The Blog

Al Bowlly
I had intended to post this new ‘Song of the Week’ back three weeks ago to commemorate an anniversary. Or, Read more
Emile Ford
I was seven years old when Emile Ford and the Checkmates topped the Christmas charts in 1959, remaining at the Read more
An upbeat song for the Spring from the prolific Sam Lanin … «Good-bye to winter I’ll see you next year Read more
Every once in a while (and I’m sure it happens to you too) I find a song remembered from my Read more
I admit it–I love the British comic actors, comedians, and film comedies from the 1930s and 1940s. But who else Read more
We’ve ran a piece last year on singer Ronnie Gilbert, so I’ve been feeling guilty ever since that we’ve neglected Read more
Arthur Askey
If the melody of the verse in this 1942 song from Arthur Askey sounds vaguely familiar, and if the lyrics Read more
Lambeth Walk
What can one say? great 1937 song from the pen of Noel Gay, interpreted by the brilliant Lupino Lane in Read more
It’s been a while since our last blog post. Apologies.  Really, sincerely.  We feel bad about that.  We’ve both been Read more
There are some songs that, for one reason or another, over the years garner an historical and cultural significance that Read more
Radio Days developed and delivered a programme of workshops in the chapel of Brompton Cemetery, Kensington, between April and July Read more
Sax Rohmer
Something a bit different from Radio Days today, and perhaps still topical in its way. Not a song but a Read more
Peters Sisters
It’s surprising that, in light of their long and successful career together, the all-singing all-dancing Peters  Sisters from Santa Monica, Read more
Had we mentioned that the passion we have for history runs in the family?  María’s multi-talented parents, Gador and Paco Read more
Passing English
You think of Victorian London, and you think of Cockney rhyming slang. Think of Victorian music-hall and you think of Read more
This week’s Song of the Week, Twilight in Turkey, comes in the context of the work I’ve been doing over Read more
Lonnie Donegan
OK, I admit it–I’m cheating just a little with this week’s choice for Song of the Week. Yes, the Carter Read more
Vesta Victoria--Now I Have To Call Him Father
One of the engaging things about much of music hall is that, as expressed by W. Macqueen-Pope (1957), It was Read more
You might be forgiven for thinking that the photo on the left dates from around 1968 or 1969.  From the Read more
Lily Morris
Although there have survived some very short silent film clips of music-hall stars from the turn of the last century, Read more
I’ve always been a big fan of Harry Roy, but had not seen either of his two films until serendipitously Read more
I really couldn’t say what brought the song to mind, but it’s been buzzing through my head much of this Read more
Bella Ciao
I’m not sure whether this song falls a little too late in history for Radio Days or a little too Read more
We’re continuing our series of popular songs, film, and other media from 1918 with two recordings of Hindustan, a hugely Read more
There! I knew the title would grab your attention!  And you’ll get a further sense, as you read on, of Read more
A wonderful serendipitous find!  A certain Guy Jones has a YouTube channel dedicated to very high quality vintage documentary film Read more
A song from the pens of the brilliant and prolific songwriting team of R.P. Weston (lyrics) and Bert Lee (music) Read more
I am indebted to Maria for inspiring this blog post. Following the performance at Leighton House last Sunday, she was Read more
Maria and I were randomly talking this evening about ideas for future performances.  And thus it was that I ended Read more
Another great song, one I think we’ll all know in one version of another (my own favourite was always the Read more
I imagine that Yip Harburg is unlikely to be the first name to spring to your lips if asked to Read more
The title of this post is doubly significant today.  It had been one of Maria’s singing students, Brian, whose own Read more
I’ve long been intrigued by earlier generations’ visions of the future.  I remember I had as a child in the Read more
“Well, I gave my youth to king and country, But what’s my country done for me but sentenced me to Read more
I was doing a bit of research this evening on a topic completely unrelated in any way to the subject Read more
For us folks at Radio Days who locate ourselves paradigmatically in the years 1870 to 1939, this post is bound Read more
Here’s a treat: Marie Lloyd’s My Old Man Said Follow the Van, written in 1919 by Fred W. Leigh and Read more
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever in my mind (and perhaps you’ll share my view?) that the years from around Read more
I’m unsure what specifically, following our recent workshop series and commemorative event at Brompton Cemetery, would have brought to mind, Read more
