- Ukulele Lady by Vaughn De Leath (Released by Columbia (3720) in 1925). Vaughn De Leath was born in 1894 in Illinois,USA, as Leonore Vonderlieth, moving to Los Angeles aged 12. She started singing during the 1910s and made her first radio broadcast in 1920 for New York’s 2XG station. The following year she began her recording career and over the next decade made records for Columbia, Brunswick, Okeh, Edison, Victor and others, both under her own name and using pseudonyms such as Sadie Green, Betty Brown and Gertrude Dwyer. She continued making radio appearances throughout the ’20s and ’30s but her career waned and she died in 1943, having suffered financial problems and alcohol addiction in later years.
- Over the garden wall by Gracie Fields (Released by His Master’s Voice (B 3600) in 1930) (For more info on Gracie Fields see blog for podcast number 1) Over the garden wall was written by Leslie Sarony and Cecil Harrington. Sarony recorded his own version and it was also recorded by Albert Whelan, Randolph Sutton and Jack Payne and his BBC Dance Orchestra among others.
- My Canary has circles under his eyes by Elsie Carlisle (Released by Imperial (2489) in 1931. Elsie Carlisle was born in Manchester,UK, in 1896 and gained popularity as a singer in the 1920s through radio broadcasts, appearing regularly on BBC radio from 1926 onwards, becoming known as “Britain’s Radio Sweetheart Number 1”. She continued appearing on radio throughout the ’40s but retired from showbusiness around 1950. In later years she ran several different businesses and died in 1977 aged 81. She can be seen singing HERE
- How about me by Norah Blaney (Released by Columbia (5381) in 1929) (For more info on Norah Blaney see Podcast one blog). How about me was written by Irving Berlin in 1928.
- Betty Driver Medley Part 2 by Betty Driver (Released by Regal Zonophone (MR 3657) in 1942.) Betty Driver was born in Leicester,UK in 1920. She began singing professionally at the age of 8 and in 1934 appeared in the George Formby film “Boots! Boots!” During her teenage years she appeared on stage regularly in revues and musicals, also appearing in the 1938 film “Penny Paradise”, “Facing the music” (1941) and several others. In the ’40s she concentrated more on singing, releasing records for Regal Zonophone and His Master’s Voice. During the war she spent much time entertaining the troops, then in 1949 she began her own radio series, “A Date with Betty”. In 1952 she landed her own TV show, “The Betty Driver Show”. She continued appearing regularly on radio and TV throughout the ’50s, then in 1964 auditioned unsuccessfully for a role in the TV Soap “Coronation Street.” Five years later, after a spell running a pub, she was offered the part of Betty Turpin in the show, which she went on to play for over 40 years, until her death in 2011.
- Gertie the girl with the gong by Anona Winn (Released by Rex Records (8466) in 1935). Anona Winn was born in Sydney, Australia in 1904. She began her musical career by studying piano and opera, but after moving to the UK around 1926 she took a more mainstream singing path, appearing in the 1927 musical “Hit the deck”. She then began a successful radio and recording career, making hundreds of appearances on radio, lasting through the ’40s-after the war she became a regular on the panel show “Twenty Questions”, a role which lasted through to 1976, and from 1968 she also hosted the radio show “Petticoat Line” which highlighted reader’s letters and views. She died in 1994.
- What the curate saw by Miss Florrie Forde (Released by Zonophone (X-43113) in 1906.) For more info on Florrie Forde see Podcast one blog.
- Let me go lover by Penny Nicholls and the Four in a Chord (Released by Embassy (WB 123) in 1955). Penny Nicholls was born in 1927 and began her singing career while still a child with the Billy Merrin band, and later sang with the Ivor Kirchin band and Teddy Foster’s band, with whom she made her first radio appearance in November 1945. Further radio (and occasionally TV) appearances followed in the late ’40s and early ’50s. After a few unsuccessful records for HMV and Planet, she started recording for Woolworth’s label Embassy in 1954, where she released around a dozen records over the next three years, including “This ole House”, “The Crazy Otto Rag”, “The Rock and Roll Waltz” and “Hot Diggity”. During these years Penny also toured, and appeared in revues and pantomimes. She continued singing live until her retirement in the ’70s.
- Spaceship boogie by Winifred Atwell (Released by Decca (F 10886) in 1957). Winifred Atwell was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1914. She studied pharmacy as her parents were pharmacists, but also played piano, gaining popularity locally. In 1946 she moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. She soon started playing live dates, and made her first BBC Radio appearances in late 1946, although it wasn’t until 1951 that she was signed to Decca and started making records. Her first major hit came in late 1951 with her fourth release “The Black and White Rag”/”Cross hands boogie”, released before the UK singles chart started in 1952. During the rest of the ’50s she had 15 UK chart hits including two number ones-“Let’s have another party” (1954) and “The poor people of Paris” (1956). As well as her UK success, she was also hugely popular in Australia, and moved there in the 1970s, by which time her career in the UK had waned (although “The Black and White Rag” was heard regularly as the theme to TV show “Pot black”.) She also had a property in Trinidad where she often stayed . She died in 1983.