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Regional Variations (2)

An Eye-Witness Account, by Mr. F. A. Rush, of THE LANCASHIRE COTTON PAGEANT, opened this day at Belle Vue, Manchester

Regional Programme Northern

HELEN ALSTON (Songs at the Pianoforte)
JOHN RORKE (Baritone)
The singer, or drawing-room entertainer, as the performer was called in the early days of the vogue, who accompanied himself on the piano, has provided a very popular form of entertainment for at least 50 years. Listeners will remember that Tom Clare recently gave excerpts from the repertory of Corney Grain, one of the first of the long line of singers at the piano. Contemporary with him was George Grossmith, the father of our George Grossmith, hero of so many Gaiety productions. George Grossmith the elder belonged to a generation that for most of us is. past, but numbers will remember Maurice Farkoa, Harry Fragson and, of course, Margaret Cooper, while the names of the many present-day entertainers, such as Melville Gideon, Norah Blaney, and Tom Clale, will occur to everybody.
The experiences of Corney Grain and George Grossmith were entertaining enough to provoke reminiscences. Corney Grain tells a number of amusing anecdotes. He was usually expected to dine, if he dined at all, at the houses to which he was invited with the servants, and often he had to play on a hired piano because it was felt he might damage the hostess's own instrument. He was, he says, often button-holed and put through a catechism: ' How do you remember it all?' 'Doesn't it fatigue you very much?' Do vou never catch cold?' ' What do you do when you have a cold?' ' Aren't you very tired of singing the same thing over and over again?' — to say nothing of the middle-aged man of blatant voice and retired-military-man appearance and manner, who came up and said, 'Um - er - that's rather good, really quite amusin'. I wonder - ah - er - low you can remember all that nonsense!'
On another occasion Corney Grain records that a well-known lady of title engaged him on the following terms: 'I should like you to come to my house at 4.30. How long can you go on? - for two hours at a stretch?' He humbly submitted that a little break of five minutes or so would be pleasing, he thought, both to audience and singer. 'Oh!' she "said, 'I didn't know. I thought you could. We had a conjurer last year who did.' And on another occasion a gentleman engaged him for an 'Afternoon.' It was all settled, when he said, ' Then you don't want any screens or table nothing but a piano 'Nothing, sir !' 'Ah, I didn't know whether you didn't put your head through a hole in a bit of cardboard and call yourself Mr. Gladstone!'

Contributors

Unknown:
Helen Alston
Baritone:
John Rorke
Unknown:
Tom Clare
Unknown:
George Grossmith
Unknown:
George Grossmith
Unknown:
George Grossmith
Unknown:
Maurice Farkoa
Unknown:
Harry Fragson
Unknown:
Margaret Cooper
Unknown:
Norah Blaney
Unknown:
Tom Clale
Unknown:
George Grossmith

Regional Variations (4)

London Regional Programme

Regional Programme Northern

Scottish News Bulletin

Regional Programme Scotland

London Regional Programme

Regional Programme Midland

Return to the Microphone of Mabel Constanduros in 'Up-Lift'
A Revue
Book and Lyrics by Mabel Constanduros and Michael Hogan
Music by Mark H. Lubbock
Cast: Olive Groves, Stuart Robertson, Madge Saunders, Peter Gibson, Michael Hogan, and Mabel Constanduros (by permission of Sir Nigel Playfair)
The Revue Chorus and Gershom Parkington's Orchestra
Conducted by The Composer

Contributors

Performer/Book and Lyrics:
Mabel Constanduros
Performer/Book and Lyrics:
Michael Hogan
Music/Conductor:
Mark H. Lubbock
Performer:
Olive Groves
Performer:
Stuart Robertson
Performer:
Madge Saunders
Performer:
Peter Gibson
Singers:
The Revue Chorus
Musicians:
Gershom Parkington's Orchestra
Producer:
C. Denis Freeman

Regional Programme London

About Regional Programme

Regional Programme is a radio channel that started transmitting on the 9th March 1930 and ended on the 9th September 1939. It was replaced by BBC Home Service.

Appears in

About this data

This data is drawn from the Radio Times magazine between 1923 and 2009. It shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was subject to change and may not be accurate. More