If anyone has any of the recordings listed below, I would be very glad to have an MP3 of any one of them so that I can add it to the list of recordings in this group.

Missing Recordings

I read a post in The Golden Age of British Dance Bands by Javier Soria Laso about a data bass on the internet: (http://www.kellydatabase.org/Entry.aspx). I discovered a number of recordings by Webster Booth which I had not seen before – some of them had never been released. He featured in recordings by the HMV Light Opera Company and the Light Opera Male Chorus, sometimes in the chorus and sometimes as a soloist. I have included these recordings in my original list of missing recordings.

I wonder whether the unreleased recordings are still in circulation or whether they were discarded by HMV. I have a recording of Beauty’s Eyes (Tosti) which is marked as unreleased, also Anne Ziegler’s test recording of the Waltz Song from Merrie England. Possibly they were obtained from the Booths’ private record collection.

If anyone has any of the recordings listed below, I would be very glad to have an MP3 of any one of them so that I can add it to the list of recordings in this group.

WEBSTER BOOTH: Test recordings Serenata, Macushla Webster Booth, Reginald Paul, C Studio, Small Queens Hall, London, 20 November 1929.

Here Comes the Bride Selection (Schwartz) Light Opera Company with Alice Moxon, Stuart Robertson, Webster Booth, George Baker/Ray Noble/Studio C, Small Queens Hall, London/Cc18897-4, 25 March 1930.

C1890 Three Musketeers: Vocal Gems (Friml, Grey & Woodhouse),  Queen of my heart, Your eyes, March of the Musketeersparts 1 and 2, C Studio, Small Queen’s Hall, London, 7 April 1930. LIGHT OPERA COMPANY, ORCHESTRA: RAY NOBLE,  ALICE MOXON soprano, BESSIE JONES soprano, NELLIE WALKER contralto, ESSIE ACKLAND contralto, WALTER GLYNNE tenor, WEBSTER BOOTH tenor, GEORGE BAKER baritone, STUART ROBERTSON bass-baritone.

C1920 C B Cochrane’s 1930 Revue: Vocal Gems, parts 1 and 2 : Piccadilly, With a song in my heart,  Heaven, All the things you do,  Part 2: Bakerloo, Just as we used to do, The wind in the willows, What became of Mary? C Studio, Small Queen’s Hall London,  16 May 1930.  LIGHT OPERA COMPANY, ORCHESTRA: RAY NOBLE,  BESSIE JONES soprano, Alice MOXON soprano, NELLIE WALKER contralto, ESSIE ACKLAND contralto, WEBSTER BOOTH tenor, WALTER GLYNNE tenor, GEORGE BAKER baritone, STUART ROBERTSON bass-baritone.

Decca K630 HMS Pinafore Vocal Gems/Gilbert and Sullivan, Anne Welch, Victor Conway, Doris Owens, Webster Booth (1931)

I’m alone because I love you (Joe Young)/ When it’s sunset on the Nile (Ray Ellison & Ted RenardKensington Cinema, London, 6 March 1931. WEBSTER BOOTH tenor, W. BRUCE-JAMES organ Not released by HMV.

C2229 White Horse Inn: Vocal gems (Benatzky-Stolz), parts 1:   White Horse Inn, My song of love, Your eyes; Part 2 Ho-Dri-Ho, Goodbye, Sigesmund, It would be wonderful, Small Queen’s Hall London,  8 May 1931/14 May 1931, LIGHT OPERA COMPANY, Orchestra: RAY NOBLE,  BESSIE JONES soprano, NELLIE WALKER soprano, ESSIE ACKLAND contalto, GEORGE BAKER baritone,  STUART ROBERTSON bass-baritone,JOHN TURNER tenor,WEBSTER BOOTH tenor.

I have this recording. Webster must feature in the chorus for his solo voice cannot be heard.

C2501 Musical Comedy Marches, No 2 Studio, Abbey Road London,  7 November 1932,

C2511 Robert Burns Medley, parts 1 and 2: My love is like a red red rose,Green grow the rashes-O, Afton Water, No 2 Studio, Abbey Road London, 5 December 1932, 

C2716 Ballad Memories, Light Opera Company, including Peter Dawson, Webster Booth, Walter Glynne, George Baker, Gladys Peel, Essie Ackland. Date unknown.

Columbia DB 1658 ORCHESTRE RAYMONDE, with Webster Booth, tenor and Angela Parselles, soprano, Cond. George Walter (real name Walter Goehr) Date unknown.

B8078 A dream of paradise (Claude Littleton & Hamilton Gray)/The old rustic bridge by the mill (Joseph P Skelly) Kingsway Hall, London, 23 October 1933, WALTER GLYNNE tenor, CHORUS, organ HERBERT DAWSON (orchestra Lawrance COLLINGWOOD)  WEBSTER BOOTH tenor, JOHN TURNER tenor, EDWARD HALLAND baritone, PETER DAWSON bass-baritone, GEORGE BAKER baritone.

B8071 Sweet Genevieve (Tucker), solo STUART ROBERTSON;  At Trinity Church (Fred Gilbert), solo GEORGE BAKER; The honeysuckle and the bee (Fitz & Penn), solo STUART ROBERTSON; b) If you want to know the time (E W Rogers), solo GEORGE BAKER  Studio No 1, Abbey Road London England,  7 November 1933 LIGHT OPERA MALE CHORUS (orchestra: CLIFFORD GREENWOOD) WEBSTER BOOTH tenor, JOHN TURNER tenor, EDWARD HALLAND bass, LEONARD HUBBARD baritone.

This recording may be heard on Clypit: https://clyp.it/fjwbx5vs Thanks to Robert Godridge.

B8081 The saucy Arethusa (trad.), solo STUART ROBERTSON; The Bay of Biscay (Davy) Studio No 1, Abbey Road, London,  7 November 1933,

B8105 The glory of the Motherland (McCall); England (Besly); No 2 Studio, Abbey Road, London ,11 January 1934  PETER DAWSON bass-baritone (orchestra: CLIFFORD GREENWOOD), MALE QUARTET  JOHN TURNER, tenor, WEBSTER BOOTH tenor, GEORGE BAKER baritone, STUART ROBERTSON, bass.

C2814Neapolitan Nights, Selection sung in English: O sole mio; Torna; Funiculì Funiculà  Studio 1, London, 20 December 1935, LIGHT OPERA COMPANY, Orchestra: WALTER GOEHR,  INA SOUEZ (sop), WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) Chorus 8 men

C2827 Tosti Medley Part 1: Parted; Marechiare; Vorrei morire; Part 2: L’ultima canzone; Ideale; Mattinata; Goodbye, Studio 1. London 11 February 1936, LIGHT OPERA COMPANY Orchestra: WALTER GOEHR,  INA SOUEZ (sop), WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) Chorus 8 men (as La Scala Singers) Released1938?  

C2834 Spanish Medley, part 1 – Perjura; Lolita; La paloma; part 2 – La partida, El relicario; Ay ay ay, Studio 1, London, 10 February 1936 (as Sevillian Serenaders)

Waltz song (German)/Indian love call (Friml) Studio 3, London ,10 March 1936,
 ANNE ZIEGLER (sop)(p) Test recordings.

B8476I’m all alone/May; I’ll wait for you/ May, Webster Booth, Conductor: George Scott-Wood, Studio 2, London, 21 July 1936, released December 1936, deleted July 1939.

September 1936Gramophone. Webster Booth is a little off colour this month in two songs by May and Feiner, I’m All Alone and I’ll Wait for You, both with orchestra on HMV B8476 (2S. 6d.), but this does not detract from the fact that Mr Booth is probably the finest light tenor before the public to-day. 

CARELESS RAPTURE Selection (Ivor Novello) Side 1.   Why Is There Ever Goodbye?/Music In May,   Side 2.   The Manchuko/Finale – Music In May. 23 October 1936.

Released in December 1936 and deleted in April 1941.

