BOOTHS IN SOUTH AFRICA (1962 – 1963)

I have told about this wonderful period of my life in my book, Sweethearts of Song. Indeed, the whole pattern of my life changed from that time on. Webster has been dead for many years now but he will always remain one of the strongest influences of my life and I will always remember him with love.

Anne and Webster 29 January 1962 in Lower Houghton.
Gilbert and Sullivan programme 7 January 1962 SABC Bulletin
The Andersonville Trial February 1962.
February 1962. The Andersonville Trial. Webster played a very small part indeed!
9 March 1962
Hymn competition winners. March 1962
17 March 1962 Drawing Room on the English Service of the SABC.

17 March 1962 Drawing Room on the English Service of the SABC. Article by Webster in the SABC Bulletin.

17 March 1962 Drawing Room on the English Service of the SABC.
Gary Allighan, March 1962
Showing some antiques to the press. 1962.
Anne choosing wallpaper – 1962.
April 1962 Olivet to Calvary, St George’s Presbyterian Church, Noord Street.
4 May 1962 The Vagabond King
June 1962. Music for Romance.
Arriving in Bulawayo, July 1962. He was ill.
July 1962 Bulawayo Eisteddfod
21 July 1962 Bulawayo
July 1962 Bulawayo

July 1962 – Leslie Green broadcasts from the UK.

Leslie Green was in the UK on holiday and Anne and I listened to Tea with Mr Green (broadcast from the UK) when she was in the studio on her own and Webster was very ill. By this time Paddy O’Byrne was reading Webster’s scripts on the Gilbert and Sullivan programme as he was too ill and weak to record the programmes. He visited Anne’s great friend, Babs Wilson Hill and did a broadcast from her home. He said she had the most beautiful garden in England.

Webster was very ill indeed when he returned from Rhodesia and had to spend some time in the Fever Hospital in Johannesburg.

Fever Hospital.

August 1962 – Music for Romance. Anne presented a series of programmes of recordings and reminisces about her life and career in England. It received adverse criticism from various radio critics and only ran until December.

August 1962 – Anne Ziegler
28 August 1962 Round the Christian Year, St Mark’s, Yeoville.
28 August 1962 St Mark’s Yeoville, Round the Christian Year.
At the wedding of Margaret Inglis and Robert Langford in the garden of Petrina Fry (pictured) and her husband, Brian Brooke. October 1962

October 1962 –The Pirates of Penzance. Bloemfontein. Webster directed this production. As a gimmick, he had a chimpanzee to accompany the pirates on stage, but the chimpanzee was not without problems. She disgraced herself during Webster’s opening night speech. He quipped, “You naughty girl. I won’t take you out in a hurry again.”

August 1962 – Webster Booth
Lord Oom Piet. Guest artists, eventually furious to have their singing disrupted by the antics of Jamie Uys. I always thought that was a terrible film and couldn’t understand why Anne and Webster had any part of it.
November 1962 Lord Oom Piet.
November 1962. Elijah.

November 1962 – Port Elizabeth Oratorio Festival. Elijah and Messiah, Webster, Monica Hunter, Joyce Scotcher, and Graham Burns, conducted by Robert Selley. The complete oratorios were broadcast locally in the Eastern Cape as usual. Later, excerpts were broadcast nationally but, for some unexplained reason, none of Webster’s solos were used in the national broadcast. Two older members of the SABC choir (Gill and Iris) took delight in cattily telling Ruth and me that it was because Webster’s singing was not up to standard and that was why he was not included in the broadcast. That was the last year that Webster sang at the PE Oratorio Festival.

1963

Great Voices – January 1963.
15 January 1963 At Alexander Theatre, Braamfontein
Mr and Mrs Fordyce and their stage family 15 January 1963.
Mrs Puffin (Jane Fenn) and Mr Fordyce (Webster) January 1963
Anne holds a tea party in Goodnight Mrs Puffin.
Photo in the programme of Goodnight Mrs Puffin.
Lewis Sowden crit.
Oliver Walker crit.
Dora Sowden’s crit?
7 January 1963 Great Voices

Accompanying for Webster. Shortly after Goodnight Mrs Puffin ended its run at the Alexander Theatre my father heard a recording I had made of myself singing Father of Heav’n from Judas Maccabeus on my recently-acquired reel-to-reel tape recorder. He passed several disparaging remarks about the quality of my singing and I was feeling extremely despondent when I went for my lesson. Anne and Webster were kind and sympathetic when I told them what he had said.

“My family never praised me for my singing either,” Webster growled. “If it had been up to them I would never have become a singer. Bring the recording along next time and let’s see what it’s like.”

They listened in silence the following week – perhaps my father had been right and it was awful – but afterwards, Anne asked rather sharply as to who my accompanist had been. They were surprised when I admitted to accompanying myself.

Nothing more was said. In the fullness of time, I recovered from the hurt my father’s criticism had caused me and I plodded on regardless. A few weeks later Anne phoned my mother to ask whether I’d like to play for Webster in the studio for a few weeks in April as she was going on a tour round the country with Leslie Green, the broadcaster of Tea With Mr Green fame on Springbok Radio, a great friend of theirs.

I have told about this wonderful period of my life in my book, Sweethearts of Song. Indeed, the whole pattern of my life changed from that time on. Webster has been dead for many years now but he will always remain one of the strongest influences of my life and I will always remember him with love.

Accompanying for Webster (April 1963)
Anne sent me a postcard when I was playing for Webster and she was away on holiday with Leslie Green.
Anne advertising a facial cream for “mature” women! I’m sure most mature women would have been delighted to look as perfect as Anne did at the age of 53!
Colonel Fairfax in The Yeomen of the Guard. 6 June 1963.
The Yeomen of the Guard.
6 June 1963 various cuttings including crits for The Yeomen of the Guard at the Alexander.
Kimberley Jim. Webster plays a bit part – the Inn Keeper – in that silly film. 1963,
9 August 1963 for the opening night of The Sound of Music.
September 1963 Jon Sylvester, radio critic The Star
A nasty comment – probably from “Jon Sylvester” (the pseudonym for the Star’s radio critic, about Webster’s programme.
I was Pooh Bah in this instance. I met Webster in the street one day and he asked me if I had written this note to beastly “Jon Sylvester”. I asked him how he knew that, and he said I was the only person in Johannesburg who could have done so!
They presented a children’s programme on the SABC, produced by Kathleen Davydd. At the same time they made an LP called The Nursery School Sing-along with the children from Nazareth House, conducted by my piano teacher, Sylvia Sullivan, and Heinz Alexander accompanying them.
21 September 1963 at Pietermaritzburg City Hall.
Michaelhouse, Balgowan.
Pietermaritzburg City Hall.
October 1963 – Ballads Old and New.
November 1963. Fauré Requiem.
Saturday Night at the Palace on the radio in November 1963, Anne, Webster, Jeanette James and Bruce Anderson.

BOOTHS IN SOUTH AFRICA – (1960 – 1961)

Someone asked me recently whether I went to study with Anne and Webster because of their duet singing, but it had nothing to do with that at all. It was entirely due to Mabel Fenney that decided me to study singing with Anne and Webster and to make music my career.

