The Webster Booth-Anne Ziegler Appreciation Group on Facebook has acquired most of the recordings made by Webster and Anne. Until we come across some of the missing recordings (only about 10 sides to go now) I am creating medleys for the group. Most of them last about half-an-hour and feature AZ-WB recordings and recordings by related artists
I did an interview about Webster and Anne with Clare Marshall on Radio Today on 28 April 2013. You can listen to it here.
The Webster Booth-Anne Ziegler Appreciation Group on Facebook has acquired most of the recordings made by Webster and Anne. Until we come across some of the missing recordings (only about 10 sides to go now) I have been creating medleys for the group. Most of them last about half-an-hour and feature AZ-WB recordings and recordings by artists associated with them. Click on the links to listen to them and please let me know what you think of them.
Going through these medleys I see that not many people have listened to them. Although I enjoy compiling the medleys, just as I enjoy listening to them myself, it seems that I am fighting an increasingly losing battle in trying to promote the recordings of Webster, Anne and related artists. I will add more medleys if any interest is shown in the ones I have uploaded here.
Broadcast 4 December 1927 Some of the songs featured – most by Webster Booth, one by Jan Peerce (A Dream) https://clyp.it/a5lii3hg
A Good Friday selection Webster Booth sings “Abide With Me”, two arias from “Messiah” and “There is no Death”. He sang his first Good Friday “Messiah” at the Albert Hall on Good Friday, 10 April 1936https://clyp.it/2pjvsgv3
Four songs for St George’s Day. I Leave My Heart in an English Garden, England, Mother England, There’s a Land, The English Rose. Each song has been shared before.https://clyp.it/2rcg0qyo
Alfredo Campoli and Webster Booth combine in a medley for violin and voice. Tell me tonight/Ah sweet mystery of life https://clyp.it/ssuybzfn
Beneath Her Window – a Serenade Medley Webster Booth (Voice), Herbert Dawson (organ), orchestra conducted by Walter Goehr. Recorded in 1938 HMV C3051 https://clyp.it/5try4jji
July Medley: All the world is waiting for the sunrise (Seitz), played by P. Sears from YouTube, Castles in the air (WB), Dance of the Wooden Dolls, Side by Side (Melville Gideon from the Co-optimists), Always (WB), Poor Butterfly (Hugo Rignold), Drinking song (WB). https://clyp.it/hct1upr2
June medley: Gypsy Moon, Still as the night, Loch Lomond, We’ll Gather Lilacs, Ivor Novello medley, Waltz Medley, ‘Tis the Day, featuring Alfredo Campoli, Anne and Webster, Fred Hartley, Rawicz and Landauer, Kathryn Rudge. https://clyp.it/olllrro1
Medley to celebrate the eightieth wedding anniversary of Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler. 5 November 1938 Anniversary Medley
Campoli, Webster Booth, Rawicz and Landauer, Harold Williams, Malcolm McEachern in a selection for December December Medley
A few romantic songs recorded in the 1930s and 1940s sung by Webster Booth. Restored from 78rpm records by Mike Taylor. My Love and I Stand Alone, Pale Moon, Come Back My Love to Me, Sweet Melody of Night. Romantic Songs sung by Webster Booth
Anne and Webster playing with pets, Smokey and Woofenpoof in their garden (1953)
Christmas 2018 medley: When Big Ben Chimes, The Holy City, The Little Road to Bethlehem, Silent Night (with Anne Ziegler), The Star of Bethlehem, O, Come All Ye Faithful. Christmas Medley (2018)
January Medley – 2019: Webster Booth, Alfredo Campoli, and Rawicz and Landauer perform the January medley. Eric Coates selection, Everywhere I go (WB), Poeme (Fibich), Sylvia (WB), Fledermaus (R&L), I Bless the Day (WB) January Medley – 2019
Serenade (Frasquita) WB, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (Japie Human), Just for Today (WB), Fascination (JH), Show Me the Way (WB), Dreaming (Salon Orchestra)
Webster and Japie Human.