C2878 Memories of Lehár, part 1: You are my heart’s delight, Love’s melody, Smokeland, Gipsy love; part 2: Foreign Legion, Count of Luxembourg, Love’s melody  Studio 2, London, 23 October 1936, LIGHT OPERA COMPANY, soloists ERIKA STORM, WEBSTER BOOTH (ten), BBC Male Voice Quartet (orchestra: WALTER GOEHR)

Gems from Glamorous Night (Novello) Webster Booth, Muriel Barron (number and date unknown)

My star/Little Son (Bassett Silver),  Studio 1 London  10 February 1937 
 WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) (orchestra: CLIFFORD GREENWOOD) Unissued.

I was sent these recordings by Bassett Silver’s son.

You’re mine (Sievier, de Rance) Studio 1, London, 10 February 1937
 WEBSTER BOOTH (ten)(orchestra WALTER GOEHR) Unissued.

Lakmé: O fair vision (Delibes, trans Claude Aveling) London,3 March 1939 

Soft and pure fraught with love (Flotow, trans Claude Aveling) London,  3 March 1939, 

Ave Maria/Schubert, Webster Booth (tenor) Ernest Lush (piano) 11 August 1939 Unpublished

DB 1877 MELODY OF THE WALTZ – Part 1: Waltzes by Gung’l; MELODY OF THE WALTZ; Part 2 : Waltzes by Gung’l, THE BOHEMIANS: light orchestra with Al Bollington at the Abbey Road studio Compton organ and Webster Booth, tenor. Released in October 1939 and deleted in February 1944.

B9030 Rosita (Kennedy/Carr)/When you wish upon a star (Harline & Washington)(Pinocchio)  Studio 1, London, 28 February 1940, WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) (orchestra CHARLES PRENTICE) Released April 1940. Deleted February 1944.

Rose of England: Crest of the Wave (Novello)/Beauty’s Eyes (F Paolo Tosti; F J Weatherley) Studio 3, London,27 March, 1941.
WEBSTER BOOTH (ten)(piano GERALD MOORE) Unissued.

I have Webster’s recording of Beauty’s Eyes by Tosti.

Merrie England: Come to Arcadie (German) Studio 3, London, 19 October 1941,

ANNE ZIEGLER (sop), WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) (orchestra: DEBROY SOMERS) Unissued.

July 1945 – War records Webster Booth, Sydney Burchall and Clarence Wright, sang in Songs Our Boys Sang and Marching Times.

These records were not for sale to the general public, but sets were available at most of the 5300 National Savings Centres throughout the Country. Further information was available from the National Savings Committee, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, SW1.

Oft in the stilly night (trad; Tom Moore)/There is no death (O’Hara; Johnstone) St Mark’s Church, Hamilton Terrace, London , 11 January,1946 , WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) (organ HERBERT DAWSON) Unissued. Webster also made a recording of There is no Death for HMV which was issued.

B9502All Soul’s Day/ Richard Strauss; Memory Island/ Harrison/ Gerald Moore, 27 February 1946. Released October 1946. Deleted March 1952. OEA10882/3

October 1946 Gramophone Webster Booth (tenor), Gerald Moore (piano): All Soul’s Day, opus No 8 (Bernhoff/Richard Strauss); Memory Island (Askew/Harrison) HMV B9502 (10”)

Richard Strauss’s setting of All Soul’s Day calls for singing of considerable emotional stress, and when Webster Booth gets impassioned his voice loses the easy charm that is its chief characteristic. His words are a model of distinctness and the accompaniment of Gerald Moore is perfect, but the song is not a very happy choice.

The singer is more at home in Memory Island, in which a sailor home from the sea for good, casts his memory back, Masefield-wise, to the blue lagoons, coral islands and what not of the rover. It is a nice song with, for its type, an unusually good accompaniment.

Without a song (V Youmans; W Rose and E Eluscu)/ My song goes round the world (E Neubach; English version K J Kennedy, ?Hans May) London,8 January 1948, 
WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) Orchestra: ERIC ROBINSON Unissued.

If my songs were only winged (Reynaldo Hahn) London, 11 July 1950,  WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) Orchestra: MARK LUBBOCK Unissued.

Countess Maritza: Komm Zigeuner (Kalman; McConnell)  London,20 December 1950,
WEBSTER BOOTH (ten) Orchestra: MARK LUBBOCK Unissued.

Decca F9921 Sanctuary of the Heart (Ketelby)He Bought My Heart At Calvary (Hamblen) with choir of St Stephen’s Church Dulwich, Fela Sowande (organ) June 1952

Jean Collen Updated: 10 September, 2019


Pamela Davies who collaborated with me in writing Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth? at the same time as my own book, Sweethearts of Song: A Personal Memoir of Anne Ziegler & Webster Booth (published at the same time by LULU ) was given a scrapbook of Australian and New Zealand press cuttings related to Anne and Webster’s tour there in 1948.

List compiled by Mrs Pamela Davies, Church House, Great Comberton, Pershore, WR10 3DS Worcestershire, England.

Pamela Davies who collaborated with me in writing Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth? at the same time as my own book, Sweethearts of Song: A Personal Memoir of Anne Ziegler & Webster Booth (published at the same time by LULU ) was given a scrapbook of Australian and New Zealand press cuttings related to Anne and Webster’s tour there  in 1948 from the late Jean Buckley.

Jean Collen 1991
Jean Buckley with Trixie
Pamela Davies

New Zealand list compiled by Mrs Pamela Davies, Pershore,England.

On the trip to Australia aboard the maiden voyage of the Imperial Star the ship called at various South African ports, so Anne and Webster managed to do two broadcasts each in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. They picked up the ship again in Durban to sail on to Melbourne to meet their Australian accompanist from Adelaide, Clarence Black. Unfortunately their regular accompanist, Charles Forwood, was not in the best of health at this time, so chose not to travel with them on the tour.
   Clarence Black studied piano and organ at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide. When he graduated he became the organist at the Regent Theatre and gave organ recitals each Sunday afternoon. In 1951 he accompanied Peter Dawson (aged 69, but undiminished in voice and personality by advancing age) on his concert tour of Australia.

Broadcasting at the SABC in Johannesburg.

Broadcasting in Johannesburg.

WORLD FAME:  Attractive looking pair Ann Ziegler and her husband Webster Booth are known by their voices in every home possessing a radio. New Zealanders will shortly have the opportunity of seeing them in the flesh, for they are already headed for a tour of the Dominion. They are about to set sail from Liverpool with South Africa as their first port of call.

Arrival in New Zealand 1948  

Dominion (Wellington)/19/5/48 TWO ENGLISH SINGERS DUE NEXT MONTH

Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler shortly due in New Zealand will make their first appearance at the Town Hall on June 1 and 2. These two stars who have achieved popularity through their contributions to light opera, musical comedy, screen and radio entertainment are assured of a warm welcome in this country as apart from their value as entertainers there is always a certain curiosity as to their personalities.     

Booth after leaving school was a clerk in a firm of Birmingham accountants.  Before this he had sung in the choir of Lincoln Cathedral.  His pleasing alto voice changed to tenor and after seeing the possibilities at the professional stage he applied for an audition, was given one and passed through the ranks as a tenor inEngland and Canada.

*Miss Ziegler has been known to the public since early childhood.  She actually gave a recital in London while still in her teens*.

*This section is completely inaccurate. She was not known to the public in her childhood and gave a singing recital at the Wigmore Hall, London when she was twenty-three years of age.

At one stage she was one of the best known of principal “boys” in pantomime in the provinces and crossed the Atlantic to play a leading part in the musical comedy Virginia.

Webster went on to oratorio under Dr Malcolm Sargent with the Huddersfield Choir and the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. His career has been almost meteoric.

Otago Daily Times,26 May 1948 Otago Times.


Two of the most popular British singers, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, are to make a tour of New Zealand in the near future. Established favourites with a world audience through the medium of their broadcasts and recordings, they are also well known on the British stage and have made appearances in several films, the most recent of which The Laughing Lady has still to be released in this country. Although ranked high as singers of more serious musical forms both artists are equally well known in the realm of musical comedy.