3 February 1960 – Mabel Fenney

When I was in my final year at Jeppe High School for Girls in 1960, the permanent music mistress, Miss Diane Heller, went on long leave, and Mrs Mabel Fenney took her place for a term. Mabel was born Mabel Greenwood on Shakespeare’s birthday in Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire in 1919. Her mother was a true contralto and had sung in several professional productions. The Greenwoods moved to East London in the Eastern Cape when Mabel was quite young.

She showed singing talent from an early age and did her initial singing diplomas in East London, trained by a gentleman she referred to as “Pop Lee”, and sang and acted in many local musicals, plays and recitals. Her favourite role was as Elsie Maynard in The Yeomen of the Guard. She married fellow Lancastrian, Eric Fenney, and instead of pursuing a singing career, she helped him run his plumbing business in East London. 

 When the Dramatic Society of East London invited Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler to star in the 1958 production of Merrie England, she and Eric stood surety for their salaries.  It was in this production where she first met them, playing their roles of Bessie Throckmorton and Sir Walter Raleigh. She played the part of Jill-All-Alone in the production. The following year the society put on Waltz Time, again with Anne and Webster in the leading roles, but, for some reason, she did not take part in this production. Instead she went to Johannesburg to have lessons with Anne and Webster in preparation for several advanced diploma singing examinations. By the time she arrived at Jeppe High School for Girls she had already won the University of South Africa’s overseas teaching bursary and was due to leave for Berlin to study at the Hochschule there for two years.

We schoolgirls looked on Mabel as a very glamorous figure in comparison with some of our staid academic teachers. She was lively and enthusiastic and took us on various outings to the opera.

 Towards the end of her term at Jeppe, Mabel gave a memorable recital in the school hall one afternoon. The event had not been widely publicised, so there were not many people present, but I was there with singing school friends, Margaret Plevin (née Masterton) and Valerie Vogt (née Figgins). We were impressed by her performance. The Booths had decided that she was a mezzo soprano rather than soprano, so she had sung a mezzo repertoire for her diploma exams. I will always remember her singing of the Habanera and Seguidilla from Carmen.

At the end of one of the arias she threw a rose coquettishly to her schoolgirl audience. We were completely captivated. Someone asked me recently whether I went to study with Anne and Webster because of their duet singing, but it had nothing to do with that at all. It was entirely due to Mabel Fenney that decided me to study singing with Anne and Webster and to make music my career.

Mabel Fenney (later Perkin) Photo taken in 1960 before she went to Berlin to study at the Hochschule there.
February 1960.
2 March 1960. Webster’s reference for Mabel.

27, 28 May 1960 – Grand Variety Show, Methodist Church Hall, Roberts Avenue, Kensington. Anne and Webster and other artistes. Anne and Webster sang just before the interval. I (aged sixteen) asked them for their autographs before they left, the only one to do so.

27 May 1960.
Kensington Methodist Church as it is today (2019) In 1960 there was no wall surrounding it.
Variety Concert at Methodist Church, Roberts Avenue, Kensington 1960.
Kensington Methodist Church – as it is today.
Anne appears in various adverts!

24 November 1960 – A Country Girl. Springs Civic Theatre. Anne produced this show for the Springs Operatic Society.

24 November 1960

1960 – Mikado, Bloemfontein. I am not sure whether Webster sang in it, directed it, or both.

Webster in Bloemfontein to do The Mikado.

1, 2, December 3 1960 – Christmas Capers, Civic Theatre, Bloemfontein. Anne and Webster and local artistes in a variety show presented by Rotary Club.

December, 1960 – The Christmas Oratorio, Kimberley. Webster sang the tenor solos, although he was not as fond of Bach as he was of Handel.

8 December 1960 I had an interview with Anne Ziegler at the studio on the eighth floor of Polliack’s Corner, Pritchard Street and started lessons with Anne and Webster two weeks later. Webster was singing at the Port Elizabeth Oratorio when I had my audition. Anne was being interviewed by a newspaper reporter when I went for my first lesson. Here is the photo taken at that interview.

Lock Up Your Daughters – December 1960. Anne plays Mrs Squeezum!
Anne and Valerie Miller in Lock Up Your Daughters. The play was not a success.

March 1961 – advertising Skol Beer.

April 1961 SABC Bulletin – Wednesday at 8.30 pm. Webster Booth, who presents a programme of Opera, Operetta and Oratorio at 8.30 on Wednesday nights, began singing at the age of seven. That makes his career 52 years “and I hope it goes on a little further, but not too long,” he told announcer Robert Kirby in an interview.

This is how the conversation continued:

If you started singing when you were seven, how did you manage to fit in your education? – Well, I began in Lincoln Cathedral as a choir boy and was educated at the cathedral school. This was run by the Dean and Chapter. That took me up to the Oxford and Cambridge junior examination which was roughly equivalent to our Junior Certificate. After that I had to stop musical training as my voice was breaking and completed my schooling at a commercial school studying accountancy.

Broaadcasting at the SABC.

I know your fields of endeavour have been in Opera, Oratorio and Operetta. Do you have any preferences among these three? – Oratorio, definitely!

Why? – I suppose it was my first love and I certainly get much more satisfaction from singing in Oratorio, musically that is; I am trying to say that to do it properly and to do it well you have to work at it so hard that the feeling of achievement is that much greater. With Opera and Operetta one has stage clothing, and scenery and movement to register to an audience, whereas in Oratorio one has nothing except one’s own interpretation as a medium of reaching the audience.

Do you prefer working “live” with an audience, recording or broadcasting? – I certainly prefer working without an audience. In front of one that is. Usually in a broadcast one has a much larger audience but because they are unseen one can concentrate much more, also because of their quantity it makes me want to give much more than I would on a stage. If it would be possible to sing before an audience of perhaps fifty thousand people it would be much more awe-inspiring than singing to them via a microphone. I can always have a broadcast recorded and that is invaluable to me as I am my own greatest critic. One can always learn from one’s mistakes.

Do you suffer from stage fright? – Yes. The older I get the worse I get. I think the reason being that one always wants to be that one per cent better than the last time. The suffering comes from the fear of being one per cent worse. Stage fright should only happen before a performance. To go on being frightened during the performance is fatal.

Do you find that one person alone in an audience can affect you? – Very much so. Someone who is restive will invariably catch your eye and distract you. None of us are perfect and if one knows the position in the audience of a somewhat severe critic one is apt to wonder what he or she may be thinking and this can be most disturbing.

How do you react to severe criticism? – If you mean destructive criticism I am like anyone else. I react very unfavourably. But if it is constructive criticism then I try to swallow my pride and read into the criticism something from which I should benefit.

What was the worst critique you ever had? – I deliberately forget the bad ones. The best? – The finest write up I ever received, from my point of view, was for a show that only ran for two and a half weeks. “Here is the answer to a producer’s prayer.’

Which would you call the most fulfilling moment of your career? – The first night of the 1938 Covent Garden Festival of Opera. I sang the tenor role in Rosenkavelier with Erich Kleiber conducting and Lotte Lehmann as the soprano lead. To see a pre-war full house at Covent Garden from the stage with evening dress and tiaras is a sight one could never forget.

Which role was your favourite? – Definitely Francois Villon in The Vagabond King. It has everything an artist could wish for. Comedy, romance, glorious costumes, pathos and good solid music to sing.

Are you satisfied with what you have achieved? – Yes. If I had my life over again I doubt whether I would change much of it. I have been very lucky. I was given a voice, a figure, and my marriage with Anne Ziegler – something which has been successful and happy, and I have adopted what I think to be about the finest country in the world.

