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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 634

updated
Saturday, 7 November 2009

FOOTLIGHT NOTES
images of theatre and other popular entertainment
1850s-1920s

the label of Columbia F-1044, Edith Day's London recording of
'Alice Blue Gown' from Irene, made on or about 15 April 1920;
and a photograph of Miss Day and Pat Somerset as they appeared in the London production of
Irene, Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, 7 April 1920

(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1920)

When that delightful American musical comedy star Edith Day (1896-1971) first appeared in London, at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, on 7 April 1920, the Daily Mail wrote: 'A theatrical star of rare brilliance has appeared and has taken by storm the hearts of a London audience.' On that occasion she was playing the leading role of Irene O'Dare in the hit musical comedy Irene, which she had created at the Vanderbilt Theatre, New York, on 18 November the previous year. The show was full of charming numbers but none more so than 'Alice Blue Gown,' which Miss Day recorded as a 10'' disc for the Victor label (45176, reissued in the UK on HMV B-1115) at the studios in Camden, New Jersey, on 2 February 1920. She recorded the song again in a slightly longer, 12'' version, with dialogue, in London for the Columbia label (F-1044, mx 74053) on or about 15 April 1920.

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