Their partnership commenced with the film version of Faustand their recent stage successes have included a revival of The Vagabond King and a new musical Sweet Yesterday. Oratorio, opera and the concert platform have all been covered by this versatile duo.

Auckland Herald/29/5/48 Arrival from Sydney

Arrival in New Zealand.

New Zealand Concert Tour 1948.
Auckland Town Hall.

Wellington Town Hall

Wellington Town Hall.
Concert at Wellington town hall.

The Dominion (Wellington) 2 June 1948. Last Night’s Audience Were Enthralled. Finally, Tonight TOWN HALL 8PM – THIS IS YOUR LAST OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR WEBSTER BOOTH (Tenor) And ANNE ZIEGLER (Soprano) England’s King and Queen OF SONG With CLARENCE BLACK At the Piano. Ballads and Operatic Arias blended with Gems from Musical Comedy by Artists who “sing and act superbly” and who bring to the Concert Platform the romance and glamour of the Stage and Screen.

RESERVES STILL AVAILABLE At Begg’s Today, 8/- and 6/- plus Tax, Also DAY SALES AT 8/- plus Tax, And at the Town Hall tonight From 7pm Direction: Begg’s Celebrity Artists Co.


A reception as enthusiastic as any seen recently in the Town Hall was accorded the English singers Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, and the Australian pianist Clarence Black when they opened a tour of the Dominion last night.  A large audience was present.

3 June 1948 Re cocktail party the previous day, given at 33 Club in their honour attended by WB alone; AZ “indisposed”. Anne Ziegler Taken Ill : Last Night’s Concert Postponed.

Because of the sudden illness of Anne Ziegler, the Webster Booth-Anne Ziegler concert did not take place last night. Practically every seat in the Town Hall was filled when Mr C A Rendle representing the promoters announced the postponement.

Miss Ziegler became ill between 5 and 6 pm. At first it was hoped that the sickness would prove to be a passing one and even the doctor in attendance thought that such might be the case, but after 7pm it was seen that Miss Ziegler was still suffering, and in no condition to make a public appearance. In these circumstances, there was no option but to cancel the concert.

Those present were informed that it was hoped the concert would be held on Saturday night next, and all tickets and reserves would be good for that date.  The audience took the announcement in good part. This arrangement has been made possible by the cancellation of the Nelson concert.

7 June 1948 Evening Post – second Wellington
concert on Saturday night in the Town Hall. Evening Post

CAPTIVATING PAIR – Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth

Of all the celebrity artists to visit New Zealand over the past few years possibly none have had the captivating stage manner so typical of the English singers Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.  At their second Wellington concert presented in the Town Hall on Saturday night, this popular couple shared all their songs with the audience rather than sung to them. Their unselfconscious miming and acting throughout both solos and duets won for them a staunch following among even the more staid concertgoers accustomed to the dignified impersonality of other artists.

They opened the programme with the duet Stay, Frederick Stay from The Pirates of Penzance (Sullivan) in which their voices blended perfectly.  There was not one false note among their choice of numbers, every item being of the type for which they are best
known. Solos and duets were both received enthusiastically by the audience, but it was in the duets that they were accorded the greatest storm of applause.

One of the most popular duets was Deep in My Heart (from The Student Prince) and We’ll Gather Lilacs (from Novello’s Perchance to Dream) as an encore was another success. Their duo programme included The Love Duet (Madame Butterfly), Coward’s I’ll See You AgainLife Begins Anew (Sweet Yesterday) and Laugh at Life from their latest film The Laughing Lady. A medley of ballads which warmed the hearts of older members of the audience comprised Until (Sanderson), Love’s Old Sweet Song (Molloy) I Hear You Calling Me (Marshall) and Two Little Words (Brahe).

Miss Ziegler’s first solo was her own arrangement Strauss’s Tales from the Vienna Woods which was superbly sung and she also sang One Fine Day from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

Webster Booth sang The English Rose (German) his recording of which is considered one of his best, The Lord’s Prayer and Break of Day from the film Waltz Time.

As a climax to their programme and by popular request the two artists presented their own arrangement of the traditional Keys of Heaven. They burlesqued it delightfully and the audience loved it. 

As accompanist Clarence Black was sympathetic and never intrusive and his solo items proved so popular that he was recalled to play several encores. 

8 June 1948 Nelson Evening Mail. At the School of Music last night.

11 June 1948 Taranaki Daily News, Opera House, New Plymouth last night.

14 June 1948 Manawatu Evening Standard, Palmerston North Opera House on Saturday night. Their second and final concert in Palmerston North to be on Tuesday evening.

15 June 1948 Wanganui Herald Wanganui Opera House last night.

18 June 1948 Hawkes Bay Herald Tribune, Hastings. Municipal Theatre, Hastings last night. To appear in Napier tomorrow night.

21 June 1948 Daily Telegraph, Napier. Napier Municipal Theatre on Saturday night.

21 June 1948. Gisborne Herald. Talk given today by Webster Booth to members of Gisborne Rotary Club, where he complained about the lack of back-stage heating in New Zealand’s theatres.

22 June 1948 Gisborne Herald. Gisborne Opera house last night.

24 June 1948 Rotorua Post. Municipal Theatre, Rotorua last night. Interview given by Webster Booth today. The eleventh concert of their tour, the first concert with back-stage heating at Municipal Theatre, Rotorua.

25 June 1948. Wailatu Times, Hamilton. Theatre Royal, Hamilton last night.

29 June 1948. Northern Advocate. Whangarei Town Hall last night.

30 June 1948 Auckland Star. Town Hall, the first of two Auckland concerts.

6 July 1948 Timaru Herald. Theatre Royal, Timaru last night.

6 July 1948 Re great demand for tickets for recital on Wednesday, July 14th at Civic Theatre: followed by one at St James Theatre, Gore on Thursday July 15.

7 July 1948 Otago Daily Times Arrived Dunedin yesterday,
an interview on their arrival, and photo of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth in their hotel lounge.

7 July 1948 Evening Star, Dunedin. Another interview this morning apparently when Webster and Anne were at the Town Hall, inspecting the stage.

8 July 1948 Town Hall, Dunedin Otago Daily Times Otago Daily Times


A special attraction at the Sing to be held tomorrow in the Strand Theatre in aid of the Food for Britain campaign will be Mr Clarence Black, pianist and accompanist for Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.  Donations may be sent to Mr J F Himburg, Charles Begg, who with Mr A J Pettitt will assist Mr M P Desmoulins to lead the singing.

Town Hall last night (Dunedin) Otago Daily Times


On the concert stage Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth are a law unto themselves.
Their programme at the Town Hall last night could hardly be described as a vocal recital for their stage technique was a combination of musical comedy and film art. That it had charm and musical qualities was undeniable, for the large audience was attentive and enthusiastic throughout. Anne Ziegler has a pleasant soprano voice which she used without effort, or forcing and she moves about the stage with an easy grace and charm born of habit.

Webster Booth has a fine tenor voice with excellent quality and carrying power in his high register and in his singing of The Flower Song from Carmen and The English Rose from Merrie England:

FLOWER SONG (CARMEN) he gave a glimpse of what he might do with such a voice had he chosen a more serious musical career.

Anne Ziegler’s most serious contribution was They Call Me Mimi from La Bohème. It was, however in the duets that the audience found their greatest pleasure. The collaboration was excellent and though I found their gestures and movements on the stage somewhat meaningless there was a sophisticated charm about their deportment that disarmed criticism. They chatted informally, made jokes with
a local flavor and took the audience into their confidence. The response was all that could be expected and the artists frequently expressed their gratitude for the reception they received.

The pianist, Mr Clarence Black, was a sympathetic accompanist even to lending a hand with dramatic gestures in the duet The Keys of Heaven: 

KEYS OF HEAVEN https://clyp.it/ygd3sncd

He also played two groups of solos with competence and musical feeling.