My Star (Bassett Silver) BBC Home Service broadcast. My Star (Bassett Silver) sung by Webster Booth on Music Hall (BBC Home Service broadcast) 26 April 1949. https://clyp.it/a5esqa5h
March Medley – Alfredo Campoli, Anne, Webster, Fred Hartley Poupée Valse Alfredo Campoli, Slumber Song (Schumann) AZ, Arioso (Bach) Campoli, I love thee (Grieg) WB, My Star (Bassett Silver) WB, Mystic Beauty (Fred Hartley): https://clyp.it/ezoipuro
Medley featuring Alfredo Campoli, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler. Softly awakes my heart (AC), Bless this house (WB), The Poplar Tree (AZ), Gypsy Moon (AC), You are my heart’s delight (WB), Tell Me Tonight (AC). https://clyp.it/3xfdjwvd
Songs I Like, by Webster Booth. 14 September 1938. Broadcast. Not all the songs from the broadcast have been located. https://clyp.it/zhlyqgut
Morgen (Strauss)/Come into the Garden, Maud (Balfe) Recorded in January 1945 HMV C3418. Webster Booth, accompanied by Ernest Lush and Alfredo Campoli. Both records restored by Mike Taylor. https://clyp.it/2sfecfdh
Song of the Vagabonds (WB), Smilin’ Through (WB), Laat Ons nie van Liefde Weer Praat nie (WB/AZ), Showboat medley (Billy Mayerl), Just a Little Love, a Little Kiss (WB), Shine Through My Dreams, Love is My Reason (WB) https://clyp.it/giydvsrz
April 2019 medley: Scipio march (Mortimer), Let Me Dream in Your Arms Again (WB), Love is My Song (WB), Demande et Reponse (Albert Sandler), Stay with Me Forever (WB) (If You are There) Scottish medley (Debroy Somers) https://clyp.it/4utgof3k
May 2019 Loch Lomond medley (Debroy Somers) Love is the key to all glory (AZ/WB) Greensleeves (WB), Gay Vienna (Robert Naylor) Sweethearts/One Day When We Were Young (WB) Dear Miss Phoebe selection ( Parr-Davies) I am grateful to Mike Taylor for several of these fine restorations. https://clyp.it/yv0yjszk
https://clyp.it/3tt4axbh May 2019 Waltz Time medley (Hans May) Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth (1945/1947) Albert Sandler on Violin.
Mid-May Medley: Musette (Hartley), Come Back My Love (WB), Lehar medley (WB/AZ), Pomone Waltz (Albert Sandler), Show Me the Way (WB), Fledermaus fantasy (Rawicz and Landauer)
Thursday, 4 January 1940. 22.35 ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC played by the BBC Theatre Orchestra (leader, Tate Gilder ), Conductor, Stanford Robinson with Gwen Catley and Webster Booth, Wilfrid Parry and Charles Groves (pianofortes) and the BBC Theatre Chorus (trained by Charles Groves).
MUSIC IN THE EVENING – BBC Home Service Basic, 15 January 1940 18.35 with
Alan Paul – A programme of music of a quiet nature .Singers: Dorothy Carless, Three in Harmony, Webster Booth.The Players: Jean Pougnet , David Wise, Frederick Riddle, Anthony Pini , Victor Watson , John Cockerill , Arthur Gleghorn , Leon Goossens, Reginald Kell, Andrew Walkowski , Dennis Gomm. All arrangements by Alan Paul, devised and presented by John Burnaby and Alan Paul
Selected by Mark H. Lubbock and played by the BBC Theatre Orchestra – leader, Tate Gilder,conductor, Stanford Robinson. Gwen Catley ,Webster Booth, Wilfrid Parry and Charles Gloves (pianofortes), the Alfredo Campoli Trio, BBC Theatre Chorus (trained by Charles Groves)
The story of the Popular Song with Marjorie Westbury, Webster Booth, John Rorke, The BBC Theatre Chorus (trained by Charles Groves), The BBC Theatre Orchestra (leader, Tate Gilder). The programme presented and conducted by Mark H. Lubbock.
Evelyn Dall (by permission of Bert Ambrose), Webster Booth, and John Bentley in General Release – Songs from current and forthcoming film issues with the Radio Graces, the BBC Theatre Chorus (trained by Charles Groves), BBC Theatre Orchestra (leader, Tate Gilder) The programme arranged and conducted by Reginald Burston, Compere, Hugh Morton.
Keen filmgoers, as well as many other listeners, will be interested to know that for this programme Reginald Burston has persuaded the producers and Jack Hylton to release the original scores of the new Band Waggonfilm, and Alexander Korda has released the original score of the incidental music for The Four Feathers. Another point of interest about the production is that Evelyn Dall , the popular dance-band vocalist, is entering a new field, so far as sound broadcasting is concerned.
THE STORY OF THE POPULAR SONG – Forces Programme, 21 February 1940 21.45Devised and written by M. Willson Disher with Marjorie Westbury, Webster Booth, John Rorke, The BBC Theatre Chorus (Trained by Charles Groves), The BBC Theatre Orchestra (Leader, Tate Gilder), The programme presented and conducted by Mark H. Lubbock.
The music by Robert Stolz. Adapted for broadcasting from the English version by Holt Marvell, Hassard Short, Desmond Carter, and Reginald Purdell. The BBC Theatre Chorus (trained by Charles Groves). The BBC Theatre Orchestra, Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Reginald Burston, Production by Martyn C. Webster.
Wild Violets was originally produced at Drury Lane in 1932. Set in Switzerland and involving all the best ingredients of melody and romance, it has one of the most tuneful scores written for the theatre during recent years, as most will agree who remember such numbers as You, just you, A girl has got my heart, and Don’t say good-bye.
Augusta: Dorothy Paul
Hans: Ernest Butcher
Greta, their daughter: Meg Titheradge
Otto Bergmann: Frank Drew,
Paul Hoffman: Webster Booth
Carl Hoffman, Paul’s son: Dudley Rolph
Erik Schmidt: Patrick Waddington
Madame Hoffman, Headmistress of the Chateau Violette: Dorothy Summers Mile.