Webster’s programme is extended and is now called On Wings of Song, with the duet by Anne and Webster as the introductory music.
1 May 1961 Opening night of La Traviata at Empire Theatre.
Old Folks’ concert Durban May 1961

June 1961. Webster adjudicated at the Salisbury eisteddfod.

5 July 1961 – Concert in Salisbury.

5 July 1961 – Concert.8.15 pm Allan Wilson School, Beit Hall, Salisbury, Rhodesia – Anne and Webster appeared in a concert after Webster had adjudicated at the Vocal Festival for the Rhodesia Institute of Allied Arts.

17 July 1961 – Advert for pupils.

Advert for pupils. 17 July 1961 – Star.

August/September 1961. Mabel Fenney back in SA for holiday.

5 September to October 30 1961 –The Amorous Prawn,Alexander Theatre (previously the Reps Theatre); National Theatre, Pretoria, 31 October to November 12; Alhambra Theatre, Durban, November.

Webster was the Prawn, with Simon Swindell, Gabriel Bayman, Diane Wilson, Joe Stewardson, Ronald Wallace and Joan Blake, directed by Victor Melleney.

Anne and Leslie Green Opening night of The Amorous Prawn 1961
A reference for my first job in the bank! 6 October 1961.

November 1961 – The Stage. Johannesburg Theatre by Evelyn Leveson. The evening attraction at the Alexander – acclaimed with delight by both critics and public – was The Amorous Prawn, directed by Victor Melleney and starring Joan Blake, one of our most versatile actresses, who, for the past two years, has been touring the country in Adam Leslie’s witty intimate revue Two’s Company.

Excellent notices were also received by Webster Booth who, with his wife Anne Ziegler, has been living here for the past five years. As the Prawn, Mr Booth is appearing on the South African stage in his first non-singing role.

1 November 1961 (from my teenage diary)
1 November 1961 (from diary)
1 November 1961 (diary)
November 1961 Durban.
Anne as Mrs Siddons 31 October 1961.
1 November 1961 from diary – the story continues in the diary itself (1961)
27 November 1961 Dream of Gerontius.

BOOTHS IN SOUTH AFRICA (1958 – 1959)

October 1958 –
Wedding Anniversary – Merrie motoring. Our charming stage
celebrities, Anne Ziegler and her husband, Webster Booth, will spend the night of their 20th wedding anniversary, which takes place early next month, rehearsing until 1 am for Merrie
England for the Johannesburg Operatic and Dramatic Society. It opens in the Reps Theatre with a gala performance in aid of Santa on November 12.
When the Booths
came to see me recently about this they were worried about their car parking situation. “Double parked – oh, dear – we must be
quick,” they said.
Cars loom large in
the lives of the couple. Anne’s husband said, “I once followed
her in my car from Maritzburg to Durban. I won’t tell you the speed
at which she was travelling.”
Mr Booth may have
endorsed the remark, but the driving licence remains unendorsed!

21 January 1958 – At Home with Anne. Anne presented this series on Springbok Radio. The programme was still running in July 1959.

A poor newspaper cutting photocopied by microfiche. 1 February 1958.

1 February 1958 – Jennifer Vyvyan recital

A photograph of the Booths appeared in the Rand Daily Mail. They had attended the recital given by English soprano Jennifer Vyvyan in the Selborne Hall. Webster had appeared with Jennifer Vyvyan in performances of Hiawatha and Messiah in 1955 before he left the UK.

7 March 1958 with Harry Stanton.

7 March 1958. Outdoor theatre at Joubert Park.

14 March 1958. Little Theatre, Springs.

17 May 1958 Elijah at the City Hall.
20 May 1958.

31 May 1958 – Springs Operatic Society – May Time

31 May 1958 – Springs Operatic Society – May Time
31 May 1958
16 June 1958
16 June 1958

Merrie England 16 June 1958 with Mabel Fenney, Jimmy Nicholas and Pam Emslie
Anne and Webster in Merrie England, East London 1958.
Anne and Webster in Cape Town.
1 August 1958 Vagabond King, Durban.
22 July 1958.
July 1958

October 1958 – Wedding Anniversary – Merrie motoring.

Our charming stage celebrities, Anne Ziegler and her husband, Webster Booth, will spend the night of their 20th wedding anniversary, which takes place early next month, rehearsing until 1 am for Merrie England for the Johannesburg Operatic and Dramatic Society. It opens in the Reps Theatre with a gala performance in aid of Santa on November 12.

When the Booths came to see me recently about this they were worried about their car parking situation. “Double parked – oh, dear – we must be quick,” they said.

Cars loom large in the lives of the couple. Anne’s husband said, “I once followed her in my car from Maritzburg to Durban. I won’t tell you the speed at which she was travelling.”

Mr Booth may have endorsed the remark, but the driving licence remains unendorsed!

November 1958 JODS

l January 1959

8 January, 12 March 1959 Variety under the stars.
17 February 1959.
February 1959.
7 March 1959 – A bed for Zandile.
12 March 1959 Merrie England – Dora Sowden.
11 April 1959 SABC Pavilion Rand Easter Show.
May 1959.
Waltz Time, East London 18 May 1959.
Anne and Lemon. Anne opens flower show at the City Hall. 1959.

At the old Carlton Hotel – the Press Club party for the All Blacks.
At home in Craighall Park.

With Lemon and Spinach.

With Lemon.

Advertising Lourenco Marques Radio.

Anne and Webster launch their Afrikaans LP – Net Maar ‘n Roos.

The Glass Slipper December 1959.

Anne plays the Fairy Godmother.

Jean Collen 30 April 2019.

WHY THE BOOTHS MOVED TO SOUTH AFRICA IN 1956.

From the moment Webster and Anne started singing together regularly, they were very popular with the public. Few remembered Webster’s acrimonious divorce from Paddy Prior in 1938 when Anne had been named as the co-respondent. The public was happy to accept the glamorous couple who sang beautiful songs and duets together so melodiously and with such feeling as glamorous sweethearts in song. Unlike ordinary couples whose marriages settled down after a year or two, Anne and Webster’s marriage was seen as one filled with the constant romance and passion of a permanent honeymoon.

Anne and Webster 1938

Anne and Webster before their marriage. (1938)

When they took their act to the Variety circuit in 1940 Webster still managed to carry on singing at more serious concerts and in oratorio, but it was probably at this time that people began to regard him as a “romantic duettist” instead of one of the “elect” and one of the finest British tenors of the century as he had been regarded in the thirties. During this time they made their name on the stage in productions of The Vagabond King, Sweet Yesterday and And So to Bed, and in several films.

Webster as Francois Villon in The Vagabond King (1943)

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The Laughing Lady film in 1946 with music by Hans May was a starring vehicle for them both as singers and actors although it was not generally liked by critics. They did many concerts for the impresario, Harold Fielding and must have known every place in Britain like the back of their hands as they went from place to place to fulfill engagements.

Their concert tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1948 was very successful indeed, although some of the Australian critics did not always give them good reviews. I sometimes wonder whether their glamorous stage act, complete with crinolines, sparkling jewellery, and gardenias in the buttonhole of Webster’s immaculate evening dress did not become slightly tedious to them after a while. They had a limited repertoire – possibly a repertoire demanded by their many fans who did not want to hear any new or innovative material. 