9 July 1948 Otago Daily Times Town Hall (Dunedin) last night


Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth captivated the large audience in their appearance at the Town Hall last night.  Once again their duets revealed their greatest audience appeal and their musical comedy numbers, in particular, were received with a spontaneous and enthusiastic applause which compelled them to return to the stage again and again.

The Love Duet from Puccini’s Butterfly was their most delightful number in the first half of the programme, the pure tenor and pleasing soprano voices blending perfectly.
In One Fine Day after the interval Anne Ziegler again thrilled the listeners. To finish their programme the artist sang a medley of popular ballads. This started a clamour for encores which engaged the singers for some 15 minutes longer than the scheduled programme and the audience persisted in its attempts to recall them even after they had prepared to leave.

The pianist, Clarence Black, again proved a sympathetic accompanist and a talented solo performer.

.The concerts continued at various places until the end of July. After that Webster and Anne continued their tour to Australia.

New Zealand song recorded by Anne and Webster  in 1948: BLUE SMOKE (RURU KARAITIANA)

Jean Collen 4 April 2019.


As Ruth had to return a record to them she went along after church last night still in her choir robes. She asked Anne if she could see him and Anne agreed reluctantly. She says she’s never seen anyone looking quite so ill in her life. There he was, lying with all the clothes pulled up over him and his hair hanging all over his face, his medicine bottles on one side, looking absolutely ghastly. Ruth says she felt like crying for him – he looked so ill.

1 June – Go to studio and Webster answers door wearing Wanderers Blazer. Christopher is having another unsuccessful lesson. He argues about opening throat and mouth and they argue back at him. Anne tells him that he will have to send his cheque and remember that there are 5 Fridays in the month.

Anne comes into the kitchen and talks to me. When Christopher leaves Anne goes to phone and Webster says in his possessive voice, “And how is Jean today?” I say, “Fine, and yourself?” He looks slightly pained and says, “Not too bad.”

We do exercises and he is impossible at trying to transpose on the piano, so I do it for him. He gets rather a shock. Must say that the piano is lovely. We carry on to his bad accompaniment.

Anne returns, complaining about the cold and all goes smoother. We do the unaccompanied piece and they say that it is good too and if I do go slightly sharp it is barely noticeable. He tells me to open my mouth wider and I say, “I can’t,” and he says “Oh, Jean, of course, you can!”

We also do My Mother on tape and this goes very nicely. Anne says that my tone and voice are lovely but, “Don’t be so stingy with it.”

They are very affable to me but jump down each other’s throats at an awful rate. “Put that cigarette out!” snaps Anne. As for the woman who comes after me, Anne says, “Oh, hello Mrs.. I shan’t be a moment.” She comes back to the studio and pulls a tortured face!

2 June – Go into town with Dad to fetch score of Tales of Hoffman from the music library and then go to Thrupps to meet Mum. While I am waiting there, who should come and look in the window but Leslie Green. I see that he goes into Polliacks Building presumably to the studio for tea – lucky creature!

In the SABC Bulletin there is an article mentioning the fortnightly programme Anne is to do starting about 19 June.

3 June – Play piano in Junior Sunday School today. Am given class of eight-year-olds including David Duly, a very sweet but ardent little boy.

In the G and S programme Webster plays his recording of The Lost Chord – about the third time he has played it but it is worth hearing more than once.

5 June – Listen to Leslie Green. He is going abroad soon and has had a yellow fever injection.

I go to a rehearsal at the Duncan Hall. Hartman and Company don’t turn up! I am livid as I had to drag poor Dad out for nothing.

6 June – Go to Doreen’s twenty-first birthday party at night and have good fun. Betty is there and also Mavis Knox. She has been learning singing for two years. She sang in this year’s eisteddfod but wasn’t placed. Peter is there and we dance and he tells me he’s leaving at the end of August to go to Sheffield for a year and isn’t really looking forward to it. Party finishes about midnight.

7 June – Go to town and have lunch with Mum. I go to the lunch hour concert in which Johan conducts, and Gert Potgieter is the soloist. I say hello to German cellist and meet a lady from the choir.

Outside of Ansteys I meet Mrs O in a skirt just like mine and a suede jacket. I tell her of the happenings of last night and she is disgusted. She says Johan might ask us to resign from the choir if we go into the opera, and the choir is better for us at this stage.

I buy a skirt after much searching and see Peter Spargo on the bus coming home.

Ruth phones to tell me that owing to the exams she is writing in August she feels it would be wiser to leave the opera. Says she had a very distressing lesson on Sunday and at the end of it she felt miserable. They told her that they criticise her because her voice is worth bothering about – there are only 6 or 7 pupils whose voices are worth worrying about and therefore they criticise them. They certainly criticise me. She says she’s sure I’m one of the chosen few!

Tells me that Alan (her boyfriend) had a car crash and is suffering from shock. The Parktown girls who were at the Stravinsky rehearsal put the event into the School magazine saying that she and Mrs S sang in the SABC choir!

I tell her about Anne making faces behind people’s backs and we agree that we ought to take what Anne says with a pinch of salt.

8 June  Have a last look at the theory for the exam and go to the studio. Webster answers the door and, as I have skates with me, he says, “Hello, what have we here? Been or going?” Anne tells me that she used to skate with some girlfriends until she nearly broke her neck.

I tell them about goings-on at the opera and they are quite disgusted. We see the crowns being removed from His Majesty’s buildings and I say perhaps they will replace them with heads of Dr Verwoerd. Anne says she really hates this country. She tells me they are also teaching in Boksburg now and she finds it rather tiring.

9 June – Go to write the theory exams at the Selbourne Hall. We sit in rows rather like the workhouse and Arnold Fulton regards us closely in case anyone cheats. All goes well.

In Pritchard Street I bump into a dreamy-eyed Ruth who tells me she’s been “with them” for an hour and ten minutes. They discussed Wednesday’s happenings and are furious and want someone – maybe Mr O – to write to the paper about it.

I go to the Old Girls Reunion with Betty and Doreen and see a number of old school friends and teachers there. I am developing laryngitis.

10 June – Remain in bed with laryngitis. Listen to G and S. Webster continues with Ruddigore and says that when they were in Ireland (just after the revolution) a small Union Jack was taken on stage. They had to crawl home to their lodgings to avoid the wrath of the irate Irish.

11 June – Still ill. Sir Malcolm “my old friend and colleague” is coming to South Africa next year.

12 June – Mum and I are both in bed with laryngitis! It is her birthday today.

13 June – Ruth phones. She talks of her sisters and tells me that they are both prettier than her. “My middle sister is a real classic beauty but she isn’t a very nice person!” She is busy with exams.

14 June – Go to lunch hour concert to allay boredom in the house. Norman Bailly, a baritone, sings and is really excellent. I see Andy Johnson, the drummer. Anton Hartman is the conductor.

15 June – Still a bit fluish but I go to my lesson anyway. Anne answers door dressed in “fly-away” coat and big orange hat! She is affable and I go into kitchenette and hear Christopher braying away having most unsuccessful lesson in which Anne asks him coldly, “Do you ever practise?” They are starting to paper the kitchen and are having the studio redecorated.

When I go in she goes to phone someone. Webster says to me, “Well, my lady, d’ye know what we’re going to do today? We’re going to record the exercises. Smile; make the adjudicator enjoy them and charm him at the same time!”

We do exercises which go very well and he is pleased but tells me to do them a bit quicker so that they sound jollier!

We go on to the studies and he says I’m still putting a few ‘hs’ into them and I must constantly think about not doing that! He says that maybe if I accent the ahs I’ll be able to get out of the habit. The Germans stick in “h” but, being English, he cannot tolerate the habit. In oratorio, it sounds awful and he is distressed that Jennifer Vyvyan does it. We do it again and it goes better.

Anne finishes phoning and comes out to tell him that as two people have ‘flu and can’t come, she’s put off the third one as well. He is delighted and says to me sardonically, “We love our work!”

