Round the Town: Following Grandfather's Footsteps - A Night at the London Music Hall

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Thompson
A four-CD collection dedicated to the golden age of English music hall, Round the Town collects together 106 performances, dating between 1901 and 1930, largely culled from original Edison cylinders and, subsequently, 78s. What this means on the most immediate level is that the sound quality is frequently appalling -- perhaps half of each disc is of little more than academic value, as every sonic flaw to which the original format was heir is reproduced with stunning digital clarity, while the actual performance crackles away in the distance someplace. At the same time, however, much of this material is of such unutterable rarity that simply being able to hear it at all is...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Thompson
A four-CD collection dedicated to the golden age of English music hall, Round the Town collects together 106 performances, dating between 1901 and 1930, largely culled from original Edison cylinders and, subsequently, 78s. What this means on the most immediate level is that the sound quality is frequently appalling -- perhaps half of each disc is of little more than academic value, as every sonic flaw to which the original format was heir is reproduced with stunning digital clarity, while the actual performance crackles away in the distance someplace. At the same time, however, much of this material is of such unutterable rarity that simply being able to hear it at all is a godsend. As always with Bear Family releases, the packaging is superlative. Round the Town comes complete with a 12 X 12 hardbound book written and annotated by Tony Barker, editor of the British Music Hall magazine. Full color throughout (even when that simply means sepia tones), it features brief biographies of each of the performers featured, together with song lyrics, discographical information, and photographs -- mountains of photos, including original records, sheet music, playbills, and more. Taken alone, it is perhaps the most lavish and informative overview of its subject ever published. Accompanied by four CDs, it will thrill all but the most morose enthusiast. An astonishing number of the songs herein remain a part of the modern musical language, in the U.K. if not elsewhere. The blurb on the back of the box points out that music hall was a major influence on the work of such rock and pop icons as Ian Dury, Squeeze, Morrissey, and Ray Davies. But even if such a recommendation could prompt you to rush out and buy a copy now, even that is small potatoes when compared to the staying power of the music itself. Many of the featured artists barely rank as footnotes in modern musical history. Chas McDevitt speaks glowingly of George Formby in his authoritative history of the British skiffle movement, Skiffle, imbibing the ukulele-playing urchin's 1930s recordings with the same passionate rebellion as later generations might bestow upon Elvis Presley or the Sex Pistols. Closer inspection, however, reveals the George Formby featured here to be the father of the iconoclast -- which does not minimize the joy of his recordings, but does rather prove that earlier point. How many people even knew that George Formby had a performing parent? Songs like "Daisy Bell," "Two Lovely Black Eyes," "Has Anybody Seen Our Cat?," "All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor," "Popsy Wopsy," and "Yes, We Have No Bananas," on the other hand, have survived close to a century without losing any of their appeal or their familiarity -- wistfully, one wonders whether any of today's music will prove just as evocative 100 years from now. Or whether elements of it will be incorporated into the pop hits of the future with as much élan. Queen lifted a chorus of Mark Sheridan's 1909 hit, "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside," for