Arthur Lloyd (musician)

Arthur Lloyd
At Arthur Lloyd's Theatre, Wych Street, London, 1901

Arthur Lloyd (14 May 1839 – 20 July 1904)[1] was a Scottish singer, songwriter, comedian and impresario. Lloyd was the first prolific and successful singer-songwriter for music hall in the United Kingdom. He wrote more than 1,000 songs, many of which were performed by himself and others. One of his compositions, Not for Joseph was the first comic song to sell more than 100,000 copies. He established his own theatre company, opened a theatre in London, performed for royalty and toured extensively, touring North America in 1893-94.

Early lifeEdit

Born Arthur Rice Lloyd, he was born into a musical family in Edinburgh. His father was Horatio Lloyd, a comic actor based at the Theatre Royal, and his mother, Eliza Horncastle, was a member of the Pyne and Harrison Opera Company. The family lived at 7 Annandale Street, a large Georgian flat at the top of Leith Walk.[2]

From an early age, the young Arthur expressed a desire for a career on the stage, however his father was initially resistant. In 1856 Arthur's father agreed to send his son to the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, where Arthur's uncle, (his father's brother, Fred) was a leading actor. He spent two seasons at the Theatre Royal after which he performed with his father in Scotland. While on a break from the theatre, Arthur tried his hand at the music hall, giving his first appearance at the Minerva Hall in Glasgow. He secured an engagement at Glasgow's Whitebait Music Hall in March 1861 and following a successful season, he headed to London where he gave his debut at the Sun Music Hall in Knightsbridge on 12 October 1862. [3] In the same year, he also performed at the Marylebone Theatre and Philharmonic Music Halls.[4]

CareerEdit

Lloyd achieved success early in his career. In 1863, the Song of Songs became a popular hit with copies of the sheet music being sold in the thousands. [5] He had enormous popular success with Not For Joseph (1868), a tune that was inspired by a chance meeting with a London bus conductor, who spoke about himself in the third person. This became the first comic tune to sell more than 100,000 copies[6] In the 1860s, Lloyd along with contemporaries, Alfred Peck Stevens and George Leybourne, were instrumental in developing a new style of music hall performer, known as the lion comique or swells. In this style, performers relied less on copying burlesque, and instead sought inspiration in their everyday experiences and the colourful characters of daily street life. Audiences loved to join in the chorus and "give the bird." [7]

Lloyd achieved great success with his character-songs in the 1870s. He wrote songs for his own performances, as well as for other artists. His repertoire specialised in Cockney songs with many titles devoted to the subject of costermongers. Unlike other music hall composers, his songs were not entirely dependent on the performer's ability to mimic Cockney accents and mannerisms, but rather the lyrics used a "quaintness of fancy" and humour. [8]

A prolific composer, Lloyd wrote over one thousand songs, [9] most of them now forgotten, except for Married to a Mermaid (1866) which is occasionally sung in the UK. [10] He performed for the Prince of Wales and other royalty on a few occasions (command performances). Lloyd was the first prolific and successful singer-songwriter for music hall. [11]

As a performer, he toured extensively, working with leading actors, comedians and musicians of the period. [12] He toured America and Canada during 1893-94 to produce his musical comedy, Our Party.[13] Lloyd was also an impresario who operated his own theatrical company, [14] known simply as Arthur Lloyd's Musical Company.

Personal lifeEdit

He married Catherine Olivia King, the daughter of Thomas Charles King, in London on 31 July 1871, who was known professionally as "Katty King" and was a light comic actress. The couple had six children; Annie (b.`1871); Henry Robert (b. 1874); Dulcie (b. 1875); Katherine (b.1876); Lilian (b. 1877) and Arthur (b. 1879). [15] Of his children, his son, Harry and his daughter, Kitty, both took up stage careers. [16] Arthur Lloyd died in July 1904 in his home at 18 Fettes Row in Edinburgh and was buried in Newington Cemetery on 23 July. The grave is lost.

