Anne and Webster settled in South Africa in mid-July 1956. I compiled the following lis of radio programmes from newspapers, magazines and personal diaries. Contact me if you can add more information to this list.
MOBILGAS MELODY WORLD 16 February 1956/57? Springbok Radio,
Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth in a programme compèred by Michael Drinn.
LIGHT UP AND LAUGH – ITMA, December 1956
Thirteen-week series on Springbok Radio, recorded at the Brooke Theatre. Webster (rather incongruously!) took Tommy Handley’s part in South African presentation of ITMA scripts.
ELDORADO, (Ralph Trewhela) 1957
Anne and Webster took the leading roles in this musical, directed by Frank Douglass, SABC Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Jeremy Schulman. Work commissioned by SABC for 21st anniversary programme.
AT HOME WITH ANNE, commenced on 21 January 1958. Anne presented this series on Springbok Radio. The programme was still running in July 1959.
DO YOU REMEMBER? 1959 to 24 April 1960, Anne and Webster presented weekly music programme on Springbok Radio on Sunday afternoon. They spoke about their illustrious careers and the people with whom they had worked.
CONCERT HOUR 1960 – English service of the SABC. SABC Concert Orchestra, Rita Roberts, Webster Booth, Asaf and Philharmonic Choirs, conducted by Anton Hartman.
DOUGLAS LAWS Record show, 4 October 1960. Anne and Webster appeared as guest artistes.
MESSIAH 8 December 1960 Webster sang tenor solos in the Port Elizabeth Oratorio Festival, conducted by Robert Selley.
TEST YOURSELF 1960. Anne and Webster presented this quiz show together on Springbok Radio.
OPERA, ORATORIO AND OPERETTA (ON WINGS OF SONG) Wednesdays at
8.30 pm, later Thursday, 9.20 pm, 1961
Webster presented a weekly programme of recordings (including some of their own) on the English Service.
DREAM OF GERONTIUS, MESSIAH, 27 November 1961. Port Elizabeth Oratorio Festival broadcast Monday and Wednesday at 8pm. Webster, with Emelie Hooke, Joyce Scotcher, Harold Hart, Port Elizabeth Orchestra, directed by Robert Selley.
GILBERT AND SULLIVAN 1962, 1963. When the copyright on Gilbert’s words ended, Webster presented a weekly programme on the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas on the English Service. During his illness in 1962, Paddy O’Byrne read the scripts of this programme.
DRAWING ROOM, April 1962
Webster presented a short series of drawing room concerts before a studio audience on the English Service. He and Anne sang in this series, and a number of guest artistes took part. He also sang duets with the bass, Graham Burns. The guest artistes were Doris Brasch, Rita Roberts, Gert Potgieter, Gé Korsten, Graham Burns, Jean Gluckman, Kathleen Allister and Walter Mony The accompanist was Anna Bender.
MUSIC FOR ROMANCE, August 1962. Anne presented a series of programmes in which she presented recordings and reminisced about her life and career in England.
PORT ELIZABETH ORATORIO FESTIVAL, November 1962
Elijah and Messiah from Port Elizabeth.
Webster, Monica Hunter, Joyce Scotcher, and Graham Burns, conducted by Robert Selley. The complete oratorios were broadcast locally in the Eastern Cape. Excerpts were broadcast nationally later, but strangely none of Webster’s recordings were used in the national broadcast.
SUNDAY AT HOME, January 1963. English Service. Paddy O’Byrne conducted a fifteen minute interview with Anne and Webster at their home in Craighall Park.
GREAT VOICES, January 1963-1964. Webster presented this series on the English Service. He was criticised by the critic Jon Sylvester of The Star for including some of his own recordings, yet most people expected to hear Webster Booth the singer as well as Webster Booth, lately-turned broadcaster.
RECITAL WITH ORCHESTRA 8 April 1963. Anne and Webster sang a programme of duets, with orchestra conducted by Edgar Cree, on the English service.
