Have a very happy Old Time Music Hall Christmas!

music hall
image credit: Malcolm Morris [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As an alternative to the Carols and Christmas Pop you might like to try these old Music Hall artistes.

Jack Pleasants

Born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1875, Jack Pleasants was a music hall artist popular in the  North of England in the early part of the twentieth century.

His more famous recordings were of “I’m Shy Mary Ellen, I’m Shy” and “Twenty One Today”.

In his act Pleasants cast himself as a bashful, shy suitor who assumed a lack of experience with women as a ploy for seduction. He appeared in Aladdin at the Prince’s Theatre Bristol in the 1916 winter season.  At forty plus he was obviously too old to volunteer for service in World War One.

In 1924 Pleasants was appearing in panto again but it’s alleged that he dropped dead on stage aged only 49 years.

Jack Pleasants performs “I’m Learning a Song for Christmas”.

Billy Williams

Born Richard Isaac Banks in 1878, Billy Williams was a popular vaudeville and music hall entertainer of his era.

“When Father Papered the Parlour”, written and composed by R. P. Weston and Fred J. Barnes in 1910, was one of Williams’ most popular hits.

Williams started his career as an entertainer in his birth country of Australia before re-locating to England in 1899.

Williams was a very popular entertainer in the music halls and also in pantomime. His speciality was songs where the audience could join in the chorus. He recorded over 500 songs which sold in their thousands even after after his early death in 1915.

Billy Williams sings “Why Don’t Santa Bring Something to Me?”.

Ernie Mayne

Also born in 1878, Ernie Mayne was an English music hall performer who weighed about 20 stone. Mayne used his size as part of his act, singing songs such as “Fried Fruit Fritters” and making fun of his size.

Ernie Mayne was the first music hall star to broadcast on radio on 11th October 1922.

Ernie Mayne sings “I do like a little bit of Turkey at Christmastime”.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

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