In 1952 their recording contract with HMV was cancelled and although they made several recordings for Decca this did not result in a steady stream of recording dates. By the fifties Harold Fielding was enlarging the number of performers he employed for his concerts; post-war audience preferred American performers on the stage of the London Palladium, and as the fifties progressed rock ‘n roll was appealing to younger audiences.

Through no fault of their own, they received a very large tax demand for unpaid American recording royalties which Webster could not afford to pay at that time. He told me that he had been foolish and should have offered to pay the tax off gradually, but because he had flatly refused to pay, there was talk of the Inland Revenue seizing their property. The satirical revue Airs on a Shoestring made a mockery of their act, and of Hiawatha, the work with which Webster was closely associated. Perhaps that was the last straw for them.

30 April 1953 Airs on a shoestring

They had made a successful short tour of the Cape Province of South Africa in November of 1955 and although they were not short of work in the UK they decided to move to that country in July of 1956.

JEAN COLLEN –  13 OCTOBER 2018.

 

THE VAGABOND KING (1943)

THE VAGABOND KING (1943)


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THE WINTER GARDEN THEATRE

Collage by Charles S.P. Jenkins

 

Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth as Katherine and Francois Villon in the revival of The Vagabond King (1943). A duet from The Vagabond King:



TOMORROW

 
Webster Booth pointed out in his joint autobiography with Anne Ziegler, Duet, that the Winter Garden had been in the hub of theatre land in the 1920s, but by the time Tom Arnold’s revival of The Vagabond King opened there in 1943, theatre land had moved west and not many people (including taxi drivers) knew where the theatre was any more.

The Tom Arnold production went on an extensive tour of the United Kingdom before it opened at the Winter Garden on 22 April 1943. The production was devised and supervised by Robert Nesbitt, the dialogue was directed by Maxwell Wray, and the  and the conductor of the orchestra was Bob Wolly.  

The name part of the Vagabond King, Francois Villon was a strenuous one. There was a lot of robust singing and a a sword fight. Unfortunately, on the first night of the tour in Blackpool, Webster was struck on the throat during the sword fight on stage  with John Oliver. He lost his voice and his part was taken temporarily by Derek Oldham, who had played Villon in the original production in 1927 with his wife Winnie Melville playing Lady Katherine.

Anne Ziegler played the part of Lady Katherine de Veucelles in this production and she had  three excellent duets with Francois Villon in the show: Love Me Tonight, Tomorrow, and Only a Rose. The last duet became the Booths’ signature tune in their variety act:

The part of Huguette was taken by Tessa Dean, while Lady Mary was played by Sara Gregory. Henry Baynton, an elderly Shakespearean actor took the role of  Louis XI.

                                                Webster and Tessa Dean (Huguette)
 Cartoon of Anne and Webster in the show (June 1943)

On the cover of Theatre World (July 1943) 

The King makes Villon Grand Marshall of France.
The show received excellent notices, but Webster complained about the theatre being very uncomfortable. Anne was so concerned with the sanitation that she called in a sanitary inspector! Despite the success of the show it closed in July. Webster was sure that the show closed prematurely because the Winter Garden Theatre was no longer in theatre land. He realised that the role was too heavy for his light tenor voice and thought the early closure was a blessing in disguise as he might have ruined his voice had he continued singing it for a longer time.
 

 

Here is the duet which stopped the show: Love Me Tonight 

Addendum

Judging by the photos of the 1943 Tom Arnold production of elaborate sets, large chorus and the sword-fight scene, The Vagabond King would be extremely expensive to mount today. 
 
Although Webster considered the role of Francois Villon his favourite part, it took a toll on him, not so much because of the singing which he could manage perfectly well, but because the part itself is a strenuous one. He was on stage most of the time rallying the masses to turn against the Duke of Burgundy and lead the mob into battle. The sword fight must have been quite challenging too – he probably thought he had lost his voice forever when his opponent John Oliver  “was so realistic that I received the full force of his arm with his sixteen stones behind it right across my throat…. By the end of that first night’s show… I could hardly speak. A specialist was sent for, and he diagnosed a badly bruised larynx.”
 
Victor Standing took over the part for a few nights and Derek Oldham (who had played Villon in the original London production) took over from him until Webster’s larynx had recovered from the blow. After the first night of the London opening he was due to sing in the Good Friday performance of Messiah at the Albert Hall, which he considered “the very height of the oratorio profession”.  
 
When he was 71 he told me that oratorio singing had meant far more to him than anything else he had done in his varied singing career, so he must have felt torn between everything he did in the nineteen-forties – musicals, films, and part of a double act with Anne on the variety stage. I dare say if he had stuck to singing oratorio he would be remembered today as one of the great British tenors of the twentieth century instead of one half of “Sweethearts of Song” duettists’ act on the variety stage. 
 
 
The sword fight. Villon fights with Captain of the Archers (John Oliver).
 

 

Jeannie C 23 November 2012
Revised 25 November 2017 © 

 

Broadcasts by Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler (1940 – 1945)

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY – BBC Home Service Basic, 9 January 1940 20.30 An excerpt from Prince Littler’s pantomime, Presented by Prince Littler. Orchestra under the direction of Ray Theobald. From Golders Green Hippodrome. Muddles: Leonard Henry, King Satupon (The Oneth): Syd Walker, Prince Silverthistle: Anne Ziegler, Princess Beauty: Greta Fayne, Queen Quibblina: Jimmy Young, Fairy Rosydawn: Bebe Terry, Somina (The Witch): Isobel Marden.

  Greta Fayne – Princess Beauty.

THE LOVE PARADE  BBC Home Service Basic, 9 February 1940 20.00 (By permission of Paramount Pictures) by Ernest Vayda and Guy Bolton, from the play The Prince Consort by Leon Xanroff and Jules Chancel. Music by Victor Schertzinger, lyrics by Clifford Grey. Radio score by Jack Beaver. The Revue Chorus and the Augmented Revue Orchestra, conducted by Hyam Greenbaum, Produced by Douglas Moodie. Count Alfred: Jack Warner, Jacques, his valet: Tony Sympson, The Queen of Sylvania: Anne Ziegler, Lulu, her maid: Jane Young, Her Major Domo: Gibb McLaughlin,, Smaller parts: Olivia Burleigh, Evelyn Nielsen, Arthur Pusey, H. Brough Robertson, Tarver Penna, Alan Keith, Jacques Brown,

MONDAY NIGHT AT EIGHT – Forces Programme, 21 February 1940 14.30 Presented by Harry S. Pepper and Ronald Waldman, The Western Brothers. Inspector Homleigh investigates (No. 12-3rd series), by H. W. Priwin, with S. J. Warmington as Inspector Homleigh. Anniversary —memories of famous first nights. Anne Ziegler (Soprano)

 VARIETY from Forces Programme, 20 April 1940 21.20  From the Lewisham Hippodrome, London (by permission of Harry Joseph and Idris Lewis) Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Al and Bob Harvey, Will Hay, Junior, and Company, Issy Bonn, Billy Bissett ‘s Canadians On 877 kc/s 342.1 m.

George Black presents A GRAND VARIETY GALA – Forces Programme, 5 May 1940 20.00 in aid of the Variety Artists’ Benevolent Fund  pearing before the interval are  Rawicz and Landauer, Vic Oliver, Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon, Arthur Askey, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Florence Desmond and Jack Warner. The London Palladium Orchestra conducted by Clifford Greenwood. From the London Palladium.

