Artists

Site Variety

Variety, by Stephen Dee (Stephen Dixon). Porcelain sculptures in antique printer’s tray  


SINCE childhood, I have been fascinated by Music Hall and Variety. My grandfather, Fred Elcock, who was a minor performer on the halls before the First World War, told me stories of working on bills topped by the likes of Little Tich, Wilkie Bard and Vesta Tilley. And though I was trained as a ceramic sculptor, I spent much of my working life as a journalist on British and Irish national newspapers, and it was during this period I interviewed and in some cases befriended the veterans you will meet on these pages. Putting this site together has made me feel that I am meeting them all over again, and I hope that you, too, will get to know them here . . . as performers, and as people. And now I work full-time as a porcelain artist, I still return time after time to Variety, as you can see from the piece above.

NOTE: While I still have most of the interviews I did on cassette or reel-to-reel tape, they are in pretty poor shape, certainly not broadcast quality. I will try and clean them up and incorporate soundclips onto the relevant pages soon.  

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Recent Feedback

Greg Butler

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Thanks Stephen, Would be good to get your voice into the show – I can travel down and meet up with you when you’re on the mainland for an interview – my email is greg@canbridge105.fm call (44) 01223872937

stephendee

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Hi Greg. Great idea – Sarony was a brilliant character and so multi-talented. I’m happy to help any way I can but I live in Dublin and in a couple of months I’ll be moving to the US for the best part of a year. I will be in the UK for three days from Oct 25th but in London and Winchester. If I can’t contribute directly, please feel free to use whatever you like from Voices of Variety – just give the site a mention. When you have a transmission date maybe you could let me know – I’m sure I can access Cambridge radio wherever I am. Best and hope all goes well – Stephen

Greg Butler

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Hi Steven, we are about to put together a two hour radio show playing 78s and recalling the life and early career of Leslie Sarony, His 3 sons are all on board with the project as are a large number of 78s collectors and music hall enthusiasts – Is this a project that we could tempt you also to get involved with greg@cambridge105.fm