Yvonne Duprez, assistant mistress at the Chateau: Yvette Damac.
Liesel: Marjorie Westbury
Augusta, maid at the Chateau: Dorothy Paul
Hans,her sweetheart: Ernest Butcher
Mary Rutherford, the new girl from England: Heather Boys
Algernon Rutherford, her grandfather: Edgar Norfolk
Dr. Franck, music-master at the Chateau: John Morley
21st October 1940Programme for the forces. 11.0 William Murdoch (Piano), Webster Booth (Tenor), Josef Hassid (Violin), Bruce Dargavel (Baritone).
17 November 1940 BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA visits a West of England town. Popular concert by Stanford Robinson and BBC Theatre Orchestra supported by BBC Theatre Chorus, Olga Haley (soprano), Webster Booth (tenor), Jack Mackintosh (comet virtuoso)
for members of H.M. Forces (with their sweethearts and wives) given by The BBC Salon Orchestra, Leader, Jean Pougnet, Conductor, Leslie Bridgewater.
Margaret Eaves, Helen Clare, Webster Booth, and Fredric Bayco at the organ.
Introduced by Lionel Gamlin from a West-Country concert hall.
The first part of the oratorio by Handel. A performance by the Huddersfield Choral Society – Chorus Master, Herbert Bardgett. Janet Hamilton-Smith (soprano), Maud Heaton (contralto), Webster Booth (tenor), Keith Falkner (bass).
The Society’s Orchestra, Leader, Reginald Stead. Conductor, Malcolm Sargent,
From a Northern concert hall.
There are several reasons for the traditional popularity of Messiah in the North: first, the choruses offer a unique blend of opportunities for great team-work and, in the many magnificent runs and crescendos, for showing off. Secondly, from the religious point of view the plain-spoken chapel-going North welcomes, perhaps subconsciously, the Protestant theology of the oratorio, the familiar words of which are all taken direct from the Bible. Thirdly, the North likes it because it knows it so well and so thoroughly just in the same way that many thousands of people like
Gilbert and Sullivan. It is said that familiarity breeds contempt, but it is impossible for anyone to have contempt for such a masterpiece as Messiah.
Part 2 of Messiah will be broadcast next Sunday at 4.15 by the Halle Society conducted by Dr. Malcolm Sargent.
The second part of the oratorio by Handel. A performance by the Hallé Concerts Society, Isobel Baillie (soprano), Gladys Ripley (contralto), Webster Booth (tenor), Norman Walker (bass) Hallé Chorus, Hallé Orchestra – Leader, Laurance Turner, Conducted by Malcolm Sargent from a Northern concert hall.
under the direction of Tom Jenkins with Webster Booth in a tea-time programme.
Birmingham-born Webster Booth began his professional life as an accountant. When he was eighteen he met Richard Wassell , then conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra, who thought highly of his voice and taught him at the Midland Institute. Booth joined the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1923 and stayed with them for four years. He then settled in London, where he made a name for himself in leading stage roles and also in big musical films. He sang at Covent Garden in the International Opera Season, and has also appeared for most of the principal London and provincial choral and orchestral societies.
with Gwen Catley, Webster Booth, Appleton Moore. BBC Theatre Chorus trained by Charles Groves. BBC Theatre Orchestra – Leader, Tate Gilder. Programme arranged, and conducted by Reginald Burston. Compere, Desmond Davis
WHAT MANCHESTER THINKS TODAY – BBC Home Service Basic, 7 May 1941 21.20A second musically illustrated review of some Manchester first nights from Tom Jones (1907) to Happy Birthday (1940). The programme compiled by S. R. Littlewood. Arranged and produced by Gordon McConnel.
Joan Hammond, Webster Booth, Billie Baker, Bobbie Comber, The Three Radio Graces.BBC Theatre Chorus Trained by Charles Groves. BBC Theatre Orchestra – Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Reginald Burston. Compere, Wilfred Pickles.
Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Harold Lowe, with Webster Booth (tenor)
When Webster Booth was eighteen he met Richard Wassell , then conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra, who thought highly of his voice and taught him at the Midland Institute. Booth joined the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1923 and stayed with them for four years. He has sung at Covent Garden in the International Opera season, and has also appeared for most of the principal London *and provincial choral and orchestral’ societies.
Romantic ballad opera by R. Vaughan Williams. Libretto by Harold Child. Produced by Stanford Robinson and Mark H. Lubbock BBC Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra:conductor Stanford Robinson. Narrator, Dennis Arundell
SINGING TO YOU – Forces Programme, 12 July 1942 15.30Story of Webster
Booth and his songs. Gramophone programme, compiled and written by Bettine
Rampton, and presented by Leslie Perowne
THE SHEPHERDS OF THE DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS – BBC Home Service Basic, 8 December 1942 21.40 Pastoral episode, founded upon Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, by R. Vaughan Williams. Ladies of the BBC Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra – conductor, Stanford Robinson.
Produced by Stephen Thomas in collaboration with the conductor.
