffi Duna, Norah Howard and Doris Hare), Mad […]
Britain’s heartthrob of the 1930s, Al Bowlly, sings ‘Melancholy Baby’.
“When I was about six years old… my father bought a Radiogram”