British Music Hall: An Illustrated History

Front Cover
Pen and Sword, May 31, 2014 - History - 292 pages
The music hall ...had no place for reticence; it was downright, it shouted, it made noise, it enjoyed itself and made the people enjoy themselves as well.' W.J. MACQUEEN POPE??Music Hall lies at the root of all modern popular entertainment. With stars such as Marie Lloyd, Harry Lauder and Dan Leno, it reached its glorious, brassy height between 1890 and the First World War. In the first book on this subject for many years, Richard Anthony Baker whisks us off on a colourful and nostalgic tour of the rise and fall of British music hall.??At the beginning of the nineteenth century people sang traditional songs in taverns for entertainment. This was so popular that rooms started to be added to inns for shows to be staged, and, before long, songs were being specially composed and purpose-built theatres were springing up everywhere. ??Britain's working class had, for the first time, its own form of public entertainment and its own breed of stars. The colour and vitality attracted serious writers and artists, as well as the future Edward VII, and music hall became simultaneously the haunt of the working classes and the avant-garde.??Including stories of a clergyman who wrote music-hall sketches, a hall in Glasgow where luckless entertainers were pulled off stage by a long hooked pole, and Cockney dictionaries that helped Americans understand touring British performers, this book is a hugely engaging slice of social history, rich in humour, tragedy and bathos.??As featured on BBC Radio Lincolnshire and in the Sunderland Echo.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - basilisksam - LibraryThing

It does tend to be a list of performers and venues with mini biographies on each so it doesn’t flow as you might expect but I still enjoyed it as a straightforward read and as a reference to dip in ... Read full review

Contents

In the Beginning
1
First Generation
11
Pioneers
18
Troika
29
Dens of Antiquity
40
Our Foes in the North
55
Empire Building
63
Matchless Matcham
67
Heres to the Ladies Who Werent and the men who were
170
Wal the Ripper?
183
The Quickness of the Hand
188
I Can See Your Lips Move
194
Burnt Cork
197
Your Own Your Very Own
207
Less Ten Per Cent
211
Midnight and still no Dick
216

Mixing with Toffs
76
Across the Pond
86
Bondage and Muscles
96
More London Halls
103
and others across Britain
107
Wizard of Oz
111
Behind the Laughter
121
Sung Heroes
132
And More
147
Heres to the Ladies who were
158
Onehit Wonders
220
Twos Company
231
True Individuals
235
The Death of Music Hall nearly
248
Final Curtain
260
Bibliography
262
Notes
268
Index
279
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

During 30 years at the BBC, Richard Anthony Baker wrote and presented music hall and variety programmes for Radios Two and Three. For Radio Five Live, he devised the world s first obituaries programme, Brief Lives, producing its first 300 editions. In 1990, he published a slim biography of Marie Lloyd and in 2011 An Old Time Variety followed. He contributes regularly to The Stage and the British Music Hall Society s magazine, The Call Boy.

Bibliographic information