We record the two exercises and although the tone is good, the tempo drags and I don’t observe the hairpins. He says that Ruth has exactly the same fault and we both have to learn the expression marks off by heart. He says I must think of it as a gay dance – even though it isn’t and must interpret the studies as I would songs. In the second study I mustn’t lag on the run and must practise it – also there’s a place where I must breathe where I don’t!

I certainly learn a lot today if it’s any consolation to me. Anne tells that their servant, Hilda has ‘flu too and is delirious and singing. He says he wishes he could have caught her singing.

He comes down with me on the lift to put 3d in the meter. We have to wait ages for it and spend time moaning about it. When it arrives he displays his excellent manners. The building worker comes on as well and he is most affable to him. He ushers me out, hand on my shoulder all the way, talks jovially to the worker about RCA, and tells me to have a look at the studies at home. He knows they aren’t particularly nice but I must have a good attitude of mind towards them. He smokes his famous Gold Flake and when he says goodbye to me he dashes up Pritchard street, still smoking.

16 June – Go into town in the morning and do various chores – library etc. Meet Dad in Galaxy and then we see Circle of Fire at the Empire – excellent.

Freddie Carlé plays Hear My Song, Violetta by my friends and says, “I hope Anne and Webster are listening up in Johannesburg. Greetings to you.”

17 June – Sunday school. Play piano and have a fresh collection of little boys to teach.

Listen to G and S at night and it is lovely. He starts playing the Yeomen of the Guard and bursts into I have a Song to Sing-O and plays a record made 40 years ago. “Listen to dear old Peter Dawson as he was when a very young man of 40!” Lovely.

18 June – Work hard during the day and go to the SABC at night. First person I meet is Andy Johnson. Sit with Anna-Marie and Hester, and see John Walker, Douggie Laws, Ken Espen and Hugh Rouse, also Harry Stanton. Quite a collection.

Go with Gill for dinner and when we come back Johan asks us to go to his office to collect the Stravinsky score. He is most affable and has a lovely comfortable office.

Ruth comes and tells me of a great calamity in Domestic Science over a misunderstanding about the “thrift article” she had to make this afternoon. She spent the afternoon crying while she was making it – poor Ruth.

We work on Ninth Symphony and Die Lied van Jong Suid Afrika – the latter for a commercial recording with an orphanage choir.

Ruth tells me at the interval that Anne has ‘flu so she had him on Saturday and had a wonderful time. Poor Anne. I was quite horrible about her on Friday and she was probably feeling ghastly. Ruth says she prefers having him to teach her. Anne’s fine as a friend but she doesn’t like having lessons with her. I come home with Iris Williams who is nice.

19 June – Practise in morning and then go into town for a photograph for an audition. Have lunch with Mum. Come home on bus with Gill Mc D.

21 June – Go to lunch hour concerts and guess who I have sitting next to me? Mr Ormond. He says that he had a feeling his secretary had asked to leave early to go to the concert so he was there to check up on her. He is very affable – talks about music, the opera, the Booths, and tells me they’re going to have tea in the mayoral parlour with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra soon and is delighted about it. He’s rather a snob but quite sweet. I say that I see Walter Mony is going to play and he says he isn’t good enough. I’ll swear WM was sitting in front of us so I feel awful.

Concert conducted by Edgar Cree is excellent and soloist, Helena van Heerden plays well. Go to Mrs S and have a good lesson. She says I have improved vastly. Listen to Leslie Green at home – he is going abroad tomorrow.

22 June Anne’s 52nd birthday. Go to studio and Anne answers door – still wearing a hat. Christopher is singing The Volga Boatman – very badly.

After his lesson I go in and say I heard she has had ‘flu. She says that she hasn’t had ‘flu but Webster has gone down with it and as he is supposed to go to Bulawayo on Monday to adjudicate at the eisteddfod there, she’s awfully worried. His temperature was 102 degrees. On Sunday he felt awful and couldn’t breathe and she thought he was having a coronary thrombosis. She tried to be calm and sent him to lie down and called the doctor. Antibiotics don’t work with him so the doctor said he was going to let him sweat it out. She says he looks really haggard – about ninety – and has lost a lot of weight.

“Poor darling, I do feel sorry for him, but what can I do?” She stops and then says, “Honestly, Jean, I’ve had more than I can stand with his abscessed tooth and now this. If I have any more trouble, I don’t know what I’ll do.” Her eyes fill with tears and I feel simply dreadful and terribly sorry for her.

She says that if he can’t go he wants her to go but she can’t leave the studio to him because he isn’t in a fit state to deal with it.

Sing all three songs and studies and they all go very well. I can sing much better when Webster isn’t there, although I adore him!

She is pleased with singing but tells me to sing through the vowels of Polly Oliver. She promises to look up the JV record to see from which county it comes. We talk about the studio where we will do the exam – shall be glad when it is over – and all is reasonably cheerful although I feel quite miserable about Webster.

I say goodbye and that I hope Webster will be all right and able to go to Rhodesia. Poor Anne. It is her birthday today but as I learnt this from the Stage Who’s Who I felt embarrassed about wishing her a happy birthday because she’d know then that I know her age. I wish I could have cheered her up today – she really is a darling no matter how insincere she is at times, and she is having a horrible time at the moment.

Go to guild at night – we have a debate about eugenics which is reasonably interesting if a bit depressing.

Webster arrives in Bulawayo to adjudicate the eisteddfod.

Anthony Quail in Stoep Talk wishes Anne a happy birthday and quotes a bit from the Stage Who’s Who!

Happy birthday to: Anne Ziegler, well-known for musical and romantic roles on stage and in films, was born in Liverpool, England.

Irené Eastwood, her real name, married Webster Booth, the well-known tenor in 1938 and two years later began their double act.

They have made extensive tours of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and have appeared at many of the leading theatres and music halls in London and the Provinces.

In 1956, due to the high rate of British taxation, the Booths settled in South Africa. A year later, Anne Ziegler played her first straight stage role in South Africa in Angels in Love at the then Reps theatre, and has since appeared in numerous plays, operas and SABC broadcasts.

23 June – Go into town with Mummy in the morning but I feel very ill and almost faint so am brought home again in a taxi! Feel absolutely ghastly for the rest of the day. However, we manage to get the SABC bulletin which tells of Anne’s new programmed called Music for Romance starting a week on Tuesday. There is an article about her in which she is very arch and talks about Boo! Imagine using that name in public!

24 June – Very weak today. I listen to Time to Remember at night presented by Leslie Bayley. Also listen to Life with the Lyons which I love.

Webster – poor darling – is wonderful tonight and goes on with Yeomen of the Guard – vamping, kissing and marrying with Martyn Green – all glorious.

25 June – Go to choir at night. Gill comes first and then Ruth. I talk to her beforehand and hear a story about poor Webster. As Ruth had to return a record to them she went along after church last night still in her choir robes. She asked Anne if she could see him and Anne agreed reluctantly. She says she’s never seen anyone looking quite so ill in her life. There he was, lying with all the clothes pulled up over him and his hair hanging all over his face, his medicine bottles on one side, looking absolutely ghastly. Ruth says she felt like crying for him – he looked so ill. Poor, poor sweet old Webster – Bless him!

Apparently, it is quite definite that he went to Bulawayo today.

We work hard and practise madly. Ruth is going on holiday and promises to write – I hope she will. No one could ever have a nicer friend than Ruth. We work hard again and then Gill, Iris and I go for coffee and Iris gives me a lift home.

I don’t honestly think I would have dared to ask Anne to see Webster when he was so sick. In fact, it was rather a cheek, but I can see Ruth’s point in a way. I know she adores and worships him and I’m afraid I do too.

27 June – Work in the morning and have lunch with Mum. Go up to Mrs S’s studio and Gill tells me she’s going to have clarinet lessons with delightful, handsome, bearded oboist, Gerrit Bon, who plays in the orchestra! We do ear exercises and sing and it is all rather fun. Svea and Elaine have very bad colds.