The Stuff We Gave the Troops. Programme designed to reflect the more serious side of ENSA’s musical activities-featuring some famous singers of the day, including Webster Booth and Joan Hammond.Devised by Walter Legge. Presented by the Department of National Service Entertainment (NAAFI)
A Viennese pot-pourri by Julius Buerger, with Gwen Catley, Webster Booth, Dennis Noble (by permission of Jay Pomeroy)Winifred Davey (solo piano).BBC Theatre Chorus. BBC Theatre Orchestra.Conductor: Stanford Robinson. Narrator, Anthony Craxton.
Edwardian Melodies – A pot-pourri for broadcasting, arranged by Stanford Robinson, with special orchestrations by Julius Buerger and Leo Wurmser. Prelude, London chimes ; Pomp and Circumstance ; the Ballroom; Ballad Concert; Promenade and Bandstand ; Musical Comedy ; Epilogue, London chimes. Lorely Dyer. (by permission of Lee Ephraim ), Nancy Evans, Webster Booth, Stanley Pope Alfredo Campoli (solo violin). Narrator: Frederick Ranalow, BBC Theatre Orchestra : conductor, Stanford Robinson. (BBC recording)
Stanford Robinson (conductor)
Sunday Rhapsody – THE MUSIC OF ERIC COATES – BBC Home Service Basic, 8 October 1944 22.00A radio pot-pourri with Gwen Catley (soprano),Webster Booth (tenor), Roderick Jones (baritone) (by permission of the Administrators of Sadler’s Wells), BBC Theatre Chorus and BBC Theatre Orchestra. Conductor, Stanford Robinson.
11 October 1944 Guest stars:’KATHLEEN’ AND WEBSTER BOOTH.
A jubilee tribute to the composer, with Gladys Ripley (contralto), Webster Booth (tenor) BBC Theatre Chorus and BBC Theatre Orchestra. Orchestrations by Leo Wurmser. Chorus arrangements by John Clements. Conductor, Stanford Robinson
Teresa del Riego, who wrote the music of 0 dry those tears, Thank God for a garden, Homing, and many other familiar songs, this year celebrates her fiftieth year as a composer.
Orchestrations by Leo Wurmser. Ada Alsop , Winifride Ingham (by permission of Jay Pomeroy). Webster Booth, Frederick Harvey. Narration, written by Harold Nede and spoken by Christopher Stone. BBC Theatre Chorus and Orchestra: conductor, Stanford Robinson.
Sunday Rhapsody – EDWARDIAN MELODIES – BBC Home ServiceBasic, 11 March 1945 21.30Produced by Gwen Williams and Stanford Robinson.Orchestrations by Julius Buerger and Leo Wurmser, with Lorely Dyer, Nancy Evans, Webster Booth, Stanley Pope, Alfredo Campoli (violin).Script written by Desmond Davis.Narrator:Frederick Ranalow. BBC Theatre Chorus. BBC Theatre Orchestra:conductor, Stanford Robinson.
CITY OF MUSIC – Light Programme, 28 August 1945 13.15 A Viennese pot-pourri by Julius Buerger. with Gwen Catley, Webster Booth, William Parsons, and Winifred Davey (solo piano). BBC Theatre Chorus, and BBC Theatre Orchestra: conductor, Stanford Robinson. Narrator, Anthony Craxton.
Sunday Rhapsody VICTORIAN MELODIES (No. 2) – BBC Home Service Basic, 30 December 1945 21.30A potpourri produced by Gwen Williams and Stanford Robinson , including ballroom memories, part songs, and ballads. Special orchestrations by Leo Wurmser. Wth Doris Gambell (soprano). Marjorie Thomas (contralto), Webster Booth (tenor), Norman Allin (bass).
BBC Theatre Chorus and Orchestra. Conductor. Stanford Robinson.
Narration written by Harold Neden.Programme introduced by Christopher Stone.
Compiled by Jean Collen 2014.
Information from The Scotsman and the BBC Genome Project.
Today South African soprano, Garda Hall, is hardly remembered in South Africa where she was born, or in the United Kingdom where she lived for most of her life and had a distinguished career as a singer. The only reason why I know anything about Garda Hall at all is that Webster Booth mentioned that he had sung and recorded with her on several occasions. Her descendant, Quentin Hall, who lives in Western Australia, has shared some of his extensive family research with me so I thought I would write a short article about his distinguished ancestor.
Garda Hall was born in Durban, Natal in 1900 in the middle of the South African War. Garda was given the unusual middle name of Colenso, presumably in commemoration of the Battle of Colenso in 1899. Her parents were George Ernest Hall (1869 – 1933), originally from Torquay, Devon, and Maude Kate Amy Breeds (1878 – September 1959). Quentin presumes that George and Maude married in South Africa rather than the UK and the Breeds surname suggests to me that Garda’s mother was a South African of Dutch origin, rather than British.
Garda moved from Durban to Pietermaritzburg when she was seven years of age and attended the private Girls’ Collegiate School there. Her father owned a bicycle shop in Pietermaritzburg called Hall’s –The Cycle Specialists and sold it to the Jowett family when the family settled in England. The cycling business remained Hall’s – The Cyclist Specialists until 1952 when Walter and his brother eventually changed the name of the business to Jowett Brothers.
