PE0203. Arlette (Guy Le Feuvre & Ivor Novello),w.Winifred Barnes, Joseph Coyne, Stanley Lupino, Leonard Hornsey, Adrah Fair, Johnny Fields, Leonard McKay, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 104, recorded 1917, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 20pp. Brochure replete w.photos from the London production.
“George Grossmith & Edward Laurillard present ARLETTE: an operette in three acts / book by Claude Ronald and L. Bouvet; translated by Jose Levy; adapted for the English stage by Austen Hurgon and George Arthurs; music by Guy Le Feuvre and Ivor Novello; lyrics by Adrian Ross and Clifford Grey.
In London Ivor Novello found a mentor in Sir Edward Marsh, a well-known patron of the arts. Marsh encouraged him to compose and introduced him to people who could help his career. He adopted part of his mother's maiden name, ‘Novello’ as his professional surname, although he did not change it legally until 1927.
In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Novello wrote ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, a song that expressed the feelings of innumerable families sundered by World War I. Novello composed the music for the song to a lyric by the American Lena Guilbert-Ford, and it became a huge popular success, bringing Novello money and fame at the age of 21. In other respects, the war had less impact on Novello than on many young men of his age. He avoided active service until June 1916, when he reported to a Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) training depot as a probationary flight sub-lieutenant. After twice crashing an aeroplane, and with the influence of Marsh, he was moved to the Air Ministry office in central London performing clerical duties for the duration of the war.
Novello continued to write songs while serving in the RNAS. He had his first stage success with THEODORE & CO in 1916, a production by George Grossmith, Jr. and Edward Laurillard with a score composed by Novello and the young Jerome Kern. In the same year, Novello contributed to André Charlot's revue SEE-SAW. In 1917 he wrote for another Grossmith and Laurillard production, the operette ARLETTE, for which he contributed additional numbers to an existing French score by Jane Vieu and Guy le Feuvre. In the same year, Marsh introduced him to the actor Bobbie Andrews, who became Novello's life partner. Andrews introduced Novello to the young Noël Coward. Coward, six years Novello's junior, was deeply envious of Novello's effortless glamour. He wrote, ‘I just felt suddenly conscious of the long way I had to go before I could break into the magic atmosphere in which he moved and breathed with such nonchalance’.
Joseph Coyne, sometimes billed as Joe Coyne, was an American-born singer and actor, known for his appearances in leading roles in Edwardian musical comedy in London. Coyne was born in New York and made his stage début there at Niblo's Garden when he was 16. He appeared for some years in Vaudeville, as part of a double-act, and moved to the legitimate theatre, joining the Rose Lyall Dramatic Company.
In 1901, Coyne made his first appearance on the London stage, playing opposite Edna May in THE GIRL FROM UP THERE. After that engagement, he returned to the U.S. until 1906, when he made his second West End appearance. In 1907, he made a great success as Danilo in the original London production of THE MERRY WIDOW, which he followed with a succession of romantic leading roles including Conder in THE DOLLAR PRINCESS (1909), Tony in THE QUAKER GIRL (1910), Teddy in THE DANCING MISTRESS (1912) and Sandy in THE GIRL FROM UTAH (1913).
After the First World War, Coyne played Robert Street in GOING UP (1918), Jimmy Smith in NO NO NANETTE (1925) and T. Boggs John in QUEEN HIGH (1926). Among his leading ladies, The Times listed Edna May, Gertie Millar, Lily Elsie, Constance Collier, Gertrude Lawrence and Binnie Hale.
Coyne's last appearance was in APRON STRINGS at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1931, in the role of Ezra Hunniwell. He settled in Virginia Water, near Windsor, where he died of pneumonia, aged 73.”
-Zillah Dorset Akron
“If you are interested in what original audiences of early 20th century English operetta and musical comedy heard, there is a great source for such recordings – the record label Paleophonics. Dominic Combe prepares CDs for them from his huge collection of shellacs and a few cylinders.
I came across these somewhat hard-to-find CDs on the website of the mail-order company NORBECK, PETERS AND FORD, (norpete.com) which is specialized in historical performances from the beginning of recorded sound all the way through to the 1960s.
There are now over fifty Paleophonics CDs, and more are being prepared or scheduled for future release. Each CD comes with a lavishly illustrated program booklet with reviews, information about the shows and fantastic publicity photographs, and artwork from the original London productions, in the form of reproductions of the magazine PLAY PICTORIAL.”
- Thomas Krebs, OPERETTA RESEARCH CENTER - PALEOPHONICS - A JOURNEY TO THE DAWN OF RECORDED SOUND IN MUSICAL COMEDY, 1 July, 2020