 RADIO PARTY NIGHT – BBC Home Service Basic, 10 May 1940 22.00 at the Ballroom of the Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth, with Hutch (Leslie Hutchinson ), Jeanne de Casalis  (Mrs. Feather), Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler – (the famous singers), Eric Barker (the Prince of Satirists), and Benny Loban and his Music Weavers with Eddie Gurey and Celia Lipton. Compere, Kenneth Rainford, Presented by Leslie Bridgmont

POT-POURRI PARISIENBBC Home Service Basic, 21 May 1940 21.35 French theatrical memories. Arranged and produced by Gordon McConnel , in collaboration with Gwen Williams. Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Franklyn Kelsey, Narrator, Patrick Waddington, The BBC Theatre Chorus (trained by Charles Groves), The BBC Theatre Orchestra, Leader, Tate Gilder, Conductor, Stanford Robinson.

The pot-pourri of hits from famous English musical shows is well established as a popular broadcasting item. Little, so far, however, has been heard of the theatre music of France, to which the whole of tonight’s programme will be devoted.

Some French theatre composers, such as Offenbach, Messager, Lecocq, and Planquette are well known over here, but it is not only with these that the programme will be concerned. The operettas of Reynaldo Hahn , for example, are little known over here. Likewise those of Louis Ganne. These two composers have reputations in this country as a song-writer and an orchestral composer respectively. The songs, by the way, will all be sung in English.

ON WITH THE SHOWBBC Home Service Basic, 13 July 1940 20.15 presented by Lawrence Wright. Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Dave Morris, Iris Sadler, Elsie Prince, Alec Hales , Sydney Glen, Cochrane and Odette, the Oomph Girls, the Blue Riband Three, Bram Martin and his Band. From a Northern seaside resort – Blackpool.

 SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT – BBC Home Service Basic, 5 October 1940 19.00 A magazine programme including Anne Ziegler, Cyril Fletcher and Billy Tement and the Dance Orchestra, Spotlight focused by Hugh Morton. Devised and presented by Harry S. Pepper and Ronald Waldman. Mr. Walker wants to know by Ernest Dudley and Gordon Crier. Youth takes a bow presented by Jack Hylton and compered by Bryan Michie. Singing commeres, the Three Chimes. The BBC Variety Orchestra conducted by Charles Shadwell.

INVITATION TO ROMANCE – Forces Programme, 8 October 1940 22.00 A programme of songs by Eric Maschwitz, set to music by various composers, with Anne Ziegler, Effie Atherton, Horace Percival, Ivor John, BBC Theatre Chorus and BBC Theatre Orchestra, Leader, Tate Gilder, The programme presented and conducted by Mark H. Lubbock.

OVERSEAS SERVICE from Autumn 1940. During the war Anne and Webster did many overseas forces broadcasts, usually in the early hours of the morning. IN THE LIMELIGHT! – Forces Programme, 22 October 1940 21.20 A programme of songs and duets from popular musical shows with Anne Ziegler , Webster Booth, Morgan Davies, BBC Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra, Leader, Tate Gilder. Arranged and conducted by Mark H. Lubbock.

Mark H. Lubbock and his collaborator, Desmond Davis, are presenting another of their popular broadcasts of music written for the stage. This programme will make a feature of numbers from operettas, including The Cat and the Fiddle, The Student Prince, and The Vagabond King.

 INVITATION TO ROMANCE – Forces Programme, 11 November 1940 14.20 A programme of songs by Eric Maschwitz set to music by various composers with Anne Ziegler, Effie Atherton, Horace Percival, Ivor John. BBC Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra, leader, Tate Gilder, Presented and conducted by Mark H. Lubbock. This show takes you back to the days when collecting the postcards of famous musical-comedy beauties was all the rage

 TANTIVY TOWERSBBC Home Service Basic, 14 November 1940 20.00 A light opera in three acts, abridged and adapted for broadcasting, Libretto by A. P. Herbert. Music by Thomas F. Dunhill. BBC Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra (leader Tate Gilder). Conductor, Stanford Robinson. Produced by.Gordon McConnel, with the musical collaboration of Gwen Williams.

This light opera in three acts was produced by Sir Nigel Playfair at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, on January 16, 1931. It proved one of the most successful productions of his management, and the box-office receipts broke all records for that theatre. After a run of several months it was transferred to the New Theatre in the West End, where it flourished far into the summer months, and afterwards it went on tour to the principal towns in England and Scotland with great success.

The music of Tantivy Towers is continuous ; there is no spoken dialogue. Although it is a real comic opera, and full of wit and satirical humour, the subject has its serious side, and some of the incidents are very dramatic. The treatment, however, is light throughout, and the theme of the work, stated briefly, is the conflict between the artistic set and the county set. The author of the libretto, it may be said, is quite conscious of the shortcomings of both. The cutting of the score for this production has been carried out by the composer himself.

Hugh Heather (a singer): Webster Booth, Jenny Jay (a would-be painter): Betty Huntley-Wright, The Earl of Tantivy: Percy Heming, The Countess of Tantivy: Gladys Parr, Lady Ann Gallop (their daughter): Anne Ziegler, Charles Viscount Harkaway (their son): Roy Henderson, Captain Bareback, M F H: Dennis Noble,  

THE MUSIC OF JEROME KERN – Forces Programme, 19 November 1940 21.20 with Anne Ziegler, Ronnie Hill, Morgan Davies, BBC Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra Leader, Tate Gilder, Presented and conducted by ‘ Mark H. Lubbock.  

SATURDAY AT NINE-FORTY – BBC Home Service Basic, 7 December 1940 21.40 Sir Seymour Hicks presents Picture-Postcard Beauties-No. 3 A recollection of their charms, their lives, and their favourite songs. Billie Baker, Linda Gray, Anne Ziegler. BBC Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra – Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Reginald Burston. Programme compiled by S. R. Littlewood and Reginald Burston.

 IN THE LIMELIGHTForces Programme, 10 January 1941 21.20 A programme of songs and duets from popular musical shows with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Morgan Davies. BBC Theatre Chorus (Trained by Charles Groves), BBC Theatre Orchestra – Leader, Tate Gilder. Programme arranged and conducted by Mark H. Lubbock.

 SWEET YESTERDAY – BBC Home Service Basic, 26 January 1941 18.55, A romantic musical play. Book and lyrics by Phillip Leaver, Music by Kenneth Leslie-Smith. Anne Ziegler, Doris Hare, Norman Shelley, Ewart Scott, Phillip Leaver, Jan van der Gucht, Jacques Brown, Ian Sadler, Stephen Jack, BBC Chorus, Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra Leader, Boris Pecker, Conducted by Hyam Greenbaum, Orchestrations by Phil Cardew, Produced by Vernon Harris.  LIFE BEGINS ANEW

 FAREWELL TO JUAN – BBC Home Service Basic, 7 February 1941 21.35, or Lots of love – An improper story of four centuries. Written by Eric Maschwitz to music by Jack Strachey. Produced by Desmond Davis. Webster Booth, Anne Ziegler, The Cavendish Three, The story-teller, Desmond Davis. BBC Theatre Orchestra – Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Mark H. Lubbock

 BLUE EYES – BBC Home Service Basic, 10 February 1941 20.15 (By arrangement with Lee Ephraim ) A romantic musical play, adapted for broadcasting by Henrik Ege, music by Jerome Kern. Book and lyrics by Guy Bolton and Graham John. Anne Ziegler, Derek Oldham, Barry Livesey, Ian Sadler, Betty Huntley -Wright, Norman Shelley, Phillip Leaver, Dudley Rolph, Grace McChlery, Harvey Braban, Pearl Colquhoun,  Jacques Brown, Joyce Kennedy and Charles Heslop. BBC Chorus and the BBC Revue Orchestra conducted by Hyam Greenbaum. Produced by Pat Hillyard and Gordon Crier (A recording of the broadcast on December 23, 1940)

 SERVICES VARIETYForces Programme, 16 February 1941 12.30 A show for the Forces and Civil Defence Services with Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Margaret Rawlings, George Moon and Burton Brown, Johnny Lockwood. Debroy Somers and his Band. Compere, Bryan Michie. From a theatre in the South.  

