MUSIC HALL PERFORMERS
Recommended books on Music Hall
(Links to performers)
The heyday of the British Music Hall was from the 1890s up to the
second World War. It was the most popular form of entertainment for
ordinary people, at least until sound films began in the late 1920s.
Most of the leading music hall performers made gramophone records,
and I am making a small selection of recordings available as mp3 files:
you should be able to play them within the web page they appear on.
The mp3 files are at a fairly good quality bitrate in order to
attempt to minimize the effect on the surface noise. Unfortunately I
can't offer streamed RealAudio at present, so you will have to
download the files before you can play them. Each file (apart from
the brief sample clips) is one side of a gramophone record encoded in
the RealAudio format for 14.4kb/s modems (to keep the file as small
as possible). Since the original recordings are all pre-electric, I
hope the loss of quality isn't too worrying.
The 78s from which these files were made were mostly played with a
2.8 thousands-of-an-inch truncated elliptical stylus, equalized to
constant amplitude plus a very considerable treble boost followed by
a steep cut above 4kHz. I applied more bass cut than I would normally
do, in order to keep the intelligibility as high as possible after
the encoding process. They were transferred to Sony MiniDisc, using a
J-500 machine, and some of the sample clips have internal edits made
using the MiniDisc machine.
The records were mastered using
SonicWORX® Artist Basic on a G3 PowerMac. The resultant files
were converted to RealAudio using the RealAudio Encoder 2.0. and to
mp3 using SoundJam™ MP (a Macintosh program which is now
discontinued: in OSX its encoding functions have been taken over by
I have written some technical notes on the reproduction
of 78 rpm records.
I have written a separate page listing
recommended books on music hall.
Jose Garriga has provided information, including track listings,
on a number of CDs
of music hall recordings. There is some good material here and
his listings are very useful.
Julian Myerscough has embarked on a project to issue the entire
output of Billy Williams (of 'When Father Papered The Parlour' fame)
on CD: his site
Music Hall Society "strives to preserve the history of Music Hall
and Variety, and to recall the artistes who were part of that scene.
It also continues to actively support and encourage the entertainers
of the Present." Members receive a copy of the Society's own magazine - "The
CALL BOY" - which is published four times a year
To the best of my knowledge and belief all the audio material
included on this site is in the public domain. The recordings are
certainly all old enough to be out of copyright and I have researched
the rights on the material where possible and confirmed that the
copyright has lapsed. Anyone feeling they have a legitimate claim on
the performance right of any item should
me and if their
claim seems valid I will remove the item in question pending
TATE | POLUSKI
LENO | GEORGE
FORDE | BEN
ALBERT | THE
TWO GILBERTS |