Malvina Reynolds? Peggy Seeger? Rosalie Sorrels? Dory Previn? Joan Baez? Buffy Sainte-Marie? Judy Collins? Ani Difranco? Certainly some outstanding names Read more
In pictures … A few photos from the magnificent performance on Thursday evening of our amazing suffragists and suffragettes. The Read more
I was desperately looking everywhere for a straw boater this week.  My treasured ‘Dirk-Bogarde-Death-In-Venice-1912’ hat, I’d belatedly realised, looked a Read more
What a happy find today! In our recent workshop on political songs of the seventeenth century I had drawn attention Read more
A musical feast for you today! Our ‘protest song’ workshop has latterly been rehearsing a new song, Si Kahn‘s They Read more
Yesterday late afternoon, following six weeks of workshops and last Friday a banner-making workshop, we had our first rehearsal in Read more
Still busy and semi-obsessed with the Protest Song workshops we’re running at Brompton Cemetery, I’ve been mulling over in my Read more
OK, so I found a protest song, apparently first published in 16291, a begging appeal from a crippled soldier and Read more
It’s one of those songs that we’ve all known forever. Published in 1921, the lyrics by Raymond B. Egan and Read more
Maria and I had a great time last Thursday morning presenting our first Protest Songs workshop at Brompton Cemetery Chapel Read more
Protest Songs. A free 6-week workshop programme open to all who would like to sing with us, no matter what Read more
No comment to this, one of my favourite songs, written by one of my favourite writers (Yip Harburg) and sung Read more
From some time around 1939, this recording by Ronald Frankau and Tommy Handley of a song I learned as a Read more
Art Fowler
Those of you who know Radio Days well will know that we’ve a bit of a ‘thing’ about George Formby.  Read more
Daily Herald Feb 1952
For reasons too numerous for me to list here, The Daily Herald newspaper holds a lot of meaning and historical Read more
Pickens Sisters
It was some time in the late 1960s that I bought a compilation album that featured among its tracks a Read more
To Build Jerusalem
The Radio Days popular music and social history project covers the years from around 1870 to around 1939. So I Read more
Still engrossed in Betty May’s “Tiger Woman”, I’m fascinated to learn so much more about the extraordinary bohemian culture of Read more
Trail of the Lonesome Pine
I adore the popular songs of the beginning of the 20th century, whether English, French, or American. (There’s probably a Read more
An unusual post for us here at Radio Days, maybe. Some weeks ago we acquired a copy, dated 1st August Read more
When, eighteen months back, we presented ‘The Edwardian Kitchen’ at East Sheen library, I showed a film clip of Gus Read more
Last (for the time being) of the videos from our 21st May concert at the Museo del Romanticismo in Madrid. Read more
Another song from our concert at the Museo del Romanticismo. Read more
A first video from our 21st May concert at the Museo del Romanticismo, Madrid: “Riding on Top of the Car”, Read more
«There are a great number of boys employed in the various workshops on the island, and the diversions of these Read more
A close contemporary–and friend–of Charles Dickens, caricaturist and illustrator George Cruikshank (1792–1878) is also generally credited, in collaboration with his Read more
Thanks to a post in the wonderful Jane Austen’s London blog (see reference at the bottom of this page), yes, Read more
Walter Kino is a music-hall name I don’t come across very often.  Maybe a couple of times this past year, Read more
1951 is a little outside our usual time frame, but as we at Radio Days are now reading and researching Read more
OK, so a title to tease your imagination.  Who the heck, you’re probably wondering, is or was Catherine Crick? The Read more Maria and I both have a passion for George Formby. In this film, Nazi spies are out to destroy Read more
So now we’re exploring a little further back in time, to the forerunners of music-hall in the saloon theatres of the Read more
Another great Radio Days concert, this time a musical ‘magic lantern’ show to an audience of around 200 people at Read more
Remember the days before ‘video’?  Remember the days when we went not to “the movies” but to “the pictures”? I Read more
Jeremy Taylor
Back down in my home town of Portsmouth earlier this week, I was remembering the folk clubs where I used Read more
Radio Days had a great time today at the Geffrye Museum’s World War One day.  Music-hall songs, soldiers’ songs, and Read more
I must thank the blogger of History is Made at Night for his recent post ‘Flappers as Anarchists’ – sharp Read more
We love this clip! Filmed on 7th March 1931, this Fox Movietone News Story shows scenes from a French amateur Read more