Garda was not noted for her musical prowess at school. Apparently the music teacher told her that she was singing out of tune and asked her to leave the music class! It should be pointed out that some children who sing out of tune begin to sing in tune as they mature. Despite being good enough to be accepted at the Royal Academy of Music in 1920 and doing well there, several critics remarked on occasional lapses of intonation when she became a professional singer.
In 1920, she boarded the Norman Castle in Durban with her mother, who was 41 at the time.
They arrived in Southampton on 9 August 1920 and Garda began her vocal studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London at the beginning of the new term in September, taking lessons with the renowned singing teacher, Frederick King who trained many notable singers including Norman Allin, Miriam Licette, Carmen Hill and Robert Radford. T. Arnold Fulton, the Scottish organist and choral director of the London Select Choir and the choir at St Columba’s Church in London where he was organist and choir master, acted as studio accompanist to Frederic King at the Royal Academy. Some years later Arnold Fulton moved to South Africa and taught singing based on the methods he had learnt from Frederic King.
Garda obtained the diplomas of ARAM and LRAM. Interestingly, she apparently trained as a mezzo soprano at the Academy, yet sang as a lyric soprano during her subsequent career as a singer. She was awarded the Gilbert Betjemann Gold Medal at the Academy for operatic singing in 1923.
Not long after she graduated, she sang at the first Grand Ballad Concert of the season at the Guildhall, Plymouth on 29 September 1923, and in 1925 she made a triumphant return to Pietermaritzburg and Durban and gave several successful recitals while she was there. The closing item which she sang at the Pietermaritzburg concert was Poor Wand’ring One from The Pirates of Penzance. I wonder what her disapproving music mistress at ;the Collegiate School thought about this! If she had left South Africa as a second-rate, sometimes out of tune mezzo, she had returned to the country of her birth as an engaging lyric soprano. At the time of her trip her parents were living in Winkelspruit on the South Coast of Natal, but by 1930 the whole family moved to 137 King Henry’s Road, South Hampstead, the address where Garda remained until her death in 1968.
Towards the end of that year Garda sang in Burnley in aid of the Police Convalescent fund. Two of her fellow artistes were distinguished singers of the day – Muriel Brunskill (contralto) and Tudor Davies (tenor). At a concert the following year, the critic remarked on her clean-cut articulation (in English and French) and her ability to sing a comfortable high E. However, he disapproved of “an almost continuous vibrato which adversely affected her intonation”. He suggested that she should work on her breathing to correct this fault – shades of that music mistress in Pietermaritzburg!
1926 was an auspicious year for Garda as she began recording for His Master’s Voice (HMV). One of her notable recordings was the Mozart Requiem with the Philharmonic Choir and orchestra, conducted by Charles Kennedy Scott on 6 July at the Queen’s Hall.Other singers on the recording were Nellie Walker, Sydney Coltham and Edward Halland. She was also bridesmaid at the wedding of baritone Roy Henderson and Bertha Smyth in March. The couple had met when studying at the Royal Academy, presumably at the same time as Garda herself.
During the twenties, Garda was making a name for herself as a popular concert singer, recording artiste and broadcaster, although critics were still concerned about her violent vibrato and doubtful intonation as opposed to her vocal good points of agility and wide range. She was singing with the finest singers of the day, as can be seen in this article of 1928:
A BRASS BAND CONCERT – 2LO London, 25 May 1929 15.30 S.B. from Newcastle. Artists from the London Studio: GARDA HALL (Soprano), WATCYN WATCYNS (Baritone). The MARSDEN COLLIERY BAND Conducted by JACK BODDICE.
Famous Northern Resorts – 2ZY Manchester, 18 September 1929 20.00Scarborough – The SPA ORCHESTRA Conducted by ALICK MACLEAN.(Leader, PACK BEARD) Accompanist, S. HANLON DEAN Relayed from the Spa S.B. from Hull.GARDA HALL (Soprano)
On 6 March 1930 Webster Booth was establishing himself on record, radio, as the Duke of Buckingham in the West End production of The Three Musketeers, and as a tenor soloist in oratorio, but he was still entertaining at dinners and benefit concerts, such as one at the Finsbury Town Hall for the Clerkenwell Benevolent Society, where South African soprano, Garda Hall was one of the other entertainers. Charles Forwood, who was to become the permanent accompanist of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth when they went on the variety stage in 1940, accompanied at this concert.
An Orchestral Concert – Regional Programme London, 24 November 1930 20.35 A Cowen Programme – THE B.B.C. ORCHESTRA Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS. GARDA HALL (Soprano) and Orchestra Aria, Bloom on, bloom on, my Roses(The Rose Maiden) The Swallows, Cradle Song, A Birthday.