BALLADS OLD AND NEW, July 1963. Webster presented this short series on the English Service towards the end of 1963.
CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME 1963/64 Anne and Webster presented a series of children’s programmes, directed by Kathleen Davydd.
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE PALACE, November 1963. A short series, which attempted to recreate the atmosphere of the Music Hall on the English Service. Anne and Webster were guest artistes on this programme.
Webster, Anne, Jeanette James and Bruce Anderson sing a quartet in the programme
OPERA AND OPERETTA, July 1964, Monday, 7.35 pm Webster returned to the English Service with this series.
IF THE SHOE FITS, Christmas 1964. Webster and Anne starred in this Christmas pantomime on the English Service.
TEN OCLOCK AND ALL’S WELL, September 1966. Webster was guest presenter for a week in this short series on the English Service.
2 October 1966, CITY HALL, JOHANNESBURG. ORCHESTRAL CONCERT (FOR JOHANNESBURG EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY)
Anne and Webster were soloists, with the SABC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edgar Cree. Webster told Edgar Cree that he was not pleased with his voice and thought it was time for him to stop singing.
O lovely night (Anne and Webster)
Drink to me only with thine eyes (Anne)
Lehar medley (Anne and Webster)
The Holy City (Webster)
Love’s old sweet song (Anne and Webster)
We’ll gather lilacs (Anne and Webster)
Selection from Bitter Sweet (Anne and Webster)
MELODY MARKET, May 1967. Webster presented this programme in the early morning on the English Service. “A sort of housewife’s choice,” was how he described it in a letter to me. It was the last programme for the SABC before leaving Johannesburg for Knysna a month or so later.
SOUTH AFRICA A TOUCH OF THE BRITISH, 29 May 1973. BBC TV. Documentary. Anne and Webster appeared in this BBC TV documentary. Anne said that she had had enough of South Africa and wanted to go home to die. The programme ended with Anne and Webster singing We’ll gather lilacs.
PETER BROOMFIELD’S OPEN HOUSE, 20 March 1975. English Service. Anne and Webster were guests of Peter Broomfield on his morning programme, broadcast from Cape Town, on the English Service. Anne’s friend, Babs Wilson-Hill (Marie Thompson) who was on a visit from the UK, and Anne and Webster’s singing dog, Silva were also present in the studio. Silva sang along to a Harry Lauder record!
A MUSICIAN REMEMBERS, 19 and 26 October 1975. English Service. Webster reminisced about his career in the theatre.
A MUSICIAN REMEMBERS, 2 and 9 November 1975. English Service. Anne reminisced about her career in the theatre.
WOMENS’ WORLD, English Service, 1975 – Pamela Deal, who had conducted the first interview with Anne and Webster when they stopped off briefly on their way to Australia in 1948, interviewed them again when they decided to stop singing in public. They had given a farewell concert in Somerset West towards the end of 1975. This decision was rescinded when they moved back to the UK in early 1978 and found that people remembered them and wanted to see and hear them once again.
RADIO TODAY 1485 When Anne and Webster left South Africa their voices were rarely heard on South African radio. Ronald Charles, the broadcaster and musician who had been the musical director at Michaelhouse in the sixties, played several of Webster’s oratorio recordings from his personal collection on his classical request programme. As far as I know most of the 78s in the SABC record library were discarded, but as time passed, a number of their recordings were released on CD. Occasionally a recording was played on Uit Vergange se Dae on Radio Pretoria.
Paddy O’Byrne was always happy to play a recording when he was with the SABC and later at Radio Today, although his access to their recordings was extremely limited. Clare Marshall, on her Sunday morning programme, Morning Star on Radio Today 1485, is about the only broadcaster in South Africa to feature their recordings regularly. Sadly, Radio Today does not feature her excellent programme Morning Star any more.
Compiled by Jean Collen. Updated in 2019.