FTX-331 - THE LONDONERS
SONG & RECITATION with John Foreman, Fred Luckhurst, Bill
Burnham & Bill French
1. PRETTY POLLY PERKINS sung by John Foreman - 2'29"
2. SHE WAS POOR BUT SHE WAS HONEST - Lucky Luckhurst - 4'16"
3. IF IT WASN'T FOR THE 'OUSES IN BETWEEN - John Foreman -
4. LORD LOVELL - Lucky Luckhurst - 3'08"
5. YOUR BABY 'AS GORN DAHN THE PLUG-HOLE - John Foreman - 2'15"
6. THE RATCATCHER'S DAUGHTER - Lucky Luckhurst - 2'55"
7. THE FOUR HORSE CHARABANC - John Foreman - 2'42"
8. Recitation: SAM HALL - Lucky Luckhurst - 2'39"
9. MARR-I-ED TO A MERM-A-I-D - John Foreman - 2'06"
10. WHEN THE OLD DUNCOW CAUGHT FIRE - Lucky Luckhurst - 4'06"
11, THE 'OB-NAILED BOOTS WOT FATHER WORE - John Foreman - 1'43"
12. HARRY BROWN - Lucky Luckhurst - 4'34"
13. THE AMATEUR WHITEWASHER - John Foreman - 2'10"
14. KNOCK EM IN THE OLD KENT ROAD - Lucky Luckhurst - 3'20"
15. I LIVE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE - John Foreman (incl whistling)
16. AINT IT A GREAT BIG SHAME? - Lucky Luckhurst - 3'52"
17. DOWN THE ROAD AND AWAY WENT POLLY - John Foreman - 3'31"
18. MY LITTLE BACK ROOM IN BLOOMBURY - Lucky Luckhurst - 3'14"
19. VILLIKENS AND HIS DINAH - John Foreman - 3'02"
20. MY OLD DUTCH - Lucky Luckhurst - 3'41"
21. PICKIN' ALL THE BIG ONES OUT - John Foreman - 1'20"
22. DAISY BELLE - Lucky Luckhurst - 2'14"
23. WHAT A MOUTH - sung by The Two Bills (with piano) - 3'14"
24. THE TRAMP - as previous - 2'00"
25. THE COCK SONG (FARMYARD) - as previous - 2'28"
Recorded 1954-1966 & edited by Peter Kennedy and first published
by Folktrax 1975.
"LUCKY" Fred LUCKHURST was born at Edmonton, N. London in 1918.
He left school at 14 and got his first job in a printing works in Twickenham.
Then he worked as a "forcer" (nowadays, in the plastics industry, called an
"extruder) in Poppe's Rubber Factory. During the war he served as a paratrooper
in the 1st Parachute Squadron in the Royal Engineers. He was one of those dropped
at Arnhem in Holland and immediately taken prisoner by the Germans, but, after
200 days, managed to escape and make his way home. After the war he worked
as a process-worker/ production control clerk at Hardinge's Engineering Works
at Hanworth, then did various jobs, including centre-lathe-turner at Vickers.
For the last 8 years, before retiring, he was Usher at the Crown Court
at Swindon and has been a regular performer at the Swindon Folk Club run by
Ted Poole. Fred has known most of these songs since childhood, but says that
he has had to "bone up" on some of the words since he started singing them in
JOHN FOREMAN, born near Euston Station, regards himself as a true "Cockney".
In spite of the War-time "Blitz", he says he had a happy childhood in the city
streets. There was theatrical talent in his own family: his father's mother,
Elsie Naish, danced with and under-studied Adeline Genee, and through his mother,
formerly a Miss Harper, he is related to Victoria Lytton. She worked the Halls
and teamed up with Arthur Cunningham, a noted singer and whistler. His mother's
Uncle Charlie worked as a clown and her grandfather was a circus ring- master.
John's abiding interest and his long-standing research into Music Hall, and
the fact that he is a London cockney and still performing these songs at pubs
and clubs regularly, makes this programme a very authentic traditional record.
A printer by trade, through his work of publishing song collections, John became
known as "THE BROADSHEET KING". His songs were learned both from his parents
and from hearing them from post-war Music Hall Revival singers, particularly
at Unity Theatre, London. "Whenever he had a bob or two". He got more from watching,
listening and performing at Unity Theatre, which was established between Camden
Town and King's Cross as a working man's theatre. It was there he learned THE
FOUR HORSE CHARABANC from Laurie Davies. For a time John worked as a doorman
at The Metropolitan in the Edgware Road, and also as a "bottler" with a Punch-and-Judy
man, Professor Alexander. (The bottler collects money, does front-of-house and
bangs the big drum to draw a crowd). Frequently John has operated as a busker
and sold song-sheets in "Petticoat Lane". He has taught in many different types
of school in London, prints his own song-sheets and broadside collections. He
is a founder-member of The British Music Hall Society and helped to dismantle
Collin's Music Hall when it was burned down.
THE TWO BILLS, Bill Burnham and Bill French were recorded by Peter Kennedy,
at "The Cock & Monkey" Bermondsey 13/2/54. Burnham's father, Art Burnham, was
in the newspaper world for 48 years and his son, Bill, became an entertainer
for ARP in the blitz and at 12 years old had his first piano pupils. He had
a barrow and then a shop in Tabard Street, a notorious part of Bermondsey. The
two Bills are real cockneys with check cap and a whiff (small cigar) - other
songs in tgheir repertoire in 1954 were: "While the dance goes on" "The Inquisitive
Kid" "The Mice have been at it again" "My pal, Jack," "The newspaper boy" but
they were barred from singing "What a wonderful fish"