A newspaper cutting on 20 March 1930 reads as follows: The Clerkenwell Benevolent Society benefited to a considerable extent as a result of a concert at the Finsbury Town Hall on March 6. There was a generous provision of talent, among those to please a large and enthusiastic audience being Garda Hall, Doris Smerdon, Gladys Limage, Doris Godfrey, Hilda Gladney Woolf, Maidie Hebditch, Webster Booth, Ashmoor Burch, Charles Hayes, Fred Wildon and Lloyd Shakespeare, with Charles Forwood as accompanist. It is interesting that some of these names are still remembered today, while others are completely unknown.
Later in that year, Garda returned to South Africa and her parents came to England on board the Gloucester Castle to make their home with her. For a short time they lived at 142 King Henry’s Drive, Hampstead, but later moved to 137 King Henry’s Drive, where she remained until her death in 1968.
A Concert 5WA Cardiff, 20 March 1931 19.45 Relayed from THE Public HALL, BRITON FERRY. GARDA HALL (Soprano), JOHN MOREL (Baritone) BRITON FERRY I.L.P. MALE VOICE PARTY,Conducted by D. L. MORGAN. NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES (Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru) (Leader, LOUIS LEVITUS) Conducted by WARWICK BRAITHWAITE
In March 1932 Garda took part in a broadcast of popular opera with another South African singer who had made a career in the UK, the contralto Betsy de la Porte. In the same year, she sang in a concert devoted to Viennese music at the Pump Room in Bath. The conductor was Edward Dunn, and baritone George Baker, Webster’s great friend and mentor, was the other soloist. Several years later, Garda suggested to Edward Dunn that he should apply for the position of musical director of Durban Opera. He was chosen from 200 candidates and remained in South Africa for the rest of his life. The last I heard of him was when he was conducting the Johannesburg Philharmonic Society and giving lectures on musical appreciation in the sixties.
Suitable Songs – Regional Programme London, 6 August 1932 21.15 (Part VII). Arranged and Produced by GORDON MCCONNEL. GARDA HALL, PARRY JONES, FOSTER RICHARDSON. EDGAR LANE (Compere) WALTER RANDALL (Pianist) THE REVUE CHORUS and The B.B.C. THEATRE ORCHESTRA Leader, S. Kneale Kelley. Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS
Garda Hall (Soprano), Betsy de la Porte (Contralto), Jan Van Der Gucht (Tenor), Stuart Robertson (Baritone), Franklyn Kelsey (Bass), Mary Hamlin (Soprano), Gladys Winmill (Contralto), Doris Owens (Contralto), Rosalind Rowsell (Soprano) , Stanley Riley (Bass), Bradbridge White (Tenor), Victor Utting (Bass). Narrator, Ivan Samson. The Wireless Chorus (Section B) – Chorus-Master, Cyril Dalmaine. B.B.C. Orchestra (Section D) – Led by Marie Wilson. Conducted by Stanford Robinson
On 22 May 1933, Frederic King, Garda’s singing teacher at the academy, died at the age of 80, and on 1 October of the same year, Webster was on the same bill as Garda Hall at the Palladium. Other performers on that bill were Debroy Somers and his band, Leonard Henry (compère), Raie da Costa (the brilliant South African pianist who died at an early age) and Stainless Stephen. Webster had also been booked to sing at the National Sunday League concerts at the Finsbury Park Empire, and the same artistes as those at the Palladium were due to perform at the Lewisham Town Hall later in October.
A Part of THE CREATION – Regional Programme Scotland, 7 February 1934 20.45 (Haydn) THE DUNDEE AMATEUR CHORAL UNION GARDA HALL (soprano), TREFOR JONES (tenor), JOSEPH FARRINGTON (bass) THE SCOTTISH ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES M. COWE. At the Pianoforte, M. MARSHALL BIRD. Relayed from The Caird Hall, Dundee
On 15 March 1934 Garda Hall sang in Torquay with the Municipal Orchestra there and the short newspaper article announcing the date pointed out that her father had been a Torquay man. She sang an aria from Die Fledermaus at the Queen’s Hall on the last night of the Promenade concerts on 6 October 1934, conducted by Sir Henry Wood.
Songs of Sir Frederic Cowen – National Programme Daventry, 2 April 1934 19.30 sung by GARDA HALL (soprano), HAROLD WILLIAMS (baritone) Accompanied by THE COMPOSER. GARDA HALL Songs about roses :Deep in a Beauteous Garden, The Sweetest Rose of all, Day Dreams, The Roses of Sadi, Blue Skies and Roses. HAROLD WILLIAMS Poems by Sir Walter Scott :Anna Marie, The Bonny Owl Border Ballad
She sang an aria from Die Fledermaus at the Queen’s Hall on the last night of the Promenade concerts on 6 October 1934, conducted by Sir Henry Wood. Promenade Concert – National Programme Daventry, 6 October 1934 20.00 Last concert of the season – Relayed from The Queen’s Hall, London (Sole Lessees, Messrs. Chappell and Co., Ltd.).GARDA HALL (soprano), ROBERT EASTON (bass), EILEEN JOYCE (pianoforte), THE B.B.C SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Led by MARIE WILSON. Conducted by Sir HENRY WOOD
A Variety of Music – Regional Programme Northern, 1 August 1935 21.00 with JACK LORIMER, RONALD HILL, Clive ERARD, DORIS HARE, ALBERT RICHARDSON, G. KITCHENER, RAY WALLACE, STANLEY BROWN, GARDA HALL, JOHN TURNER, BERT MEREDITH, FREDDIE GARDNER AND HIS RHYTHM FIVE. THE RHYTHM BROTHERS. THE BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA Conducted by MARK H. LUBBOCK. Compere, BRYAN MICHIE.(From Regional)
Songs From The Shows (No. 38) – Regional Programme London, 15 October 1935 21.00 Contrasting Composers-2 – SIDNEY JONES and COLE PORTER. BETTY BOLTON, GARDA HALL, REGINALD PURDELL, JANET LIND, C. DENIER WARREN, ROBERT GEDDES, THE THREE GINX. THE BBC VARIETY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS. Conducted by STANFORD ROBINSON. At the pianos, HARRY S. PEPPER and DORIS ARNOLD. Compere, JOHN WATT.
