Tag Archives: music hall

Almanac – May 12

1828 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti born. English poet, illustrator, painter and translator.

He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.

His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

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1942 – Ian Dury born. English singer-songwriter, bandleader, artist and actor.

Dury formed Kilburn & the High Roads in 1971 –  they found favour on London’s pub rock circuit and signed to Dawn Records in 1974, but despite favourable press coverage and a tour opening for The Who, the group failed to rise above cult status and disbanded in 1975.

Their more successful successors, Ian Dury & The Blockheads,  sound drew from its members’ diverse musical influences, which included jazz, rock and roll, funk, and reggae, and Dury’s love of music hall.

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Almanac – December 20

1860 – Dan Leno born. English music hall comedian and musical theatre actor during the late Victorian era. He was best known, aside from his music hall act, for his dame roles in the annual pantomimes that were popular at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, from 1888 to 1904. 

He developed a music hall act of talking about life’s mundane subjects, mixed with comic songs and surreal observations, and created a host of mostly working-class characters to illustrate his stories.

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1946 – Uri Geller born. Israeli psychic known for his trademark television performances of spoon bending and other supposed psychic effects. Throughout the years, Geller has been accused of using simple conjuring tricks to simulate the effects of psychokinesis and telepathy. He used to call his abilities “psychic” but now prefers to refer to himself as a “mystifier” and entertainer.

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1968 – John Steinbeck died. American writer,  widely known for the The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937).

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