78Man presents is a podcast series showcasing music released on 78RPM records between 1900 and the 1950s. Each podcast has a theme and the first is Novelty Records of the 1920s and ’30s. You can hear it on Soundcloud HERE or on Itunes Here
Songs on this podcast are :
- There’s a song they sing at a sing song in Sing Sing by Leslie Sarony.
Leslie Sarony was born in Surbiton, Surrey on 22 January 1897 and was Christened Leslie Legge Tate Frye. After serving in the first world war, he took his Mother’s maiden name as his surname and began a long career in entertainment, which took in radio appearances, appearances in films (the first being Hot Water and Vegetabuel in 1928), and recordings of mainly humourous songs, many of which he wrote himself. According to the sleeve notes of his 1980 album “Roy Hudd presents Leslie Sarony”, Leslie said “I recorded for every company in the country”, and there are a bewildering amount of 78s on a multitude of different labels to collect. The same sleeve notes state that there were over 350 Leslie Sarony recordings, but that he recorded many more under assumed names. Some of Leslie’s best known songs from this time include “Jollity farm” (later covered by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band), “Ain’t it grand to be bloomin’ well dead”, “I lift up my finger and say “Tweet Tweet”” (also recorded by Gracie Fields among others), “Fourteen Rollicking Sailors” and “Rhymes”. In 1935 he teamed up with Leslie Holmes to form The Two Leslies, a partnership which lasted until 1946. Apart from the previously mentioned Roy Hudd album, Leslie stopped recording in 1939 and later moved into acting, appearing in TV shows such as The Passing show (1951), Dial 999 (1959), Crossroads (1964), Steptoe and Son (1965), Z-Cars (1962 and 1969), Nearest and dearest (1969), The Sweeney (1975), I didn’t know you cared (1979), Minder (1982) and Victoria Wood as seen on TV (1985). He also appeared in the Monty Python short film “The Crimson Permanent Insurance” (1983). He died on February 12th 1985, aged 88. “There’s a song they sing at a sing song in Sing Sing” was released in 1936 on Regal Zonophone MR 2036. Here he is in a British Pathe film from 1932 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ywR6IqaVcU
2. Good ‘eavens Mrs Evans by Florrie Forde
Flora May Augusta Flannagan was born on 16 August 1875 in Melbourne, Australia and adopted the stage name Florrie Forde (Ford being the surname of her Step Father) when she first went on stage aged 16 in the Australian music Hall. She moved to the UK in 1897, and became an immediate star in the music halls. Her recording career began in 1903 and she made over 700 recordings over the next three decades. Some of her best known songs stem from World War One, such as “Take me back to dear old Blighty”, “Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag” “Goodbye-ee” and “It’s a long way to Tipperary”. She was also known for the songs “Hold your hand out, naughty boy”, “Has anybody here seen Kelly?” and “I do like to be beside the seaside”. She also appeared in the films “My old Dutch” (1934), “Say it with flowers” (1934) and “Royal Cavalcade” (1935). Florrie Forde died on 18 April 1940, suffering a cerebral haemorrhage after singing for troops in Aberdeen, Scotland. She is buried in Streatham Park Cemetry, London. “Good ‘eavens Mrs Evans” is one of Florrie’s later recordings, being released in 1931 on Imperial 2554.
3. I wonder how I look when I’m asleep by Waring’s Pennsylvanians
Waring’s Pennsylvanians were formed in 1918 by brothers Fred and Tom Waring. In 1925 they had a hit with the song “Collegiate” , and in 1929 appeared in the film “Syncopation”. Later they concentrated on radio and then TV work although they continued to record sporadically. Amazingly, they remained together until Fred Waring’s death in 1984. “I wonder how I look when I’m asleep” was released in 1927.
4. Put your worries through the mangle by Albert Whelan
Albert Whelan was born in Melbourne, Australia on 5 May 1875 and had some success in his homeland before emigrating to the UK. He started his recording career in 1905 and made many recordings right up to 1960. He also appeared in many films, including “The Man from Chicago” (1930), “The girl in the Taxi” (1937), “Danny Boy” (1941) and “Candlelight in Algeria” (1944). He died on 19th February 1961. “Put your worries through the mangle” was released in 1930 on Imperial 2379.
5. Turn ‘Erbert’s face to the wall mother by Gracie Fields
Gracie Fields was born 9 January 1898 in Rochdale and christened Grace Stansfield. She made her first stage appearance at the age of 7 and made her first recordings for His Master’s Voice in 1928, recording one of her biggest hits, “Sally” for them in 1931. In 1935 she moved to Rex Records, her first release for the label being “When I grow too old to dream”/”Turn ‘Erbert’s face to the wall, Mother” on Rex 8557. She recorded for both Rex and Regal Zonophone until moving to Decca in 1941. During this time, of course, she also appeared in several films, including “Sally in our alley” (1931), “Sing as we go!” (1934), “Look up and laugh” (1935), “Queen of hearts” (1936), and “Shipyard Sally” (1939). Gracie spent most of her later life living on the Isle of Capri where she died on 27th September 1979.
6. Everything is fresh today by Jack Hodges (The Raspberry King)
Released in 1933 on Regal Zonophone MR 1046, “Everything is fresh today” has remained a favourite among both children and adults ever since. The song was much liked by Spike Milligan, who used it for a sketch in his Q7 series, which can be seen here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1s5wXIbHXI When The Goons briefly reformed in 1978 they released a version of the song (as “The Raspberry song”), with a version of Leslie Sarony’s “Rhymes” on the other side. As for Jack Hodges himself, very little is known of him and his recording career was short lived.
7. Oh! Mr Porter by Norah Blaney
Norah Blaney was born Norah Cardwell on 16 July 1893 in Fulham, London. She teamed up with Cellist Gwen Farrar and recorded many records, including “Shall I have it bobbed or shingled?” (1925), “I ain’t nobody’s darling” (1922),”Second hand Rose” (1926) and “Moanin’ for you” (1930). This version of “Oh! Mr Porter” was released in 1931 by Columbia. She also made many radio appearances in the ’20s and ’30s. As well as singing, she was also an actress, appearing in the pantomime Mother Goose in Leeds in 1930. Her singing career petered out during the ’40s and in later life she worked solely as an actress, appearing in the 1956 film “Who done it?” with Benny Hill, and on TV in “Emergency-Ward Ten” (1961),”No Hiding Place” (1964), “Crossroads” (1964), “Angel Pavement” (1967), “Doctor at large” (1971), and “Within these walls” (1976). She also appeared in several “Afternoon Theatre” plays on BBC Radio 4 in the ’70s. She died on 7th December 1983, aged 90.
8. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander by Ed Lloyd and his band
Released in 1934 on Rex 8127, “What’s good for the goose…” was the flip side of “Carioca”. Ed Lloyd and his band were American and their other records include “I cover the waterfront”, “Throw another log on the fire”, “Lullaby Lady” “I’ve got my eye on you” and “Honeymoon Hotel”.
9. Wikki Wicki Wonky Woo by The Two Gilberts
The Two Gilberts were Fred Douglas and Leslie Rome and they recorded many comic songs in the 1920s, including “Do shrimps make good mothers?” (1924), “Yes! We have no bananas” (1923), “Ever so Goosey” (1929), “The Jolly Tinker”(1930), “Does the spearmint lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?” (1924), and “Bah Bah Bah Bartholemew”(1925). “Wikki Wicki Wonky Woo” was released in 1923 on Regal G 7972.