Songs of the Seasons – Regional Programme London, 3 November 1935 17.30 By Frederic H. Cowen. GARDA HALL (soprano), JOYCE NEWTON (soprano), HAROLD WILLIAMS baritone). JOYCE NEWTON – Autumn : To a Flower. GARDA HALL – Winter : Snowflakes. JOYCE NEWTON – Winter : The Snowstorm. HAROLD WILLIAMS – Christmas Time: The Wassailer’s Song. GARDA HALL AND JOYCE NEWTON Spring : Duets To Daffodils, Violets, GARDA HALL – Spring : The Swallows . HAROLD* WILLIAMS – Summer : Anna Marie. JOYCE NEWTON – Summer : Summer’s here. GARDA HALL AND JOYCE NEWTON – Summer : Duet Birds.
On 5 December 1935, Garda Hall, Webster and George Baker sang in a concert version of Gounod’s Faust and the Beggar’s Opera at the Playhouse, Galashiels on the Scottish Borders. The Galashiels Choral Society (concert master: Robert Barrow) and orchestra were conducted by Herbert More.
Pleasure Gardens – National Programme Daventry, 15 May 1936 20.00 A Picture in Words and Music of London’s Old Pleasure Gardens at Vauxhall. Devised by JOHN F. RUSSELL and HOLT MARVELL. Music selected and arranged by ALFRED REYNOLDS. GARDA HALL (soprano), JAN VAN DER GUCHT (tenor), MORGAN DAVIES (baritone) A Section of THE BBC MEN’S CHORUS and THE BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA Leader, Montague Brearley ,Conducted by MARK H. LUBBOCK
On 5 December 1935, Garda Hall, Webster and George Baker sang in a concert version of Gounod’s Faust and the Beggar’s Opera at the Playhouse, Galashiels on the Scottish Borders. The Galashiels Choral Society (concert master: Robert Barrow) and orchestra were conducted by Herbert More.
In 1936 Webster sang with Garda again on 16 September at a Shrewsbury Carnival Concert. Other performers were Ronald Gourley (entertainer) and theAlfredo Campoli Trio
I have been reading B.C. Hilliam’s autobiography Flotsam’s Follies (Flotsam of Flotsam and Jetsam) and discovered that Garda Hall sang in his song cycle, Autumn’s Orchestra. It was performed at the Queen’s Hall, with Garda Hall, Gladys Ripley, Heddle Nash, and Malcolm McEachern as vocalists and Albert Sandler as violinist.
MARIE BURKE in Comic Opera VII – Regional Programme London, 18 September 1936 21.20 Songs and Scenas from three famous Comic Operas, Arranged and Produced by GORDON McCONNEL. 1 The Emerald Isle – Lyrics by Basil Hood, Music by Arthur Sullivan and Edward German. Veronique – English Lyrics by Lilian Eldee, (with alterations and additions by Percy Greenbank ), Music by Andre Messager 3. The Grand Duchess – English Lyrics by Adrian Ross, Music by Offenbach. DICK FRANCIS, GARDA HALL,JAN VAN DER GUCHT, MICHAEL COLE, BERNARD ANSELL and MARIE BURKE. THE BBC REVUE CHORUS and THE BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA. Conducted by ALFRED REYNOLDS.
SONGS FROM THE SHOWS No. 45 – Regional Programme London, 1 May 1937 18.00 Film Songs, No. 11. Garda Hall, Brian Lawrance, Evie Hayes, Sam Costa, The Three Ginx. The BBC Variety Orchestra and BBC Chorus – Conducted by Charles Shadwell. At the Pianos: Harry S. Pepper and Doris Arnold. Music arranged by Doris Arnold and orchestrated by Wally Wallond . Compered and produced by John Watt.
PASTORAL – National Programme Daventry, 8 July 1937 22.20 A Programme in Praise of Quiet Things. Music by Alan Paul. Verse and Prose selected by Ann Baker. Presented by William MacLurg. Garda Hall (soprano), Jean Pougnet (violin), David Martin (violin), William Primrose (viola) Anthony Pini (violoncello), Alan Paul (pianoforte)GARDA HALL AND QUINTET: Quiet The Lambs, Blessed Care, All my Treasures.