A GRAND CONCERTForces Programme, 23 March 1941 16.00 for members of H.M. Forces with their sweethearts and wives given by The BBC Salon Orchestra – Leader, Jean Pougnet .Conductor, Leslie Bridgewater. Webster Booth, Anne Ziegler, G. T. Pattman at the organ. Introduced by Peter Fettes. From a West-Country concert hall.

29th March 1941Bristol – MUSIC HALL. A variety show. Compere: Gordon Crier, produced and presented by John Sharman.Includes Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. Signature tune (Orchestra, Booth & Ziegler), Only a Rose, Feldman Songs: (acc. Orchestra) Webster Booth: I’ll walk beside you; Anne Ziegler: When Big Ben Chimes; Duet: Wanting You, with the augmented BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell.

MY HEART AND I

SUNDAY MATINEE – Forces Programme, 27 April 1941 14.15 Including Services spotlight, and featuring Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Nellie Wallace, Mantovani and his Orchestra. Compere, Gerry Wilmot, From a dance hall… 

GRAND HOTEL – Forces Programme, 5 May 1941 16.00 The Winter Garden Orchestra under the direction of Tom Jenkins with Anne Ziegler in a tea-time programme.  

ACK-ACK, BEER-BEER – Forces Programme, 5 June 1941 17.15 Radio’s own twice-weekly magazine for men of the Anti-Aircraft and Balloon Barrage units.  Nellie of the NAAFI (with Doris Hare and Rookie Gee at the Canteen counter). Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler – Good songs, well sung. The sentimental twenties – Kay Cavendish. Compere, Ivan Samson, Editors, Bill MacLurg and Howard Thomas.

BREAK FOR MUSIC – Forces Programme, 5 December 1941 12.30  Concert for war workers with the ENSA Variety Orchestra, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler.

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BREAK FOR MUSIC – Forces Programme, 16 February 1942 12.30 ENSA concert for war-workers. Billy Mayerl and his Orchestra, with Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler. 

MUSIC-HALL – Forces Programme, 17 May 1942 21.30 with Welsh and Martin; Jack Warner; Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth (by permission of George Black). BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Compere, Norman Wooland. Presented by John Sharman at 10.0.

10 June 1942 9.30 STARLIGHT, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.

25 July 1942 19.00 BBC VARIETY ORCHESTRA  Conductor, Charles Shadwell , with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.

MONDAY NIGHT AT EIGHT – BBC Home Service Basic, 9 November 1942 20.00 Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Donald Peers BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Produced by Harry S. Pepper and Ronald Waldman.

BREAK FOR MUSIC – BBC Home Service Basic, 27 November 1942 12.30 ENSA concert- for war-workers, from a factory canteen. Leslie Jeffries and his Rialto Orchestra. Guest artists, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler

BANDSTAND – BBC Home Service Basic, 4 December 1942 18.55 Lilting music, melody, and song for everybody. Solo pianist, Harriet Cohen. Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth and the BBC Revue Chorus in vocal selections from The New Moon, arranged by Wally Wallond.

BANDSTAND – BBC Home Service Basic, 11 December 1942 18.45 Lilting music, melody, and song, introduced by Esmond Knight. Eda Kersey (violin); Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, and the BBC Revue Chorus in vocal selections from The Three Musketeers, arranged by Wally Wallond. Anne Lenner presents the Film Hit of the Week. Haydn Wood conducts one of his own compositions. Charles Smart at the BBC Theatre Organ; BBC Revue Orchestra and the Dance Orchestra, conducted by Mansel Thomas. Produced by Henry Reed. Conducting own composition: Haydn Wood. Organ: Charles Smart. Conducted By: Mansel Thomas. Produced By: Henry Reed

 MUSIC-HALLForces Programme, 26 December 1942 20.00 Gala BBC programme from the Queensberry All – Services Club, London. Listeners will hear Harry Pringle, Teddy Brown, Elsie Randolph, Max Miller, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Flanagan and Allen, and Jack Payne and .his  Orchestra. Presented by John Sharman

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AT HOME TO THE FORCES – Forces Programme, 21 January 1943 19.05 Each Thursday evening many civilians invite to their homes members of the Forces stationed in their neighbourhood. This is a series planned for the special entertainment of civilians, and men of the Army and Royal Air Force who are listening together. This evening – London, Paris, and New York songs from the musical shows of two continents, with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. BBC .Theatre Chorus, BBC Theatre Orchestra, Conductor, Stanford Robinson. Programme arranged and presented by Mark H. Lubbock.

MONDAY NIGHT AT EIGHTBBC Home Service Basic, 1 February 1943 20.00 with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth; Ronald Gourley.  BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Produced by Harry S. Pepper and Ronald Waldman.

3 April 1943 11.00  Variety Introduced by Norman Wooland: Hugh Eliot (comedian),Valerie Tandy (songs),Horace King and Betty (illusionists),Martin May (songs at the piano), Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth (songs), Jackie Hunter (comedian) Orchestra directed by Eric Robinson.

THE VAGABOND KING – Forces Programme, 13 May 1943 19.05 Excerpt from the romantic musical comedy, with music by Rudolf Friml , presented by Tom Arnold , and produced by Robert Nesbitt and Maxwell Wray. Cast includes Webster Booth, Anne Ziegler , Henry Baynton, Tessa Deane, and Syd Walker. Orchestra directed by Bob Wolly. From the Winter Garden Theatre, London.  

THE STAGE PRESENTS…. Forces Programme, 16 May 1943 21.30 Theatreland’s tribute to the Forces everywhere: a programme sponsored by every branch of the entertainment world and offered to you by the Theatre’s War Service Council. This week : BEN LYON, BEBE DANIELS, Edith EVANS, JOHN GIELGUD,  MONSEWER EDDIE GRAY, ANNE ZIEGLER, WEBSTER BOOTH, and the full chorus of the London production of THE VAGABOND KING, with JAY WILBUR and his ORCHESTRA. The programme, produced by John Watt and Ronald Waldman, comes from a theatre in the heart of London and is transmitted throughout the world-wide network of the BBC

GRAND HOTEL – Forces Programme, 15 August 1943 20.20 Albert Sandler and the Palm Court Orchestra, with Anne Ziegler (soprano) and Webster Booth (tenor), in a programme of the kind of music heard in the Palm Court of your favourite hotel in the days before the war. Programme produced by Fred Hartley and Douglas Lawrence.

GALA NIGHT – BBC Home Service Basic, 21 August 1943 21.35 Stars from the stage and concert-hall in a series of Popular Celebrity Concerts with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Alfredo Campoli , and Alan Howland. BBC Theatre Orchestra : conductor, Stanford Robinson.

THE HAPPIDROMEForces Programme, 5 September 1943 19.10 with Foster and Clarke, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Teddy Brown, Gillie Potter, and Harry Korris as Mr. Lovejoy, assisted by Cecil Frederick (Ramsbottom) and Robbie Vincent (Enoch). Happidrome Orchestra and Chorus. Show produced and conducted by Ernest Longstaffe.

BANDSTAND – Forces Programme, 11 September 1943 19.45 Lilting music, melody and song for everybody, with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. BBC Revue Chorus. BBC Revue Orchestra, and a section of the Dance Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Programme introduced by Lionel Gamlin. Produced by Henry Reed

 VAUDEVILLE OF 1943 – BBC Home Service Basic, 25 December 1943 20.00 A Saturday-night entertainment featuring famous stars of Variety,music, and drama. Randolph Sutton , Mr. Murgatroyd and Mr. Winterbottom, Robert Donat , Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, and Elsie and Doris Waters. Revue Chorus and augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Producers, John Sharman and Harry S. Pepper. (BBC recording)

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MUSIC-HALL BBC Home Service Basic, 1 January 1944 13.30 with Ted Andrews and Barbara; Rupert Hazell and Elsie Day; Harry Korris, Robbie Vincent, and Pat Lennox; Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Announcer, Norman Wooland. Producer. John Sharman.

 BANDSTAND Forces Programme, 8 January 1944 21.30 with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, and Alfredo Campoli (violin). BBC Revue Chorus. Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Programme introduced by Lionel Gamlin. Produced by Henry Reed.

11 January 1944. John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS. Fifty-eighth programme in the series presenting music from stage and film successes, of the present and of the past. Cast includes Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth , Betty Kent , and George Melachrino ‘. Musical arrangements by Donald Edge , and orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. The Dance Orchestra, conducted by Billy Ternent. BBC Revue Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWSForces Programme, 18 January 1944 20.15 Fifty-ninth programme in the series presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past. Cast includes Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Betty Kent , and George Melachrino. Musical arrangements by Donald Edge. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. The Dance Orchestra, conducted by Billy Tement , and the BBC Revue Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Produced bv John Watt and Henry Reed.

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWSForces Programme, 1 February 1944 20.15 Sixty-first programme, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Bettie Bucknelle, George Melachrino , and Betty Kent. Musical arrangements by Donald Edge.Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. The Dance Orchestra, conducted by Billy Ternent, and the BBC Revue Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

SONGS FROM THE SHOW PRESENTED BY JOHN WATTGeneral Forces Programme, 14 March 1944 17.30 Presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, *Bettie Bucknelle and George Melachrino. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. BBC Augmented Revue Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

*Bettie Bucknelle (close friend of Webster’s second wife, Paddy Prior) appeared in several SONGS FROM THE SHOWS at this time.

Bettie Bucknelle on cover of sheet music.

 

22 April 1944. 12.30 John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past. Cast includes Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. Augmenteti BBC Revue Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed,

SONGS FROM THE SHOWS PRESENTED BY JOHN WATT – General Forces Programme, 5 May 1944 22.00 Presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Judy Shirley and Sam Browne. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. BBC Augmented Revue Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Groves.

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS – General Forces Programme, 19 May 1944 22.00 Presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Sam Browne, C. Denier Warren, and Reginald. Purdell. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. BBC Augmented Revue Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

 John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWSGeneral Forces Programme, 26 May 1944 21.45 Presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Sam Browne, Polly Ward, C. Denier Warren, and Reginald. Purdell. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. BBC Augmented Revue Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

 BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRAGeneral Forces Programme, 4 June 1944 21.15 and BBC Theatre Chorus, with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. Conductor: Stanford Robinson.

 John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS – General Forces Programme, 7 June 1944 12.15 Presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Sam Browne, C. Denier Warren, Reginald Purdell. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus, Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

 GRAND HOTEL – General Forces Programme, 2 July 1944 21.15 Albert Sandler and the Palm Court Orchestra, with Anne Ziegler (soprano), and Webster Booth (tenor). Programme produced by Fred Hartley and Douglas Lawrence.

 Violinist Albert Sandler 

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS (Series) – BBC Home Service Basic, 8 July 1944 13.30  Music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, C. Denier Warren, Cherry Lind and Gene Crowley. James Moody at the piano. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond.BBC Revue Chorus. Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

 John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS General Forces Programme, 14 July 1944 21.15 Music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, C. Denier Warren, Cherry Lind and Gene Crowley. James Moody at the piano. Orchestrations supervised by Wally Wallond. BBC Revue Chorus. Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, Conductor: Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed. Produced By: John Watt, Produced By: Henry Reed.

 29th July 1944 – Sunday – Home Service 9.35- BBC Midland Light Orchestra, with Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler.

WEBSTER BOOTH and ANNE ZIEGLER – BBC Home Service Basic, 30 July 1944 21.35  sing with the BBC Midland Light Orchestra : conductor, Rae Jenkins.  

John Watt Introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS – BBC Home Service Basic, 17 August 1944 20.00 Music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, C. Denier Warren, Reginald Purdell, Cherry Lind, and Gene Crowley. Carroll Gibbons at the piano. The Bachelor Girls and the Four Clubmen, James Moody, BBC Revue Chorus, Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, Conductor: Charles Groves. Producers John Watt and Henry Reed.

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS – BBC Home Service Basic, 19 August 1944 13.30 Music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, C. Denier Warren, Reginald Purdell, Cherry Lind, and Gene Crowley. Carroll Gibbons at the piano. The Bachelor Girls and the Four Clubmen. James Moody, BBC Revue Chorus, Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, Conductor: Charles Groves. Producers John Watt and Henry Reed.

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS – BBC Home Service Basic, 31 August 1944 20.00 Music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, C. Denier Warren , Reginald Purdell , Paula Green , and Gene Crowley. Carroll Gibbons at the piano. The Bachelor Girls and the Four Clubmen, James Moody, BBC Revue Chorus, Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, Conductor: Charles Groves. Producers John Watt and Henry Reed.

 Paula Green, singer

 

Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth in THE LAUGHING LADY

BBC Home Service Basic, 4 September 1944 20.00 Romantic musical play by Ingram d’Abbes, with music by Henry Reed,.Lyrics by Max Kester and Henrik Ege. Orchestrations by Cecil Woods. BBC Revue Chorus and augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, Conductor: Charles Groves. Producer Henry Reed. Lady Denise Mountroyal: Anne Ziegler, Sir Felix Mountroyal: Felix Aylmer, André Latour: Webster Booth, Lord Mandeville: Neal Arden, Michael O’Hara: Denis O’Neil, Prince of Wales: Phillip Leaver, Fierre: Heron Carvie, Louise: Vera Lennox, Narrator: Henry Oscar.

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS – BBC Home Service Basic, 7 September 1944 20.00 Another programme in the series presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, C. Denier Warien, Reginald Purdell , Paula Green, and Gene Crowley. The Bachelor Girls and the Four Clubmen, with James Moody at the piano. BBC Revue Chorus ; augmented BBC Revue Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

John Watt introduces SONGS FROM THE SHOWS – BBC Home Service Basic, 14 September 1944 20.00 Last programme in the series presenting music from stage and film successes of the present and of the past, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, C. Denier Warren, Reginald Purdell, Paula Green, and Gene Crowley. The Bachelor Girls and the Four Clubmen, James Moody at the piano. BBC Revue Chorus. Augmented BBC Revue Orchestra. Conductor Charles Groves. Produced by John Watt and Henry Reed.