At night Anne phones and before I go to the phone I know it is her. She says she has an appointment on Friday afternoon. We both know this is a lie – and seeing there are 5 Fridays in the month, do I mind not having a lesson. She’ll make it up in July when the little boy before me goes on holiday. I say that’s all right and ask after Webster. She says he went to Bulawayo on Monday looking absolutely ghastly but perhaps the heat up there will cure him. I say that he probably needs to be taken out of himself and I hope he’ll be all right. As she is obviously phoning oodles of people we say goodbye – see you a week on Friday. She isn’t really a very good liar.

I’m going to listen to Make Mine Music to cheer me up!

28 June – Work in the morning and then have lunch with Mum and feel – I must admit – grim and depressed.

I go to the lunch hour concert. Johan conducts well but looks rather miserable also. The Lyra Vocal Quartet are soloists – Doris Brasch, Sarie Lamprecht, Gert Potgieter and Graham Burns. Gert P is the best singer. Sarie L looks and sings grimly. Doris B opens her mouth a mile and Graham B sings well but looks morose. They are very good as a whole.

30 June – Sleep late today. Ruth will be gone on holiday by now. Mum and Dad go to a party in the afternoon and we are going to pictures at night. We see Pollyanna with Hayley Mills and Jane Wyman. It is a really lovely show and a great tear-jerker. We have supper out afterwards.


While we are drinking coffee, Webster says, “I came across a letter at home yesterday written by a Jean McLennan Campbell” – (I put in McIntyre – sotto voce) – “asking for singing lessons.”  I remember that letter written in a very impulsive moment in October to which I never had a reply. I feel extremely embarrassed and admit, “Yes, it was me.” I try to pass this off lightly, saying, “I’ve lost the notion for singing, because I’ve come to the conclusion that I haven’t got much of a voice.”

January 1961 –  Go for a lesson with Anne. I arrive before them and when they arrive they wish me a happy New Year. When we go in Anne picks up the letters and says, “No love letters – only bills!”

I sit on studio couch and Webster asks whether I had a nice holiday. I say, “Yes, but it’s all over now.” He says, “Yes, thank heaven!”

Anne asks me whether I would like to enter the eisteddfod. I say I’d like to enter if I didn’t make a fool of myself. She says, “Oh, we wouldn’t let you do that.”

During my lesson with Anne,  Webster goes and makes us coffee, is very sweet and calls me Jean a lot. We work through She Walks in Beauty while Webster prepares coffee and she tells me dozens of things to do to improve it.

She says, “You may think I’m pulling you to pieces completely, but you need someone else to notice your mistakes. Over the years Boo (that’s Webster) and I have pulled each other to pieces all the time.”

Anne tells me that when she was very hard up in London she became a model and the photographer told her to use her eyes. She says this is a good tip, and I must use mine. I mustn’t become a poseur, but I must use my eyes moderately. 

Anne in the Craven A advert (circa 1935).craven a ad3

7 January – Matric results are in the paper and I manage to look up my own name. I pass! Breathe a sigh of happiest relief – now I shall really be able to concentrate on my breathing!

8 January – On the Springbok Radio programme, Tea with Mr Green, Leslie Green talks of his daughter, Penny’s recent wedding and says that just before she and her new husband were leaving the reception to change their outfits to leave on their honeymoon, the band was playing We’ll Gather Lilacs. Webster and Anne were at the wedding so they told the orchestra to carry on while they sang it for the bridal couple – very nicely too! That was a lovely thing to do. I’d love to be so spontaneous and not to be frightened of what people might say or think of me, but act as the spirit prompts me. Honestly, I think that was so sweet!

At night there is a gorgeous picture of Anne with Valerie Miller, complete with their Maltese pets in their dressing room at Lock Up Your Daughters! Anne uses her eyes like anything! Hope she remembers the sonnet for tomorrow.

13 december 1960 -lock up your daughters8

9 January –  Go for lesson today.  Anne answers the door wearing a tight white skirt and over-blouse. She looks nice but a bit tired. Webster is in the studio too and is busy making coffee. He offers me some and I accept and sit on the divan drinking it a wee bit nervously, glancing at the array of adorable photographs enclosed behind the glass on the wall above it. Anne brings out her Shakespeare and we talk of Eisteddfod and the sonnet, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? Webster tells me where to get the entry form and they have a little squabble about whether I have to buy a syllabus to go with it. He ends the argument by saying, “It only costs a shilling anyway!”

We go over She Walks in Beauty amidst tremendous noise and she says, “Use your face more.” Only wish I could. Then we do Shall I Compare Thee.. Anne says I do it well but then says that my dimm’d sounds nasal and Liverpoolish and gives me an example of it! She says, “I love a Liverpool accent – it reminds me of home but…”

It goes on to tape once more and we all listen with rapt attention and I have mistakes pointed out to me. Webster says, “Be emphatic with clipping your words off at the end.” She says, “But not too emphatic,” and another small argument develops. She reads it – very nicely too – and says that of course, Shakespeare was thinking of home when he wrote the sonnet – if he did write it!. Home – England naturally – she and Miss Scott should get together.

Anne takes me over to the mirror to show me an exercise to practise with tip of my tongue to make it more flexible. Afterwards she asks Boo to do the exercise. He says he can’t, so she says, “Oh, darling, really! After all those years.”

He says, “My tongue isn’t a snake like yours!”

Anne’s favourite expression, “You be the boss,” with regards to lungs, tongue, speech, face, anything. She shows me how she keeps her tongue on the floor of her mouth when singing and starts off at low A and goes right up – must have been past high C. Really stupendous.

Anne complains of the heat and is generally homesick. Tells me that she always has nerves before a show – she’s frightened in case she forgets her lines – but sees that I’m dry-mouthed when nervous. She says that Thomas Beecham always had his score photographed in his mind and concentrated on that when he was conducting. She says, “It’s the only way.” 

Both of them come to the door this time to bid me goodbye and I think this is sweet.

12 January – Biting remark from Taubie Kushlick concerning flops, “I don’t believe audiences stay away from plays to see GI Blues. Two’s Company and King Kong are sell-outs. Perhaps there has been so much theatre lately that there has not been enough talent to go round.”  With regards to Lock Up Your Daughters, methinks that there was oodles of talent but bad material.

14 January –  Dad comes home from work with some magazines. In Let’s Go is a photograph of Webster and Anne advertising LM Radio.  I would take a bet that they never listen to it! Quite a nice picture though.


Listening to LM Radio

At night we visit the Scotts.  We talk about Webster and Anne and they are not complimentary about them. – I feel quite infuriated! The add that of course their names were household words during the war. 

16 January –  Go into town in the afternoon to buy a few things and meet Margaret Masterton when waiting for tram. We talk of matric and as she is a singer, of Anne, whom she says sings well at times. I tell her about my preparations for the eisteddfod and she says she can’t enter this year because of the upcoming singing exam for which she has to work. She says she will have lots to do this year between Teachers’ Training College, singing, Physical Training – she is going to become a games mistress – and dramatics. Her parents are going overseas in April. Depart after enjoyable conversation with Margaret. She’s fun!

17 January – Go for lesson today and Webster answers the door and is sweet. I am wearing a heavy coat, so he says, “I see you thought it was cold today as well.” How could Mrs Scott say he is past his best? He’s a darling.

I sit in kitchenette until they tidy up the studio and then she comes in looking delightful in white skirt and blouse. We go into studio and Anne looks at entry form for eisteddfod and Webster says that it’s a swindle to have to buy a syllabus for every time an entry form is required. One of their pupils, Elizabeth, is entering four competitions and it will be unfair if she has to buy 4 syllabuses. Says he will go into Kelly’s and complain about it this afternoon.