We really pleased to be publishing a new video, this time María’s fabulous recording of the Mark Sheridan 1911 classic Read more
Little by little, week by week, we’ve been adding new topics and new content to our education programme, with 12 Read more
A few more pics of Saturday’s performance, with warmest thanks to photographer Laili Kwok and to Mark Atkinson for sending. Read more
So here we are in Portobello Market, Saturday 30th May 2015, at the wonderful display in Tavistock Square of antique Read more
I’m not sure of the date of composition of this fabulous song written and composed by Charles Ridgewell and George Read more
After the tremendous fun and unequivocal success of yesterday’s spiffing performance for the 150th anniversary celebrations of Portobello Road Market Read more
I’m always fascinated at the way that songs can seem to take on a life of their own, sometimes for Read more
Mention the song Singin’ in the Rain to most people and it will bring to mind the 1952 film of Read more
I admit it–I’m a huge fan of Marie Lloyd.  A kind of real-life Betty Boop in some ways, she was Read more
An unusual choice this week, prompted by my having recently bought a first edition of Albert Chevalier’s 1901 memoirs, Before Read more
Since I missed a ‘Song of the Week’ last week when I was busy with other things, I think you Read more
Edwardian live music
A very enjoyable presentation yesterday at East Sheen Library, Richmond, of The Edwardian Kitchen.  I realise we’ve now so much Read more
Many orchestras recorded Limehouse Blues but none, in our opinion, ever matched that of Bert Ambrose. Read more
Edwardian seaside
We love this song.  So much, in fact, that María has now added it to her repertoire for our ‘holidays Read more
Any Rags
I guess the place we have to start this week is with a 1932 cartoon.  I’ve been an ardent fan Read more
One of our most enjoyable concerts to date, yesterday at The Red House Museum in Christchurch. An engaged and really Read more
First recorded in October 1932 by Jack Hylton and his Orchestra with Phyllis Robins on vocals (though first performed in Read more
Recording as ‘North & South’, the great Tommy Handley & Ronald Frankau sing Riding On A Camel and, on the Read more
Radio Days is delighted to announce that <em>The Edwardian Kitchen</em> is now available in MP3 format.  The massive 109MB download Read more
Al Bowlly
Britain’s heartthrob of the 1930s, Al Bowlly, sings ‘Melancholy Baby’. Read more
The Edwardian Kitchen CD now available for purchase online at: A great Christmas gift! Read more
Janet Klein
It’s very unlike us to post anything by a contemporary singer, but this song and video by Janet Klein really Read more
We now have the proof CD … and spent this afternoon preparing, photographing, and (of course) eating dishes from the Read more
Frances Langford
Bit late in posting this (already posted to our Facebook page). There are a heck of a lot of singers Read more
A singer for whom I’ve long had a soft spot, Ronald Frankau sings ‘Fanny Is Evacuated Now’ (1941). Read more
We today think of ‘globalisation’ as a phenomenon of the latter part of the 20th century.  There was, however, a Read more
You want the ‘Glamorous Thirties’ with  bit of French class?  This one’s got it all … the Busby Berkeley-style production, Read more
We love this song. In fact we love it so much that María is now adding it to her repertoire. Read more
“When I was about six years old… my father bought a Radiogram” Read more
Radio Days Music had the pleasure and privilege of participating in the excellent commemorative event, ‘The Last Day of Peace’ Read more
Surprised and delighted to see this framed sheet music cover page at Kingston Workingmen’s Club. Read more
This is exactly the kind of collector we should love to meet!  And how good it would be to have Read more
María today passed on to me the URL to Music Memory (, a US-based project to preserve historical and traditional American Read more
I discovered the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music and the King’s Sound Archive at King’s Read more
Off to sunny Spain for a well-deserved 10 day break from work.  I’ve meanwhile rebuilt the Radio Days front end Read more
In Dear Old England's Name
One week on, and still busy getting some content into the site … there are too few hours in the Read more
A couple of days ago, completely by chance, I discovered Mozilla’s Open Badges programme.  It reminds me a little of Read more
Just remembered today, while uploading screenshots of the WWI portable gramophones we used for our song recital and exhibition in Read more
Day 3 already … so much to do and life is so short! I’ve added the (functional) footnotes to the Read more
If you’re browsing the site on the day (yep, 26th March 2014) I publish this first post, I’ve a confession Read more
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