 TUESDAY SERENADE – BBC Home Service Basic, 10 October 1944 21.30 BBC Theatre Orchestra, with Anne Ziegler (soprano), Webster Booth (tenor) Tony Lowry and Clive Richardson (two pianos) Conductor: Stanford Robinson. The Operetta selection is from The Student Prince by Romberg.

News Headlines followed by THE BRITISH BAND OF THE A.E.F. – General Forces Programme, 1 December 1944 13.00 under the direction of R.S.M. George Melachrino , with Anne Ziegler. (Recording of Wednesday’s broadcast in the A.E.F Programme)

STARLIGHTGeneral Forces Programme, 2 December 1944 12.15  Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, and the BBC Revue Orchestra.

 MUSIC-HALL – BBC Home Service Basic, 30 December 1944 20.00, with Ted Andrews and Barbara, Rupert Hazell and Elsie Day, Harry Korris, Robbie Vincent, and Pat Lennox, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Announcer, Norman Wooland. Producer, John Sharman.

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BREAK FOR MUSICBBC Home Service Basic, 19 January 1945 12.30 ENSA show for war-workers from a factory canteen, introduced by Bryan Michie R.A.F. Skyrockets Dance Orchestra, directed by Cpl. Paul Fenoulhet (by permission of the Air Officer Commanding). Guest artists, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.

BRITISH BAND OF THE A.E.F. – General Forces Programme, 19 January 1945 13.00 Under the direction of R.S.M. George Melachrino, with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, and L.A.C. George Chisholm , R.A.F. Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford, Maudie Edwards , Gillie Potter, Jack Warner, Claude Dampier and Billie Carlyle, Rawicz and Landauer. BBC Revue Chorus and Van Phillips and his Concert Orchestra. Produced by C. F. Meehan.

       Duo pianists, Rawicz and Landauer.

GRAND HOTELGeneral Forces Programme, 21 January 1945 21.15 Albert Sandler and the Palm Court Orchestra, with Anne Ziegler (soprano), and Webster Booth (tenor), in a programme of the kind of music heard in the Palm Court of your favourite hotel in the days before the war followed at 9.58 by News Headlines

 MUSIC OF THE FOOTLIGHTS – General Forces Programme, 27 January 1945 21.15 Programme drawn from the world’s repertoire of theatre music, with Anne Ziegler (soprano), Webster Booth, (tenor), the BBC Theatre Chorus, and the BBC Theatre Orchestra: conductor, Stanford Robinson.

THE BIG SHOW No. 3 – General Forces Programme, 11 February 1945 20.00 Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford, Maudie Edwards, Gillie Potter, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Jack Warner, Claude Dampier and Billie Carlyle, Rawicz and Landauer, BBC Revue Chorus, Van Phillips and his Concert Orchestra, Produced by C. F. Meehan, Piano duo: Rawicz and Landauer, Comedian: Claude Dampier, Comedian: Billie Carlyle, Conductor: Van Phillips, Producer: C. F. Meehan.

SHIPMATES ASHOREGeneral Forces Programme, 14 April 1945 18.00 Programme for officers and men of the Merchant Navy recorded at the M.N. Club in London, with Doris Hare, Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, and Mark Daly joining in from the new Merchant Navy House, Middlesbrough. Music by Debroy Somers and HM Orchestra. Produced by Alfred Dunning and Victor Smythe. (BBC recording)

 

MUSIC-HALL – BBC Home Service Basic, 28 July 1945 20.00 with Harry Pringle, Kitty Masters, Peter Cavanagh, Mr. Murgatroyd and Mr. Winterbottom, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Norman Evans. BBC Revue  Orchestra, conducted by Alan Crooks. Announcer, Norman Wooland. Producer, John Sharman.

 Lee Ephraim presents SWEET YESTERDAYBBC Home Service Basic, 6 August 1945 19.50 A new musical romance by Philip Leaver. Music by Kenneth Leslie -Smith. Lyrics by James Dyren forth and Max Kester. Produced by Jack Hulbert. Webster Booth. Anne Ziegler. Doris Hare, Mark Daly, Reginald Tate, Hugh Miller, Franklin Bennett, Rupert White, Terry Farrell. Orchestra under the direction of Herbert Lodge, From the Adelphi Theatre, London.                                                    

                                                              Anne and Webster in Sweet Yesterday.

 Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler in SWEET YESTERDAY BBC Home Service Basic, 12 September 1945 20.15 with Doris Hare, Reginald Tate, Hugh Miller, and Mark Daly. Radio version of the new musical romance, played by the company now appearing in the production presented by Lee Ephraim at the Adelphi Theatre, London. Book by Phillip Leaver. Music by Kenneth Leslie -Smith. Lyrics by James Dyrenforth and . Max Kester. Produced for the stage by Jack Hulbert. Radio adaptation and production by Vernon Harris. Full Adelphi Theatre chorus and orchestra, under the direction of Herbert Lodge.

Sir John Manders: Reginald Tate
Captain Hals: Franklin Bennett
Monsieur de Vigny: Hugh Miller
Lieutenant Carrocher: Rupert White
Louise Varennes: Anne Ziegler
Captain Edouard Labouchere: Webster Booth
Sans-Gene: Doris Hare
Cabouchon: Mark Daly
Innkeeper’s wife: Gwen Lewis

 HERE’S WISHING YOU WELL AGAIN Light Programme, 14 September 1945 20.00 A weekly party for Forces in hospitals everywhere, with Margaret Lockwood and Jeanne de Casalis. Two competitions: Stars and Sterling : and Sporting Chance, with John Snagge and a famous sportsman. The Western Brothers, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth; C. H. Middleton; Charles Ernesco and his Sextet; and Rita Williams. Produced bv Jill Allgood and C. F. Meehan.

MUSIC-HALLBBC Home Service Basic, 29 September 1945 20.00 with Charles Harrison, Billy (Uke) Scott, Peter Cavanagh, George Doonan, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Dave and Joe O’Gorman.BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Announcer, Norman Wooland. Producer, John Sharman.

 

MUSIC-HALL – BBC Home Service Basic, 27 October 1945 20.00 with Bill Waddington, Kitty Masters, Hatton and Manners, The Two Leslies – Leslie Sarony and Leslie Holmes, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Collinson and Breen. BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Announcer, Norman Wooland. Producer, John Sharman.

5 November 1945 18.55 ROYAL COMMAND PERFORMANCE. Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler and others.

Anne and Webster appeared at the Royal Variety Performance 1945.

 

TUESDAY SERENADEBBC Home Service Basic, 20 November 1945 21.15

BBC Theatre Orchestra, with Anne Ziegler (soprano), Webster Booth (tenor), Tony Lowry and Clive Richardson (two pianos), BBC Theatre Chorus: conductor, Stanford Robinson. The programme includes a selection from The Student Prince by Romberg.

 

MUSIC-HALLBBC Home Service Basic, 29 December 1945 20.00 with Foster and Clarke, Herschel Henlere, Issy Bonn, Peter Brough and Archie Andrews, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Gillie Potter, BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell. Announcer, Norman Wooland. ,Producer, John Sharman. (BBC recording)

Compiled by Jean Collen, May 2017.

 

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