Free Download: British Music Hall Reclaimed

“Barry Cryer takes a look at the cottage industry of music-hall recording restoration, and at the lives and works of some of the genre’s stars. Thanks to modern computer technology we are able to hear again performances by artists such as Mark Sheridan, Ernest Shand, Vesta Victoria, and Albert Chevalier , material originally recorded at the turn of the last century. The music hall artist Vesta Victoria, who gave the first performance of Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bow-Wow in 1892. 
Hetty King sheet music I've Got the Time, I've Got the Place
Hetty King

This edition of The Archive Hour not only shines a spotlight on the lesser-known stars of the British music hall but also reveals how this cultural phenomenon is surviving, thanks to a team of dedicated archivists who are using their computers to store recordings that go as far back as the 1890s.

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“They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace”

by Johnny Foreigner

Ann Stephens’ version “They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace” 1941

Anytime I see the image of the Changing of the Guards, I’m reminded of this childern’s song.

London-born Ann Stephens (21 May 1931 – 15 July 1966) was the first to record “Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace” in 1941. Stephens  was a British child actress and singer, popular throughout the 1940s.

In 1941 she recorded “Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace”, inspired by A. A. Milne’s verses about Christopher Robin (music by Harold Fraser-Simson)

Like most many American baby boomers, I first heard this song on the Captain Kangaroo Show. That version was made in 1959 by late British variety performer Max Bygraves.

Bygraves’ onstage catchphrase “I wanna tell you a story,” is only slightlt better than Marty Allen’s “Hello Dere!” – but Bygraves is a much better singer. Give a listen to this video we nicked.

Which version do you like better?

Max Bygraves’ 1959 version “They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace”

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