Songs composed and performed by LloydEdit

Popular tunes, composed by Lloyd, include: [17]

  • "Chillingowullabadorie" (n.d.)
  • "Song of Songs" (c. 1862)
  • "Three Acres and a Cow" (1865)
  • "My Story is True" (1865)
  • "Cruel Mary Holder" (1866)
  • "Married to a Mermaid" (1866)
  • "Not for Joseph" (1868)
  • "The Railway Porter" (c. 1868)
  • "Constantinople" (1870)
  • "Brown, the Tragedian" (1870)
  • "It's Naughty, but it's Nice" (1870)
  • "I Fancy I can See Her Now" (1870)
  • "Just the Thing for Frank" (1870)
  • "The Costermonger's Song" alternative title "Going To The Derby In My Little Donkey Cart" (1880)
  • "The Costermonger's Christening"
  • "The Costermonger's Wedding"
  • "The Blighted Barber" (c. 1873)
  • "The Bloated Aristocrat" (1873)
  • "The Millingtary Band" (1873)
  • "The Tichborne Case" (1873)
  • Immensikoff or The Shoreditch Toff (1873)
  • "The Brewer's Daughter" (1875)
  • "Take it, Bob" (1880)
  • "Drink, and Let's Have Another" (1891)
  • "Pretty Lips" (n.d.)
  • "At it Again" (n.d.)
  • "Newhaven Fishwife" (n.d.)
  • "I Like to Be a Swell' (n.d.)

In popular cultureEdit

The expression, "Not for Joseph" or "Not for Joe," from Lloyd's music hall song of the same name was in popular use as an expression until well after the first world war. [18] Lines from Lloyd's song, Pretty Lips were quoted in Rudyard Kipling's book, Stalky & Co.. [19] The Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English credits Lloyd with popularising the term, toff to refer to a well-to-do person. The term most likely originated from an abbreviation of Cockney slang, where a toffee-nosed person was simplified to a toff. However, the popularity of Lloyd's song, the Shoreditch Toff did a great deal to ensure that the expression entered the popular lexicon. [20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Richard Anthony Baker (31 May 2014). British Music Hall: An Illustrated History. Pen and Sword. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-1-4738-3718-8.
  2. ^ Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory 1839
  3. ^ Baker, R.A., British Music Hall: An Illustrated History, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword History Books, 2014, p. 25; Loyd, M., A Biography of Arthur Lloyd 1839 - 1904, Online: http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/ArthurLloydBiography.htm
  4. ^ Baker, R.A., British Music Hall: An Illustrated History, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword History Books, 2014, p. 26
  5. ^ Baker, R.A., British Music Hall: An Illustrated History, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword History Books, 2014, p. 26
  6. ^ Arthur Lloyd Biography, Online: The Music Hall History Website, http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/EraObitFiles/Obit.htm; Baker, R.A., British Music Hall: An Illustrated History, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword History Books, 2014, p. 26
  7. ^ Banham, M., The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 768
  8. ^ Matthews, W., "Cockney in the Music Halls," Chapter 5 in Cockney Past and Present: A Short History of the Dialect of London, Routledge, 2015
  9. ^ "Death of Mr Arthur Lloyd" [Obituary], The Era, 23 July 1904 and reproduced on The Music Hall History Website, http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/EraObitFiles/Obit.htm
  10. ^ Tine Herino, "Writers in London in the 1890s," http://1890swriters.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/
  11. ^ Maloney, P., Scotland and the Music Hall, 1850-1914, Manchester University Press, 2003, p.100; The Music Hall History Website, http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Edinburgh/Newington.htm
  12. ^ Who's Who in the Theatre, Pitman, London, 1912, <Online: https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_qyk_AQAAMAAJ>
  13. ^ The Music Hall History Website, http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Atlantic.htm
  14. ^ Lawrence, D. The Making of Stan Laurel: Echoes of a British Boyhood, D. Lawrence, 2011, p. 19
  15. ^ Baker, R.A., British Music Hall: An Illustrated History, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword History Books, 2014, p. 25
  16. ^ Shoreditch Town Hall History: 150 Years, p.37 http://www.shoreditchtownhallhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/STH-History-Book-150th-Anniversary.pdf
  17. ^ This listing was compiled from multiple sources including: Who's Who in the Theatre, Pitman, London, 1912, <Online: https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_qyk_AQAAMAAJ>; Music Hall Lyrics Collection,<Online: http://monologues.co.uk/musichall/Songs-C/Alpha-C.htm> and Loyd, M., A Biography of Arthur Lloyd 1839 - 1904, Online: http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/ArthurLloydBiography.htm
  18. ^ Partridge, E., A Dictionary of Catch Phrases, Routledge, 2003, p.335
  19. ^ Kipling, R., The Letters of Rudyard Kipling: 1931-36, University of Iowa Press, 1990 p.90
  20. ^ Partridge, E., Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 5th edition, 1961

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