its "Seven Seas of Rhye"; Harry Champion's "Henry the Eighth" topped the U.S. chart in 1965 (courtesy of Herman's Hermits, a full 54 years after it was originally cut). Charles Penrose's maniacally infectious "The Laughing Policeman" was still a British radio favorite into the 1970s, and Jack Pleasants' "21 Today" remains in common birthday currency even now. And so on for some four hours of music -- some timeless, some terribly dated, and some an indistinct whistling beneath the crackle and hiss. For even seasoned fans and collectors of music hall, Round the Town is a journey of discovery, paved with gold and littered with junk, but rarely dull and never uninteresting. An awful lot has changed in the last 100 years. But laughter, love, lust, and lewdness, the principle themes of much of this collection, have barely altered one iota. The spirit of music hall has always been with us. Round the Town allows us to sample its flesh as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/25/2000
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051602123
  • Catalog Number: 16021

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Two Lovely Black Eyes - Charles Coborn (2:32)
  2. 2 For Old Times' Sake/Daisy Bell - Florrie Forde (3:22)
  3. 3 Nellie Dean/After the Ball - Florrie Forde (3:21)
  4. 4 E Dunno Where 'E Are - Gus Elen (3:32)
  5. 5 The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo - Charles Coborn (2:49)
  6. 6 Lily of Laguna - Eugene Stratton (4:12)
  7. 7 The Grass Widower - Dan Leno (2:57)
  8. 8 Has Anybody Seen Our Cat? - Burt Shepard (2:23)
  9. 9 How Do You Do? - Pat Rafferty (1:46)
  10. 10 Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home - Pete Hampton (1:47)
  11. 11 Can't You Take My Word? (2:09)
  12. 12 The Galloping Major - Stanley Kirkby (2:59)
  13. 13 Bedelia - Joe O'Gorman (2:46)
  14. 14 Following in Fathers Footsteps - Stanley Kirkby (2:42)
  15. 15 The Bull & Bush - Florrie Forde (3:06)
  16. 16 Mary Was a Housemaid - Burt Shepard (3:10)
  17. 17 Callers - George Mozart (3:23)
  18. 18 Waiting at the Church (2:38)
  19. 19 Hello, Hello, Hello! It's a Different Girl Again - Whit Cunliffe (2:37)
  20. 20 I've Fold His Missus All About Him (2:30)
  21. 21 The Boys' Brigade - Hamilton Hill (2:49)
  22. 22 There's a Girl Inside - Victoria Monks (3:14)
  23. 23 You Splash Me and I'll Splash You (3:04)
  24. 24 I'se a -Waiting for You Jasie - G.H. Elliott (3:00)
  25. 25 The Next Horse I Ride On (2:49)
  26. 26 The Foximeter Car - Billy Williams (2:40)
  27. 27 She's a Lassie from Lancashire - Ella Retford (3:10)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Funicula - George Formby Sr. (2:47)
  2. 2 Oh! Oh! Antonio - Florrie Forde (3:04)
  3. 3 Sea Shells (2:20)
  4. 4 Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly? - Florrie Forde (2:52)
  5. 5 Billy Brown - Harry Fargson (3:01)
  6. 6 My Latchkey - George Lashwood (3:41)
  7. 7 The Suffragette - Happy Fanny Fields (2:48)
  8. 8 I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside (3:02)
  9. 9 Send for a Policeman - George Lashwood (3:07)
  10. 10 Ship Ahoy! (All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor) - Ella Retford (2:45)
  11. 11 Don't You Think You've Oversteeped the Margin? (2:33)
  12. 12 Boiled Beef and Carrots (2:39)
  13. 13 Come up in My Balloon (2:51)
  14. 14 Fall in the Follow Me (2:53)
  15. 15 Come and Be One of the Midnight Sons (3:03)
  16. 16 Henry the Eighth (3:10)
  17. 17 Seventeen (My Girl Is Only Seventeen) - Phil Ray (1:57)
  18. 18 King Ki-Ki - Little Tich (2:54)
  19. 19 I'm Shy, Mary Ellen, I'm Shy - Jack Pleasants (2:55)
  20. 20 If You Shoulde See a Dandy Coon - G.H. Elliott (2:48)
  21. 21 They Can't Find Kelly (2:22)
  22. 22 When Father Laid the Carpet on the Stairs - Nelson Jackson (3:17)
  23. 23 Adam Was a Scotchman - Jock Whiteford (2:27)
  24. 24 The Spaniard That Blighted My Life (2:45)