Pastoral is a programme of verse, prose, and music upon the themes of quiet and the countryside. The music throughout has been written by Alan Paul who will himself be at the piano for the first programme ever given of his own serious music.
Paul was born in Glasgow and was a student at the Glasgow Athenaeum, now called the Scottish Academy of Music, from 1917 to 1921, when he came to London to join the Royal College of Music. In his first year there he had to make some money to
help with his fees and left the college for four months to go on tour with Polly (sequel to The Beggar’s Opera). About a year ago he joined the BBC.
In May 1937 Theatreland at Coronation Time was released featuring Stuart Robertson, Garda Hall, Webster Booth and Sam Costa. The critic in Gramophone remarked, “Mr Booth sings gloriously, Mr Robertson defiantly, Miss Hall charmingly, while Mr Costa contributes a fleeting reminiscence of a more sophisticated and yet oh so simple entertainment.” The 12”78rpm, HMV C2903 cost 4/-. Click on the above link to hear the recording which has been restored by Mike Taylor.
MURDER IN THE EMBASSY – Regional Programme London, 4 August 1937 21.00 A Melodrama by Francis Durbridge with Incidental Music by Augustus Franzel. Ann Codrington, Ruth Beresford. A Gypsy Orchestra, conducted by Augustus Franzel, and The BBC Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Mark H. Lubbock. Production by Archie Campbell. Captain Michael Rostard, of the Westonian army, nephew of General Rostard: Jack Melford. Sir Charles Fanshaw, of the Foreign Office.: Norman Shelley
Benson, Sir Charles’s valet: Ernest Sefton
*Madame Vaskaya, a famous continental soprano: Garda Hall
Countess Elsa Sieler, daughter of Count Sieler: Jane Carr
General Rostard, Prime Minister and virtual dictator of Westonia: Henry Victor
Mr Hiram E Miller, of Detroit: Fred Duprez
Baron Von Klemm, the Westonian Ambassador.: Boris Ranevsky
Paul Vendorest, a servant at the Westonian Embassy.: .Paul Vernon
A Singer: Morgan Davies
Inspector Davis, of Scotland Yard: Edwin Ellis
Count Sieler, Dictator of Falkenstein: Ernest Sefton
Announcer: Barry Ferguson
There is an entry for Garda Hall in Who’s Who in Music (1937): Hall, Garda ARAM, LRAM. Born Durban, educated at Royal Academy of Music. Betjemann Gold Medalist. Singing, Chamber music, oratorio, operatic. Recreation: gardening. Address: 137 King Henry’s Road NW3. Telephone: Primrose 4436
GEORGIAN MELODIES – National Programme Daventry, 6 February 1938 21.05 A Musical Sequence selected and arranged by Gwen Williams and Stanford Robinson. Garda Hall (soprano), Roy Henderson (baritone), An Octet from the BBC Chorus, The BBC Theatre Orchestra. Leader, Tate Gilder, Conductor, Stanford Robinson .
Braza (violinist), John Turner (tenor) Garda Hall (soprano), Will Kings (entertainer). Dundee police concert. Evening Telegraph and Post, Dundee (February 1938)
Reverie (No. 6) – National Programme Daventry, 25 June 1938 22.15 – The BBC Theatre Orchestra, leader, Tate Gilder, Conductor, Stanford Robinson. Garda Hall (soprano), Freda Townson (mezzo-soprano) O would that my love?/The Harvest Field (Mendelssohn) Dôme épais (Lakmé) (Delibes) Already, shades of night/ Alas my chosen swain(The Queen of Spades)
MUSIC BY ERIC COATES – Regional Programme London, 9 June 1939 18.00 BBC Orchestra (Section E) Led by Laurance Turner, Conducted by the composer. GARDA HALL AND ORCHESTRA The Mill o’ Dreams, Back o’ the Moon, Dream o’ Nights, The Man in the Moon, Bluebells.Homeward to you, Your Name, Music of the Night.
C.E.M.A. CONCERT- BBC Home Service Basic, 3 October 1940 13.15 Organised in collaboration with a Miners’ Welfare Institute Somewhere in the Midlands. Garda Hall (soprano), Dale Smith (baritone), Samuel Kutcher (violin), Accompanist, Harry Isaacs .
Garda continued singing during the war, often at CEMA concerts and in oratorio. She sang Messiah at the Albert Hall, Nottingham in December 1940.
27 March 1942
22 January 1943
The final cutting about Garda Hall appeared on 5 January 1945.
I could find nothing more about her, apart from her entry in the Musicians Who’s Who in 1949, which was much the same as the 1937 entry. In 1945 she was 45 years of age so I cannot believe that she retired from singing at such an early age. Perhaps she taught singing after she retired from the concert platform, although there is no proof of this. Her mother died in the late 1950s and she herself died on 7 June 1968. She did not marry. If anyone has further information about Garda Hall, I would be very glad to hear from you.