I do Shall I Compare Thee with Anne and she says I do it well, but more light and shade are required and I tend to move up and down on my feet too often. I say that I do this in case I forget something. She says that she always takes a step backwards if she forgets something. “It’s a natural reaction to remove oneself!” Webster makes tea and we go on with the poetry. She says I must be sincere when I speak, and think and feel from my heart. “Webster and I have made such a success of musical comedy because we have always been sincere in our parts.” Says the usual – use face and eyes – will never be able to!

Anne starts to work on Shall I Compare Thee, and coming to part, And often where I don’t pronounce the d as I ought to, and she is trying to explain to me how to do it, Webster intervenes and says that my and should be accentuated. She disagrees. We all stand and look in the mirror and make motions of tongue with and. Webster says, “In all my records you’ll hear how I accentuate my and slightly.” She had said earlier, “Webster is an example of perfect diction in singing,” but by this time she is a bit cheesed off with him, and says, “I couldn’t even hear your often there. Darling, I don’t want you to think that I think you’re interfering but I think it would be better if you let me deal with this.”

Poor Webster disappears silently. He then turns on the tape recorder and she says, “For God’s sake – turn that thing down!” Whew! Archness can fairly fly!

She says it’s my Scots accent combined with a north country accent that has to be eradicated – I hear this every week. She reverts to a Lancashire accent and says, “A could eas’ly revert to mi old Lancashire way of talkin’ and drop mi jaw dawn, but ah ‘ave to improve mi diction.” I nearly die laughing, although she has probably never had a broad Liverpool accent like that in the first place. Then, at another stage of the proceedings, she says in appropriate accents, “Gor blimey, now yer talking Cockney!”

She tells me how to “make an entrance” at the eisteddfod – I haven’t much clue about this and just can’t smile sincerely for I don’t feel sincere! She says that I should stand with one foot in front of the other so that there is a secure pivot. “I do that always on the stage – as I have done for the past ten thousand years!”

She makes me hold her hand and walk up to the mirror with her, SMILE, and use my TEETH, and appear self-assured. “Be the boss. God gave you teeth to eat with and to smile with – use them!”

Says that when she was little her father said to her, “Look people straight in the eye.” I must do that on stage and half the battle’s won. I must look naughty, saucy, wicked – heaven knows what else – Anne is a darling.

After my lesson, Anne says they are going to try to take a holiday in February, but they will easily be able to fit me in for a lesson before they go. They are so sweet and charming that I hate it when people like Mr Murdoch and Mrs Scott say horrible things about them. I’ll always stick up for them no matter what people say about them. Anne says she is left-handed like me. She wears a big signet ring with A on it – cute.

24 January –  Go for my lesson today and  meet Shorty from the Church on the tram – he pays my fare!

Anne answers the door looking divine as usual and with her hair done once more – gingery this time. She takes me in and there is no sign of Webster. She arranges the ashtrays and says that when Webster is in the studio by himself he makes such a mess – you know what men are. She sits down and asks me to say poem and then Webster comes in nattering about a glass being missing. Anne says, “Oh, darling, Jean is here.” His face lights up and he says, “Oh, hello, Jean.” Cute – the lighting up part – I mean.

We go on with eisteddfod poem and Anne says that Shakespeare is most difficult and if you can manage Shakespeare you can do anything. Says that in singing, Handel is most difficult – if you can sing Handel, you can sing anything.

We go through the poem, line by line, and Webster makes us coffee. While we are drinking coffee, Webster says, “I came across a letter at home yesterday written by a Jean McLennan Campbell” – (I put in McIntyre – sotto voce) – “asking for singing lessons.”  I remember that letter written in a very impulsive moment in October to which I never had a reply. I feel extremely embarrassed and admit, “Yes, it was me.” I try to pass this off lightly, saying, “I’ve lost the notion for singing, because I’ve come to the conclusion that I haven’t got much of a voice.” They are equally embarrassed and try to pass off not replying to my letter by saying how rushed they’d been with producing The Country Girl and Anne appearing in Lock Up Your Daughters. When I had no reply to my letter, I consoled myself by assuming that it got lost in the post.

Anne then says, “Anyway, I’d like to hear some scales.” She sits down at the piano and I go through some arpeggios not too badly – at least I keep in tune – and she determines my range up to high G. She says, “It’s all there anyway. You should practise the scales, even if you don’t take singing, to improve the lazy tongue.”

She makes me read the poem on tape and while over by the recorder I notice an address on the back of an airmail letter to them from Mrs Fenney, the music teacher who taught at Jeppe for a term. Mrs F could fairly sing too.

When we come to the end of the lesson I tell Anne that I am starting work in the library tomorrow so I don’t know about my lesson next week, so she tells me to phone her at home – 42-1078. They are going on holiday for three weeks from the ninth so I’ll only have two lessons next month – better than nothing. Webster and Anne come with me to the door and say they’ll hear from me tomorrow. They’re darlings.

Funny that I write more about them in my diary than anything else although it only takes ¾ of an hour in actual time than of anything else.

25 January – Start work at the Central Library today and boy, talk about working – between issuing, discharging, filing, and running to the vast book-room under the library building – I am exhausted. Am shown the ropes by Merle someone and have lunch with her and her friends. Thank heaven the first day is over. Do not learn my hours and am not sure if I’m going to like working there! The shifts – particularly the split shifts – sound uncongenial.

Come home on the tram with Mr Moodie. He pays my fare and gives me a long spiel about Webster and Anne. He tells me that Webster is really past singing now – they live near Heather, you know. I have met Heather, haven’t I? Yes, yes, yes. He says that Webster and Anne still sing light things well and that they are sweet. He once heard Webster singing with Peter Dawson, the Australian bass-baritone. 

After tea I phone the Booths. Webster answers – speaking even more beautifully than normally – and tells me that Anne is out. I tell him that I don’t know my hours yet, but can I phone them tomorrow? He says, “Yes, certainly – any time between 10 and 3 at home.” Thank him, and he asks, “How did you get on at work, Jean?” I say, “Well, I had to work really hard, and boy, am I tired!” He says, “I don’t expect you knew where to turn.” I say, “Well, I’m glad the first day’s over, anyway!”

He says to me, “Well, don’t worry about anything, Jean, and get on with the job.” I say cheerio and promise to phone tomorrow. He’s a pet and he doesn’t drink excessively – I know!

26 January Work, work, glorious work once more. I am given my hours which makes me happy. Now I know whether I’m “coming or going!” During my lunch hour the public phone held up by an old “gentleman” who stays in there for at least half an hour, so I go into the office and ask if I can phone from there.

Anne answers, and I say, “Can I please speak to Mrs Booth,” (knowing all the time that it is her on the phone!). I tell her my hours, and none of my afternoons or mornings off suit because of their holiday. She tells me to hang on while she looks up her appointment book. She comes back with it and I hear her fiddling around with the book, saying, “It’s in such a muddle”. She asks if I can come on Saturday week at 11 and then on Monday at 4. I agree to this and she says, “You won’t forget to come, will you?” I say, “No,” (and mentally add, “And you?”) She is charming as always but her voice doesn’t sound as nice as Webster’s on the phone, who honestly has a most beautiful voice and wonderful diction.

29 January – to church in the morning and feel hacked off with Betty who says she can’t stand the Booth’s act. I say that they are charming in private but she still doesn’t seem too happy about it. I wonder why everyone I know thinks it is fine to criticise them!

Play and play, sing and sing in the afternoon. I’ll appreciate my free days now!

31 January Picture of Anne in the paper at night. In brackets (well-known singer, Anne Ziegler). It isn’t actually a very nice picture – she looks rather cold but as it’s her, I let that pass. She’s really a honey!

Choosing wallpaper.




Impresario, Harold Fielding.