  25. 25 I'm 21 Today - Jack Pleasants (2:44)
  26. 26 Beauty of the Guards - George Bastow (2:31)
  27. 27 My Old Dutch (3:59)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Does This Shop Stock Shot Socks with Spots? (3:38)
  2. 2 Since I Had a Go at My Dumb Bells - George Formby Sr. (2:46)
  3. 3 Won't You Come Dear, into the Park? - May-Moore Duprez (2:56)
  4. 4 Tommy Trouble - Chas R Whittle (2:48)
  5. 5 Every Little Movement Has a Meaning of Its Own (3:47)
  6. 6 In the Morning - Fred Earle (3:09)
  7. 7 I Want a Girl - Ella Retford (2:44)
  8. 8 How Dare They? - Tom Wootwell (3:01)
  9. 9 I'm Going Back to Dixie - Ella Retford (2:45)
  10. 10 That's Phiosopy - R.C Knowles (3:13)
  11. 11 Father's Got a Job - Maidie Scott (3:07)
  12. 12 Casey Jones (2:17)
  13. 13 Who Were You with Last Night? (3:14)
  14. 14 M.A.D.A.M. - Arthur Lennard (2:53)
  15. 15 Hullo! Miss London - Victoria Monks (2:50)
  16. 16 They All Walk the Wibbly Wobbly Walk (3:01)
  17. 17 Daily Mirror Front Page - Ernest Shand (2:48)
  18. 18 Curiosily - Little Tich (2:33)
  19. 19 Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy - Florrie Forde (2:42)
  20. 20 The Bed and Have Another Lock - George D'Albert (3:13)
  21. 21 Wha tWould the Leaside Be Without the Ladies? (3:26)
  22. 22 Garge, Lloyd - Ernest Shand (2:56)
  23. 23 Pepsy Wopsy - Daisy James (2:50)
  24. 24 Innocent Bessie Brown - Beth Tate (2:46)
  25. 25 Waiting for Futher Evidence - Frank Leo (3:10)
  26. 26 The School Strike (We All Come Out on Strike) - Maidie Scott (4:07)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Burlington Bertie from Bow - Ella Shields (2:58)
  2. 2 He's a Pro' - Harry Weldon (3:13)
  3. 3 The Mormon's Song (2:58)
  4. 4 Lambs, Baa - Ella Shields (3:00)
  5. 5 How's Your Father (2:45)
  6. 6 The Lads from Our Village - Zona Vevey (2:33)
  7. 7 I Will Have a Night to-Night - Morny Cash (2:56)
  8. 8 The Night Began to Fall (2:44)
  9. 9 Tha Charlie Chaplin Walk - Nat D. Ayer (3:04)
  10. 10 I Went a Jazzing - Jack Pleasants (3:13)
  11. 11 Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue (3:28)
  12. 12 Archibald Certainly Not (3:11)
  13. 13 What d'Yer Think of That? - Ernie Mayne (3:10)
  14. 14 Ma! - Olive Fox (2:40)
  15. 15 Things Are Worse in Russia (2:57)
  16. 16 Olga Petrovotski - Laurie Jay (3:06)
  17. 17 Why Am I Always the Bridesmaid? - Lily Morris (2:52)
  18. 18 I Do Like to Sing in My Bath - Alfred Lester (3:11)
  19. 19 Wireless on the Brian - Ernie Mayne (3:02)
  20. 20 Yes! We Have No Bananas - Alfred Lester (3:10)
  21. 21 Show Me the Way to Go Home - Ella Shields (3:01)
  22. 22 Only a Working Man - Lily Morris (2:36)
  23. 23 He's Moved in a Bigger House Now (2:33)
  24. 24 Don't Have Any More, Mrs. Moore - Lily Morris (3:29)
  25. 25 She Was Poor, But She Was Honest - Billy Bennett (3:04)
  26. 26 The Laughing Policeman - Charles Penrose (2:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Billy Williams Track Performer
Albert Chevalier Track Performer
Harry Tate Track Performer
Marie Lloyd Track Performer
George Graves Track Performer
Mark Sheridan Track Performer
Wilkie Bard Track Performer
Sam Mayo Track Performer
George Robey Track Performer
Harry Champion Track Performer
Harry Ford Track Performer
Alice Lloyd Track Performer
Billy Merson Track Performer
Vesta Tilley Track Performer
Nat Travers Track Performer
Vesta Victoria Track Performer
Nellie Wallace Track Performer
Albert Whelan Track Performer
Lily Morris Track Performer
George Formby Sr. Track Performer
Billy Bennett Track Performer
Technical Credits
Holger Von Bargen Art Direction
Tony Barker Liner Notes, Reissue Producer, Illustrations
Fred W. Leigh Composer
Billy Merson Composer
Wolfgang Taubenauer Artwork
Fred Edgar Gilbert Composer
Charles Coborn Composer
Harry Castling Composer
Frederic Cliffe Composer
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