Hullo, Rag-Time  (Ethel Levey, Stanley Kirkby, Beth Tate, Willie Solar, Shirley Kellogg)  (Palaeophonics 152)
Item# PE0289
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Product Description

Hullo, Rag-Time  (Ethel Levey, Stanley Kirkby, Beth Tate, Willie Solar, Shirley Kellogg)  (Palaeophonics 152)
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,

“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, ( 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.”