In the summer of 1941, when many London theatres were closed, Jack Hylton, the popular dance band leader put on a week’s series of orchestral concerts at the London Coliseum, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Sargent. Despite constant bombing raids, 20,000 people attended these concerts. Top ranking musicians of the day were soloists with the orchestra, including pianists Eileen Joyce, Moura Lympany, Clifford Curzon, violinist Albert Sammons, violist Lionel Tertis, and singers Isobel Baillie, Eva Turner and Webster Booth himself. Interestingly he sang The Prize Song from The Mastersingers and Lohengrin’s Narration in a Wagner programme. During the First World War German music had been shunned in Britain, but apparently, this was not the case in the Second World War. Jack Hylton’s concert manager was the young former child-prodigy violinist, Harold Fielding. Harold Fielding’s career as a concert violinist was cut short in his early twenties because he began suffering memory lapses and stage fright. It was at this Wagner concert where Webster met Harold Fielding for the first time.

Pianist Sir Clifford Curzon (My favourite pianist)

Isobel Baillie (soprano)

Albert Sammons (violin)

Maryon Rawicz and Walter Landauer (duo pianists)
Mark Hambourg (pianist)

After this series of concerts ended Harold (aged 25) formed the National Philharmonic Orchestra, with Julian Clifford as the conductor. The orchestra toured the country for several years. Although this venture did not make any money  Harold was persistent in his endeavours to present good music to the British public. Because of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth’s great popularity at that time, he signed them up as guest artistes with the orchestra, along with pianist Mark Hambourg for a four-week tour of Britain in November and December of 1943. They performed in large concert halls and theatres, such as the Belle Vue, Manchester, The Usher Hall in Edinburgh, and the Alhambra, Glasgow. With Mark Hambourg,  Anne and Webster as guest artistes, the houses were always full. With this change in format Harold Fielding’s fortunes took a turn for the better. He decided to abandon orchestral concert tours in favour of vocal and instrumental ones. Anne and Webster, the duo pianists, Rawicz and Landauer who had been interned as enemy aliens on the Isle of Man earlier in the war, and violinist Albert Sandler, son of a poor Russian immigrant,  often took part in these concert tours. 
Albert Sandler (violin)
The following year, on 20 May 1944 Harold Fielding presented a concert at the Royal Albert Hall:
Anne and Webster were booked for another tour by Harold Fielding at the beginning of 1946, but Webster was taken ill during a concert in the Town Hall, Sheffield. Despite losing his voice he journeyed on to Edinburgh where the next concert was to take place, but still had no voice and felt worse than ever. A doctor diagnosed bad ‘flu and ordered him to bed immediately. Rather than stay in bed in an Edinburgh hotel by himself he decided to return to London, while Anne continued with the tour on her own. In their joint autobiography, Duet, Anne mentioned that nobody in Dundee or Glasgow asked for their money back because of Webster’s absence, but a minority of people in Newcastle demanded a refund.
 Anne and Webster embarked on another concert tour for Harold Fielding from August to November of 1946, and this time Dublin was included in the concert itinerary. On Sunday, 13th October they sang in a celebrity concert at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in aid of the General Jewish Hospital, Shaarezedek, The Ever-Open Door, Jerusalem, under the patronage of the Lady Louis Mountbatten. This concert had a large number of acts, ranging from Cheerful Charlie Chester, Issy Bonn and Anne Shelton to pianist Harriet Cohen and Anne and Webster. Tickets ranged in price from £3.3s to 5s. 

From 10 – 22 June 1946, Harold Fielding presented a series of six festival concerts at the Pavilion, Bournemouth and the Davis Theatre, Croydon. These concerts included conductors Dr Malcolm Sargent, Andre Kostelanetz with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Soloists were Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Moura Lympany, Richard Tauber and the Russian pianist Poulshnoff.
Richard Tauber (Tenor)
This tour culminated in another concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 1 December.

 After a short break over Christmas the tour continued in 1947. This was the contract which Webster signed for dates in February 1947. Julius Darewski was their agent at the time:



In this contract, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler agreed to appear for Harold Fielding’s management at :
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Wednesday,  February 4 at 7.30pm
Caird Hall, Dundee, Thursday, February 5 at 7.30pm
Kelvingrove Hall, Glasgow, Friday, February 6 evening
City Hall, Newcastle, Saturday, February 7 evening
City Hall, Sheffield, Wednesday February 18 evening
Town Hall, Huddersfield, Wednesday February 25 evening
The Management agrees to pay and the Artists agree to accept a fee for the above engagements of £90.0.0 per concert plus expenses of £120.0.0 for the three Scotch dates and £20.0.0 per concert for the other three dates.
The Artists agree to perform the group of not less than thirty minutes at each concert. Programme items to be mutually agreed with the Management.
It is understood and agreed that the Artists will not appear in these locations before the dates of the concerts herein contracted or in any adjoining town(s) within a radius of ten miles, or allow their names to be advertised for any subsequent appearance(s) in the towns concerned until they have performed the above concerts.
The Artists undertake to provide the services of their accompanist, Charles Forwood, without extra charge.
The Management undertakes to forward a copy of the running order in connection with these concerts for the approval of the Artists. If the Artists wish to request any alteration thereto, they undertake to do so within twenty-four hours after receipt of the said running order.
It is understood and agreed that the Management will provide three first-class tickets from London, or nearest point, to Dundee and return covering the three Scotch dates and Newcastle, together with three first-class tickets from London, or nearest point, to Sheffield and return, and three first-class tickets from London, or nearest point, to Huddersfield and return.
The fees for these engagements will be paid on the Friday following each concert.
Webster Booth (signed)
Apart from radio and variety work, it seemed as though the majority of engagements undertaken by Anne and Webster were for Harold Fielding at that time. They were due to go on an extended tour to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, but they managed to fit in a final Fielding concert at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh with the South African pianist Lionel Bowman and Australian bass baritone, Peter Dawson, who had returned to Britain from Australia after the war. 
They returned from their successful tour on their tenth wedding anniversary, 5 November 1948, and in December they were once again singing for Harold Fielding in Sandown on the Isle of Wight.
In 1950 Anne and Webster appeared at various places in a series of Sunday concerts for Harold Fielding. Towards the end of the year Reginald Tate Bickerstaffe, who had been Harold Fielding’s manager and was fondly known as Bicky, died. The funeral was held at Golders Green. Many artistes who had sung in many of Harold Fielding’s concerts attended the funeral, including Rawicz and Landauer, Anne and Webster, Julius Darewski (Anne and Webster’s agent), BC Hilliam (Flotsam, the surviving partner of the duo, Flotsam and Jetsam), Percy Kahn, a composer who had been accompanist to Richard Tauber who had sadly died of lung cancer early in 1948, soprano Gwen Catley and pianist, Lionel Bowman.
1951 was Festival of Britain year during which time Harold Fielding presented a series of celebrity concerts, called Music for the Millions. These concerts were held all over the country and were broadcast from July to September. On the bill for the first concert from Eastbourne were the Kordites, Max Wall and Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. By the fifties Harold was extending the artistes he used from musical performers to comedians and variety turns and many of his concerts were broadcast and in 1952 he presented Harold Fielding’s Festival of 

British Radio, starring Anne and Webster and others. Harold Fielding speaks about association

While Anne and Webster still appeared occasionally for Harold Fielding in the fifties, they were no longer constantly working for him. Harold Fielding, in turn, employed many more artists in the fifties than he had done in the forties. Richard Tauber and Albert Sandler had died. Webster was singing in a number of more serious concerts, often with Sir Malcolm Sargent as the conductor, and he and Anne went on an extended tour of Vivian Ellis’s musical play And So to Bed with Leslie Henson. They became joint presidents of the Concert Artistes Association in 1953 and remained in this position for several years. Anne returned to playing principal boys in Cinderella at Streatham Hill in 1953 and as Dick Whittington at the King’s Hammersmith in 1954.

Booth, W, Ziegler, A, Duet, Stanley Paul, London, 1951
Collen, J, A Scattered Garland: Gleanings from the Lives of Webster Booth & Anne ZieglerDUETTIST’S STORE FRONT ON LULU, 2008

Jean Collen

June 2011
Updated May 2017
Join: The Golden Age of Webster Booth-Anne Ziegler and Friends on Facebook.