PE0289. HULLO, RAGTIME!, a Revue devised by Max Pemberton and Albert de Courville, with Music and Lyrics by Louis A. Hirsch. Additional songs by Maurice Abrahams, Nat D. Ayer, Irving Berlin, A. Seymour Brown, L. Wolfe Gilbert and Luis Muir. Featuring Ethel Levey, Stanley Kirkby, Beth Tate, Willie Solar, Shirley Kellogg, Lew Hearn, Jack Charman, Bonita, Harry Cove, Gene Summers, Eleanor Jones Hudson, Melville Gideon, Hirsch’s Ragtime Band, American Ragtime Octette, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 152, w.Elaborate 26pp. 'The Play' Brochure, plus an additional 20pp facsimile London Hippodrome Souvenir brochure, replete with numerous photos of the 1912 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English Columbia rarities. Dominic Combe’s most recent intoxicating delight, produced via his enhanced equipment! For this production he had access to fabulous archival material and superb original 78s with which to work!
“‘How those foolish melodies bite at one’s heart!’ wrote the ardent Anglophile poet and ‘neo-pagan’ intellectual Rupert Brooke, recalling the rapturous appeal of the hit revue HULLO, RAGTIME! at the London Hippodrome in 1913. Brooke repeatedly urged his friends to see the show, going ten times himself during its sell-out run of 451 performances. HULLO, RAGTIME! followed closely on the heels of similar hit shows at other leading West End music halls consolidating the revue as a successful complement to the popular musical while showcasing the sensational new song and dance of American ragtime. What did these revues review? What accounts for their success? What did ragtime contribute to their appeal, and what was the significance of American song and dance for the history of popular theatre and the culture at large? The newly applauded revue form had a well enough established genealogy. As the name suggests, the term was French in origin, offering a year’s end satirical critique of major events in dialogue and song focusing mostly on politics. Proclaimed as ‘the first revue ever produced in England’ by actor-director Seymour Hicks, UNDER THE CLOCK at the Court Theatre in 1893 followed the Parisian model but enjoyed limited success. For all Hicks’ typically self-aggrandising claim, his revue had various antecedents and complementary forms on the English stage, notably burlesque and the music-hall sketch. While still very much a hybrid, it was in the music halls that revue first took on its substantially modern shape and established itself in the dramatic repertoire. The formula was lavishly elaborated by Oswald Stoll in 1906 at his recently opened Coliseum, with a producer from the Folies Bergère and a cast of 300 playing twice daily. HULLO, RAGTIME! Opened at the London Hippodrome 23 December, 1912 and ran for 451 performances.”
- Peter Bailey, Research Gate
"Ethel Levey appeared in burlesque theatres and on the vaudeville circuit for some years gaining modest success. During this period of her career, she met fellow vaudevillian George M. Cohan and they were married in 1900. As Cohan’s star began to rise so did Levey’s and she appeared in starring roles in several of his Broadway musical comedies, including THE GOVERNOR’S SON (1901), LITTLE JOHNNY JONES (1904) and GEORGE WASHINGTON JR. (1906). Not long after this, Levey and Cohan divorced and went their separate professional ways. Any thoughts that Levey might have owed her fame and popularity only to her association with Cohan were set aside when she proved able to retain her following, as she continued to perform in many shows. She was in London in 1912 for HULLO, RAGTIME, but was mainly active touring America on the vaudeville circuit although she did perform again on Broadway, including appearing in Irving Berlin’s revue WATCH YOUR STEP (1914). Levey continued to enjoy a successful career through succeeding decades, and was again in New York in 1945 when she played Mme. Sacher in MARINKA.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com
“A gentleman farmer with a love of Edwardian and early Twentieth Century music has created a home industry of preserving early Musical and Revue scores as recorded on 78 and cylinder, the latter of which he is certainly a specialist. It is an impressive list of shows that Dominic Combe has digitalised and issued on Compact Disc. Not only is it the recordings but the lovingly created books that attach.
Early theatre recordings abound in Great Britain, more so than in the United States where it took them some time to start recording original cast material. And so, many early scores are available to be heard. But what Dominic discovered when he started assembling these scores was that often latter day British 78 and cylinder record collectors turned their noses up on recordings of dance music or covers and ‘best of’ or ‘gems’ making them hard to find. And, it is those recordings which can often contain songs not otherwise recorded. He has built strong connections with other collectors willing to lend material to make each issue as complete as possible.
Modern equipment and an aptitude for perfection have helped Dominic ‘clean up’ old 78 and cylinder records to deliver a sound quality that can be stunning. The booklets are produced with as much care by using original theatre programmes or magazines such as PLAY PICTORIAL and MUSIC FOR ALL so that the listener can get a good idea of how the show looked as well as to see the unique art work used to advertise the show back then.
Dominic has issued over fifty of these gems and still has titles either being completed or awaiting to be started on. The label is called PALAEOPHONICS.”
- Phayward, OVERTURES: The Bunnet-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, 10 July, 2017