Tuesday, 28 April 2009

G.H. Elliot

I have a soft spot for the songs of the music hall era and always delighted to find CD's or records of old 78's and even wax cylinders that have been carefully preserevd for the nation. These treasures should always be available and I do my best to give them an airing every once and awhile.
The recording above is from a radio show - one of the last he made I imagine ,singing " I Used To Sigh For The Silvery Moon" which was his theme song.

"G.H. Elliott was one of Britain’s best-loved blackface entertainers in the days before such things became unthinkable. He was, like Gracie Fields, born in Rochdale, Lancashire, and as a child was taken to the United States, where he learned his craft with the Primrose West Minstrels (Gammond 1991, 176). He was elegant and sophisticated — Peter Honri (1974, 20) relates that, in blacking up, he always used champagne corks. Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope (1950, 163) calls him “the nearest approach to the wonderful Eugene Stratton the Halls ever knew” (although S. Theodore Felstead accords that accolade to another blackface performer, Dubliner Tom E. Finglass). Among the songs particularly associated with him are Idaho, I Used To Sigh For The Silvery Moon, and Sue, Sue, Sue. Elliott’s long career carried him well into the 1940s." He died in 1962.

1 comment:

C.J.Duffy said...

Fascinating. Another name that I was unfamiliar with. I like, as un-PC as it may be, vaudeville acts that applied cork blacking. I read a book, many years ago, about a famous negro vaudevilleian who applied blacking to his face. Maybe I am being naive but I cannot see in any way how it is racist just bloody entertaining!

WF is wheeracl