It had a longer waiting-list than Eton! All those folk wanting to be on telly with their feather-boas! All a bit too much like Songs-of-Praise in that respect - apart from the feathers!
It was all a silly confection, of course. The cringe-making, polysyallabic babble of Leonard Sachs was probably a distorted memory of Mr Interlocutor of unlamented minstrel-show days. Anyway the City Varieties in Leeds was a strip-club when it wasn't hosting the BBC fantasy of Good Old Days! :rofl:
That was my father, my mother on the other hand is more of a 'Not Only But Also' sort of a girl. It was through her that as a kid I was allowed to watch 'Not The Nine O'Clock News', and repeats of 'Monty Python' which my father thought was the beginning of the end of decent society.
They were united though by a disbelief in 'The Good Old Days'.
When I was a kid, The Good Old Days seemed incredibly boring, and this was when it had been on for decades. But watching these repeats is weirdly addictive, and I now see the appeal of, say, Ted Durante (dad of Jay Aston) and his comedy strongman act or Bernard Cribbins delivering a perfectly timed suggestive monologue. Danny La Rue remains a mystery to me, however. They had one of Keith Harris and Orville's first TV appearances on the other week... I'm not selling this very well, am I?
Danny La Rue wasn't particularly that talented. He was just well-connected and was famous for his costumes.
He made a huge fortune, then lost a lot of it - which meant he had to continue doing the act until he died.
Roy Hudd? It was his specialist subject on Celebrity Mastermind a couple of years ago.
What I wanted to know about TGOD was how the audience knew all the words to the songs. Seeing it now it might be because they recognised at least half of them from watching the TV show - "Oh, what a beauty! I've never seen one as big as that before!" has been performed about five times on the repeats this year!
I used to work in a care home which had framed front pages of sheet music on display. They were from music hall songs, mostly humorous, the majority of which I didn't recognise; but they looked like great fun. They were all beautifully illustrated. One was of a man who needed a haircut. People were following him in the street and mocking him.
Before I left I photographed them with my old phone so if I can find the pictures I could post them.
Their TGOD episode was on tonight and they were by far the best thing on it (though Cardew "The Cad" Robinson raised a few titters and Patricia Bredin, the first UK Eurovision Song Contest entrant, had an impressive set of pipes), it was fascinating to see how fully formed the act was even back then - the interplay, the asides, the interruptions, and of course how much the audience loved it all. Plus Eric had hair!
To be fair, I'm not sure that the crib sheets weren't always a part of the culture - my dad had a couple of ancient music hall flyers which had lyrics written on them; I suppose, back in the heyday of the music halls, the only way to disseminate the words of a brand new song were to print them.
His pantos were infamous though - back in the day, a pantomime would have a speciality act (rather than a burnt out TV celebrity) inserted somewhere in the story . Roy Hudd, being a traditionalist, would do the same - problem being that, if he liked the act, he'd keep a version of it in the following year...along with the new one. Over time the cumulative result being pantomimes which went on about as long as the entire bloody Ring Cycle.
I did some work at Sadlers Wells not long after Christmas - I was going to say a few years ago, but it's probably longer than I consider comfortable to recall in detail. When we turned up the local crew looked absolutely battered.
The Boy I Love is up in the Gallery, Down at the Old Bull & Bush, Daisy, Daisy, etc etc. They turned up in every bleeding episode! No massive crib-sheet needed, to be honest.
I have stacks of original hand-coloured, sheet-music from the period and would have relished a proper exploration of the era. It was much livelier than those dreary TGOD shows. My examples were top-of-the-range "artistes" and very respectable but I opened a box of Music Hall songs in Manchester Library a few months ago which made me blush! :rofl: