ALL MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS MY COPYRIGHT. DO NOT COPY IT FOR ANY PURPOSE WHATSOEVER WITHOUT OBTAINING MY PERMISSION! Webster Booth (tenor - 1902-1984) and Anne Ziegler (soprano - 1910-2003) were best known in Britain as duettists on the Variety circuit from 1940 to 1955. During that time they rose rapidly to fame and were frequently heard and seen on radio, records, television, film and stage. Besides this Variety Act, Webster Booth was one of the foremost tenors of his generation and continued to sing in numerous oratorios throughout his career on the Variety circuit. The Webster Booth-Anne Ziegler Yahoo group is for those who remember them from the days of their success in the UK and South Africa, and for others discovering them for the first time. In the group there is a discussion forum and access to rare recordings and photographs featuring them as duettists and soloists.

Monday, March 03, 2014


As this blog has become rather unwieldy, I have decided to create a new blog dedicated to Webster Booth as a soloist. The link to the blog is: WEBSTER BOOTH 

I have transferred material from this blog to the new blog if it concerns Webster as a solo singer, rather than as a duettist with Anne Ziegler. I have added my podcasts about Webster which also appear on ZIEGLER-BOOTH RADIO
to this new blog.

While Webster is remembered today for duets with Anne Ziegler, which formed a large part of his professional career, I would like to draw people's attention to his solo work. He told me that singing in oratorio was the most satisfying feature of his singing career, and he was certainly one of the foremost oratorio tenors of his generation.

I hope you will have a look at my new blog and let me know what you think of it.

Jean Collen.

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Monday, January 13, 2014


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Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth were versatile singers so it is difficult to name just one duet or solo as an all-time favourite. Webster recorded far more solo recordings than he did duets with Anne, although he is largely remembered today because of the duets.

In Webster's case there are light songs with British Dance Bands led by Jack Hylton, Carroll Gibbons, Debroy Somers, Ray Noble, as the anonymous “with vocal refrain” with the accordion band of Carlos Santana (one of the many pseudonyms adopted by the equally versatile musician, Harry Bidgood), and the popular Fred Hartley's Quintet or Sextet. He also sang in medleys, sometimes on his own or with singers like Janet Lind, Garda Hall, Magda Neeld, Marjorie Stedeford, Stuart Robertson, Sam Costa, Olive Groves, and Nora Savage.

As his singing career progressed he began recording more serious songs, and arias from opera and oratorio. In operatic ensembles he was partnered with singers like Norman Walker, Dennis Noble, Joan Hammond, Joan Cross, Noel Eadie, Nancy Evans, Arnold Matters and Edith Coates. Conductors of these recordings included Warwick Braithwaite, Laurance Collingwood and Malcolm Sargent, and accompanists included Gerald Moore, Herbert Dawson (organ), and John Cockerill (harp).

The duets recordings were generally of musical comedy, operetta and popular songs of the day arranged as duets such as "Dearest of all" by Vernon Latham Sharp and "Too tired to sleep" by Alan Murray. There were also duet arrangements of instrumental pieces by Chopin and Liszt, and a charming duet of Mendelssohn's lied "On Wings of Song".

What are my favourite recordings? “Why does the God of Israel sleep?” from “Samson” by Handel is one of my favourites as it illustrates Webster’s amazing vocal technique and dramatic power. He was a prolific recording solo artist and a highly regarded oratorio soloist.

Excerpt from an Australian newspaper - March 11 1950

Shortly after he began recording in 1929, critics in Gramophone magazine praised his voice but thought he should be singing songs more worthy of it. In April 1937, a critic wrote, “Gradually Webster Booth is finding his rightful place as a member of the solo quartet in our concert halls, when the choral masterpieces are given. Only the other day a severe critic of English singing singled out Mr Booth as one of the very few elect.

Most people remember Webster Booth  for the romantic duets he sang with Anne Ziegler on record, stage, screen and radio but several  derogatory comments have been made about his duet partnership with Anne, most people claiming that he would be better regarded as a serious singer today had he not formed the Variety Act with Anne in 1940.  Anne was the first to admit that she had a “ten-a-penny” soprano voice while his voice was in a different category from hers. She was aware that many people thought she had “brought.him down”.

They went into variety because it paid far better than more serious forms of entertainment and they had expensive family financial commitments. Within a very short time they became very popular with the section of the public who enjoyed hearing the operetta and musical comedy duets sung by a very handsome and charming couple who took their minds off the daily grind of war for an hour or two. While Anne’s voice might not have been in the same class as Webster’s, one cannot deny that they sang the duets musically and their voices complemented one another. Webster did not drop his oratorio singing and it was while he and Anne were singing in Variety and Harold Fielding concerts that he made some of his finest serious oratorio recordings. He was one of Sir Malcolm Sargent’s favourite tenors and was chosen by Sir Malcolm to sing at his sixtieth birthday celebration concert in 1955.

Webster was a lyric tenor with excellent diction and a wide vocal range. Although his voice was light it filled the Albert Hall, a hall with a notoriously difficult acoustic for singers. He had a pleasing baritonal quality in the lower range of his voice and, in later years, fulfilled a long-held ambition to sing the baritone solos in a performance of Elijah in KnysnaSouth Africa.

If one listens to his recordings of Mozart operatic arias and the operatic duets with baritone, Dennis Noble  in Puccini’s La Bohème and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and the extracts from Bizet’s Carmen with Dennis Noble, Nancy Evans, Noel Eadie and the Sadlers Wells chorus, he more than held his own among the operatic singers. Perhaps he would not have managed heavier operatic roles on stage but he had a voice ideal for Mozart, Rossini, Gounod, and Handel opera.

At that time it was the convention to record everything in English on the HMV plum label, but I have a recording of him singing in an Italian which sounds quite acceptable to me, so I don’t think singing in a foreign language would have presented a problem to him. He was also a highly competent musician, so he would have had no difficulty learning an operatic role. As a young man he was keen to sing in opera, but opera did not pay as well as lighter forms of entertainment. In 1926 Sir Malcolm Sargent told him that if he did not have a private income he should leave opera alone. Webster’s sister, Doris (known as Nellie) was very disappointed that he did not make a career in opera.

I have an LP recording called Famous British Tenors in my collection. Webster sings the rather obscure aria, O vision entrancing from Esmeralda by Goring Thomas, while his peers are heard in more popular arias. Despite this he still sounds very much better than most of those who are spoken off in hallowed tones, while Webster is dismissed as a light-weight, a mere duettist!

Webster managed to set the exact mood for each song he sang, whether it was a light ballad or a profound aria. One only has to contrast Total Eclipse from Handel’s Samson with Percy French’s Phil the Fluter’s ball to see a complete change of mood. He certainly was a versatile singer, but far from being “A jack of all trades, master of none,” I suggest that he a master in command of every song he sang.


Once Anne and Webster's recording contract with HMV was cancelled in 1951 they made a few recordings for Decca and gradually their 78s were deleted from the record catalogues. 

But in the late fifties several long playing records were issued, comprising their popular duet recordings. Love Duets from Theatreland was issued by EMI in the UK, while, in South Africa, a similar record, entitled Sweethearts of Song was issued, with sleeve notes by their friend, Leslie Green.
In 1959 they made an LP of their popular duets. The words had been translated into Afrikaans and, instead of the orchestral accompaniment on the 78s, there was organ and piano accompaniment by Jack Dowle and John Massey.  This record was entitled Net Maar 'n Roos (Only a Rose).

In 1963 they made Nursery School Sing-Along (No 2). This time Heinz Alexander was the accompanist and the Nazareth House Children's Chorus was conducted by my piano teacher, Sylvia Sullivan. Webster thought highly of Mrs Sullivan's conducting and insisted that she conducted all the songs for the record.
A recording of Webster's was included in Famous British Tenors issued in 1972. The aria was O, Vision Entrancing from the opera, Esmeralda by Arthur Goring Thomas. He was rather put out about this as he thought the powers-that-be might have chosen a more popular aria for the recording. Perhaps recording techniques had not been very advanced for some of the other tenors on the recording as many of the singers sounded rather thin, but Webster's recording is certainly one of the best.

Meanwhile, a solo recording called simply Webster Booth was issued by Rococo, Canada at the same time. All the recordings had been taken from the collection of Scott Sheldon. Webster played me this record when I visited the Booth home in Knysna in 1973 and I was delighted to hear some songs I had not heard before. 

He told me that EMI would never issue an LP of his more serious work until he was dead, but in 1977, just such a recording was issued. He was very pleased that he was alive to see it, but was rather put out because it was recommended that the record should be filed under the historical section of the catalogue!

The Booths returned to England in 1978 and EMI issued two duet LPs in the late seventies and early eighties. Sweethearts in Song included the same recordings as those from the late fifties, while the other, Music for Romance was a more interesting collection of their lesser-known duets. 

Webster Booth died on Anne Ziegler's birthday, 21 June 1984 in Penrhyn Bay, North Wales. 

A year or so later EMI issued The Golden Age of Webster Booth. 

At about the same time the LP entitled The Golden Age of Ballads and Parlour Songs, featuring Webster and some of his contemporaries was issued. Webster sang Tosti's Parted on this LP.

He was also featured in the Irving Berlin Centenary Celebration  by the great British dance bands, singing two songs in a Waltz Medley, with Ray Noble conducting the New Mayfair Orchestra.

By 1989 Webster's earlier recordings were coming out of their fifty-year copyright and solo and duet CD compilations were issued by EMI and independent companies during the nineties. Because these recordings were out of copyright, Anne did not receive any royalties from their sale.

Jeannie C


Most of the videos featuring Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth have been uploaded by me. I have included the user-names of those who have also posted videos featuring Anne and Webster. My channel is at
One of my friends at
has uploaded a number of AZ/WB recordings in medleys. I have added a number of them below.


Ah, moon of my delight, A Persian garden (Liza Lehmann)
Ah, sweet mystery of life, Naughty Marietta (Victor Herbert)
All hail thou dwelling, pure and holy, Faust (Gounod)
Always, A Puritan lullaby (Kenneth Leslie-Smith)
Always, as I close my eyes in sleep (Eric Coates)
And God created man/In Native Worth Creation (Joseph Haydn)
Ay-ay-ay..! A Spanish serenade (Osman Perez Freire)
Beauty's Eyes (Tosti)
Be Thou Faithful unto Death, St Paul (Mendelssohn)
The bells of St Mary’s, posted by gramophoneshane
Bird Songs at Eventide ( Eric Coates) posted by kadoguy 2006
Bless this house (Brahe), posted by ytm95
A brown bird singing (Haydn Wood) posted by gramophoneshane
Gems from Carmen (Bizet) with Dennis Noble, Nancy Evans, Noel Eadie posted by kadoguy 2006
Changing guard at Buckingham palace (A A Milne/Fraser-Simpson)
Christopher Robin songs - Fishing, Sneezles, Vespers (A A Milne/Fraser Simpson)
Comfort ye/Ev'ry Valley shall be exalted (Messiah) Handel

Dance away the night from Married in Hollywood (Stamper/Thompson)
Danny Boy, posted by ytm95
Devotion (Schumann)
Drinking Song (Sullivan) from The Rose of Persia
Drink to me only with thine eyes (trad) posted by kadoguy2006 Duet from Madame Butterfly (Puccini) with Joan Hammond, posted by kadoguy2006 English Rose from Merrie England (German) 
Evening Song (Blumenthal)
Faery Song, The, from The Immortal Hour (Rutland Boughton)
Faust trio with Joan Cross, Webster Booth and Norman Walker posted by kadoguy2006 Flower song from Carmen (Bizet posted by kadoguy2006 
For you alone (Geehl)
Giannina Mia from The Firefly (Friml)
Greensleeves (trad)
Selection from the film, Heart’s Desire
Heavenly Aida, Aida posted by kadoguy2006 He was cut off/But thou didst not leave from Messiah (Handel) 
The Holy City (Adams) 

Homing (del Riego)
How lovely are thy dwellings (Gounod)
I bless the day (di Jongh)
I hear you calling me posted by lrh1966
If with all your hearts, Elijah, Mendelssohn
If you are there (Michael North)
If You Had But Known (Denza) posted by kadoguy2006 I'll walk beside you, (Alan Murray)
I love thee, (Grieg)
I love the moon (Rubens)
Impatience/Ungeduld (Franz Schubert) posted by kadoguy2006 Indian Summer ( Victor Herbert) posted by kadoguy2006
Ivor Novello vocal gems, with Helen Hill (soprano)
A Kiss in the Dark (Victor Herbert) posted by kadoguy2006 The Kashmiri song, Four Indian love lyrics (Amy Woodforde-Finden)
A lttle love, a little kiss, posted by gramophoneshane
Selection from the film, Land without music
The Lavender Lass (Murray)
Let me dream in your arms again (Horatio Nicholls)

The Little Road to Bethlehem (Michael Head)Lost Chord (Arthur Sullivan) posted by BigTezza12
Love Could I Only Tell Thee (Capell)/Serenade in the Night (Cesare Bixio) Ideale(Tosti)posted by kadoguy2006
Love is my song (Alan Murray)
Macushla posted by lrh1966
Vocal gems from Merrie England (German) HMV Light Opera Company 

The message (Jacques Blumenthal)
Mifanwy, Dorothy Foster
Morgen, (R Strauss) posted by merrihew
Morning (Oley Speaks)
Morning Glory, Sweet Yesterday (Kenneth Leslie-Smith)
Mountains of Granada (Alvarez)
Mountains of Mourne (Percy French)
Mozart (Don Giovanni) Two arias posted by kadoguy2006
 Mozart Dies Bildnis (Magic Flute) and Il mio tesoro (Don Giovanni) posted by kadoguy2006 
My Dreams (Tosti)
Nazareth (Gounod)
Nirvana (Stephen Adams)
O, Dry those Tears (Teresa del Riego)
O, Loss of Sight/Total Eclipse, Samson (GF Handel)
Oh Maiden, My Maiden (Franz Lehar )
One Alone (Romberg) posted by kadoguy2006 On Wings of Song (Mendelssohn) posted by kadoguy2006 Onaway, awake beloved, Hiawatha, (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor)
One day when we were young, The Great Waltz (Strauss II)
One Alone (Romberg)/Sweethearts (Herbert)/Deep in my Heart, Dear (Romberg) with Anne Ziegler  posted by kadoguy2006 
On with the motley Pagliacci (Leoncavallo)
Parted (Tosti) posted by gramophoneshane
Parted (Tosti) (DUPLICATION)
A Perfect Day (Jacobs-Bond) posted by kadoguy2006 Prize Song from Die Meistersinger posted by kadoguy2006 Porgy and Bess (Gershwin) It aint necessarily so, I got plenty of nothing.
Phil, the Fluter's Ball (Percy French)
Queen of June from The Earl and the Girl (Caryll)
Rigoletto This one or that one and Woman is fickle posted by kadoguy2006 Rigoletto quartet with Noel Eadie, Edith Coates, Webster Booth, Arnold Matters (Verdi)/Final trio from Faust with Joan Cross, Webster Booth and Norman Walker (Gounod) posted by kadoguy2006
The Robber Symphony, Italian song (Frederick Feher)
Scottish medley: Comin' through the Rye (Unknown contralto) My Love is like a Red, Red Rose (WB)
Serenade from Frasquita (Lehar)
Serenade (Toselli)

Sound an Alarm, Judas Maccabeus (Handel)
The snowy-breasted pearl, (arranged by Stanford Robinson)
Song of Songs (Moya) posted by kadoguy2006
Song of the Vagabonds, The Vagabond King (Friml)
Speak to me of love (Lenoir/Sievier)
Strange harmony of colours, Tosca,( Puccini) posted by kadoguy2006 Sweethearts (Herbert) posted by kadoguy2006 Sweethearts (Herbert) DUPLICATION
Stay with me forever (Lehar)
The Sweetest Flower that Blows (Charles B Hawley)

Take a pair of sparkling eyes, The Gondoliers (Sullivan) posted by gramophoneshane
Tell me tonight (Mischa Spoliansky) Durium record
The Temple Bells (Woodford-Finden) from Four Indian Love Lyrics
There's a land, a dear land (Frances Allitsen)
‘Tis the day/Mattinata (Leoncavallo)
To Mary (Maude Valerie White)
Total Eclipse, Samson (Handel)
Trees (Oscar Harbach)
Unmindful of the Roses/Life and death (Coleridge-Taylor)
The Voice of Romance radio broadcast, 1938, with Fred Hartley sextet, James Dyrenforth, Anne Ziegler.
Waft her, angels, through the skies, Jephtha (Handel)
A wand’ring minstrel, Mikado (Sullivan) posted by gramophoneshane
When the stars are brightly shining, Tosca, Puccini posted by kadoguy2006 Where e'er you walk, Semele (Handel)

Why does the God of Israel sleep? Samson (Handel)
Wooden Shoes, The Firefly (Friml)  with unnamed soprano
The world is mine tonight (Posford) posted by jozefsterkens
Your tiny hand is frozen La Boheme/Lovely maid in the moonlight (with Joan Cross) (Puccini) posted by kadoguy2006

ANNE ZIEGLERDown in the forest from A Cycle of Life (Ronald)
Slumber song (Schumann)
A song in the night (Loughborough)
Sweet Yesterday from Sweet Yesterday/Kenneth Leslie-Smith
Tales from the Vienna Woods, (Strauss, arr Charles Forwood)
The Joy of Life (Iosif Ivanovici)

Blue Smoke ( Ruru Karaitiana)
Dearest of all (Vernon Latham Sharp)
Deep in my Heart, Dear (Romberg) posted by kadoguy2006 Deep in the heart of a rose (Horatio Nicholls)
Dit is verby (Afrikaans) (One day when we were young) from The Great Waltz (Strauss)
Fold Your Wings ( Novello) posted by kadoguy2006 Hear my song, Violetta posted by patrickdcyau
The Golden Song from Lilac Time (Schubert/Clutsam) 

If You Were the Only Girl in the World (Ayer & Grey)/Ah Sweet Mystery of Life (Victor Herbert)/I'll See You Again (Noel Coward) posted by kadoguy2006 
Laat ons nie van liefde praat nie (Love's last word is spoken, cherie in Afrikaans) (Bixio)
Land of Mine from Waltz Time (May) posted by TAUBERFANLEHAR
Liebestraum (Liszt) arranged by Maurice Besly 
Lehar medley (2)
Life begins anew from Sweet Yesterday (Leslie-Smith)
Love calling me home (Parr Davies)
Love is the key to all glory, The Laughing Lady (May)
Love's garden of roses (Haydn Wood)
Love's Old Sweet Song ( Molloy ) posted by kadoguy2006 Waltz from The Merry Widow (Lehar)
Nocturne (Chopin, arranged by Maurice Besley)
Only a Rose, Vagabond King (Friml)
O, lovely night (Landon Ronald)
Silent Night (Gruber)
So deep as the night (Chopin) from the Palladium show, Gangway, 1941
Still as the night (Bohm)
Take  the sun (Rota)
The Second Minuet (Maurice Besly)
Too tired to sleep (Alan Murray)
Wanting you, The New Moon, (Sigmund Romberg) 100th upload on the 100th anniversary of Anne Ziegler's birth, 22 June 2010
We'll gather lilacs, Perchance to Dream (Ivor Novello) posted byBarndog44
You, just you, Wild Violets (Stolz)
You will return to Vienna, Waltz Time (May)

In a coupé, duet, Act 4, from 
La Bohème (Puccini)
Watchman, what of the night? (Sarjeant)

Songs that have sold a million (part 1)
Songs that have sold a million (part 2)

Ivor Novello vocal gems

Songs from Goodnight Vienna
Songs from Goodnight Vienna (2) 

Songs from Cochrane's Coronation Revue (1937) - Home and Beauty

Gems from Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (Morey)

DUDLEY HOLMES - pupil and friend of Anne & Webster
Ole Man River from Showboat (Kern/Hammerstein)
The Way We Were

I was interested to see the BBC4 archive on Desert Island Discs. Webster Booth was a castaway on 3 April 1953. Unfortunately this episode is not yet available as a podcast, but I am hoping that it might be added some time. Webster's choice of discs were, as follows:

Jean Sibelius: Finlandia, Philharmonia Orchestra

Irving Berlin: You Can't Get A Man With A Gun (Annie get your gun), Ethel Merman

Franz Liszt: Liebesträum No. 3 in A flat major: vocal version sung by Tito Schipa


Charles N. Daniels: Chloe (Song of the Swamp):Spike Jones and His City Slickers

Frances Allitsen: The Lute Player, Harold Williams (baritone)

Gilbert & Sullivan: The Yeoman of the Guard, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Malcolm Sargent

George Frideric Handel: Ombra mai fu (Largo) (from Xerxes): Kathleen Ferrier (contralto)London Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Malcolm Sargent

George Frederic Handel: Comfort ye my people (from Messiah) Webster Booth, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Luxury item: ivory pig

    The Tito Schipa recording of Liebestraum was the same arrangement as Webster himself had recorded. 
     Webster considered Australian baritone, Harold Williams to be one of the finest singers of the role of Elijah in Mendelssohn's oratorio of the same name.

     Kathleen Ferrier lived opposite the Booths in Frognal, Hampstead. Webster and Anne often visited her when she was confined to her bed due to illness. Webster had admired her voice greatly and had been looking forward to singing a Messiah with her as contralto soloist. Sadly she had to cancel this engagement due to ill health and she died less than seven months after this broadcast, on 8 October 1953. 

     At that time the copyright on Gilbert's words was still in place, so it would only have been possible to play the overture of The Yeomen of the Guard.

     The BBC website lists the soloist in Comfort ye/Ev'ry Valley as Walter Booth rather than Webster Booth!

       A number of the recordings Webster chose were conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent. Sargent was Webster's champion and chose him for many oratorio performances. In 1955, on the occasion of Sir Malcolm's sixtieth birthday, he personally requested that Webster should be the soloist at the concert to commemorate this event.

Castaways who chose recordings by Anne Ziegler and/or Webster Booth. Duets are in red; solos by Webster Booth are in blue. Recordings go from latest to earliest:

David Croft (writer) 14 March 1993: When we are married from The Belle of New York (Kerker)

Miriam Rothschild (Conservationist, biologist) 23 April 1989: If you were the only girl in the world from The Bing Boys are Here (Ayer)

Right Honourable Lord Denning (Master of the Rolls, Politician, Lawyer) 17 May 1980:  Roses of Picardy (Haydn Wood) With Fred Hartley and his Quintet

Rosina Harrison (Lady Astor's lady's maid, writer) 20 March 1976: Bless this House

Rosina Harrison

Noel Streatfield (Writer) 17 January 1976: The Faery Song from The Immortal Hour (Rutland Boughton)

Percy Press (Punch and Judy man, puppeteer) 28 December 1974: Because

Barry Humphries (Comedian) 24 November 1973: The Faery Song from The Immortal Hour (Rutland Boughton)


Bill Shankly (Manager Liverpool FC, athlete, football manager) 26 April 1965: The English Rose from Merrie England (German)

Dr W.E Shewell-Cooper (Horticulturalist) 10 April 1965: Passing by (Purcell)

Percy Merriman (Musician, Concert Performer, Roosters Concert Party) 17 August 1964: Roses of Picardy (Haydn Wood) With Fred Hartley and his Quintet

Lord George Sanger (Circus, circus proprietor) 22 December 1962: I’ll see you again  from Bitter Sweet (Noel Coward)

Ursula Bloom (Novelist, writer, journalist) 14 November 1960: Homing (del Riego)


*Dennis Noble (Baritone) 19 November 1956: The Long Day Closes (Sullivan) by Tommy Handley Memorial choir, which included Webster Booth

*R.C Sherriff (Playwright and writer) 23 August 1955: Miserere from Il Trovatore (Verdi) with Joan Cross, Webster Booth

Fred Perry (Tennis player, athlete) 8 July 1952: The Lost Chord (Sullivan)

Ellaline Terris (Actress) 24 June 1952: I Leave My Heart in an English Garden (Parr Davies)


*Leslie Henson (Comedy actor) 18 July 1951: Ivor Novello selection, with Helen Hill, Olive Gilbert, Peter Graves, Webster Booth

*Anona Winn (Actress and singer) 4 April 1951: Madam Butterfly Love Duet (Puccini) with Joan Hammond  

There was a break in broadcasting Desert Island Discs between 1946 and 1951

Signalman Henry Wheeler (soldier, navy signalman) 24 November 1945: If you were the only girl in the world from The Bing Boys are Here (Ayer)

*Joan Edgar (Light Programme announcer) 1 September 1945: Madam Butterfly Love Duet (Puccini) with Joan Hammond

Ralph Reader (Theatre director) 12 February 1944: Bless this House (Brahe)

*Alan Dent (Drama Critic) 8 January 1944: Where'er you walk (Handel)

Barrington Dalby (Boxing referee, Athlete) 20 August 1942: The English Rose from Merrie England (German)

Nathaniel Gubbins (Humorous Writer) 6 August 1942: The Faery Song from The Immortal Hour by Rutland Boughton

*Beatrice Lillie (Actress and revue star) 9 July 1942: The Lord's Prayer (Malotte)

*Arthur Askey (Comedian) 2 April 1942: Serenade (Schubert)

*Pat Kirkwood (Actress) 

26 February 1942:Serenade (Schubert)

*Recordings marked with an asterisk do not appear in the BBC4 Archives search. 

Plomley, R (with Derek Drescher) Desert Island Lists, Hutchinson, 1984

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My Comments on You Tube

 ALWAYS (Kenneth
Always  comes from The Puritan Lullaby by Kenneth Leslie-Smith. Webster Booth took part in the broadcast of this show on BBC radio in September 1935. The cast included baritones George Baker and Stuart Robertson. BBC Theatre Orchestra and the Revue Chorus was conducted by Stanford Robinson.
He was very well known in his day. Although his voice was light it could still fill the Albert Hall without the aid of a microphone.
HEART’S DESIRE selection
In response to a remark about Alan Keith’s Hundred Best Tunes: Towards the end of the eighties Alan Keith presented The Golden Years  in which he also played many of their
recordings. Although they had never met, Alan Keith attended Webster's memorial
service at St Paul's, Covent Garden, in 1984.
In response to a comment that the person was sorry to have missed a concert in 1978: They had just arrived back in the UK after 22 years in South Africa and were surprised to find that people remembered them after their absence. They embarked on their short "third career" in the UK until Webster's health failed and he died in June1984.
Webster once told me that when he went to a recording date at HMV he was given about six items to record on each particular occasion, so the choice of what he would record was made by the powers-that-be rather than the singer. I know that he admired Richard Tauber's
voice, which was a lyric tenor much like his own.
I love the song and think this is one of Anne and Webster's best duet recordings.
2009 Webster Booth died 27 years ago on 21 June 1984 in Llandudno, North Wales. This duet comes from a radio programme in the 1940s when he and Anne Ziegler were at the height of their popularity as duettists.
MORNING (Oley Speaks)
The only other songs by Oley Speaks I can recall offhand are Sylvia, which begins, "Sylvia's hair is like the night..." and his most famous song, The Road to Mandalay, recorded by many baritones. Webster recorded  Sylvia, but sadly I do not have it in my collection.
In answer to a query about the photographs I used in the video: Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth lived in Penrhyn Bay, North Wales when they returned to the UK in 1978, so instead of a series of photographs of WB himself, I decided to use photographs associated with their time in Llandudno.
arranged by Maurice Besly)
I'm afraid I don't know the exact date of the recording. I imagine it was recorded some time in the late forties. The record number of this 12" 78rpm is HMV C3460. I have since found out
that it was recorded in 1945.
(In reply to a comment by Selwyn Lotzof) I also had lessons with Anne and Webster at the same time as you and was Webster's accompanist when Anne was away. I remember playing for you! Happy memories!
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Webster Booth sang the tenor solos in Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast many times before and after WWII. Sir Malcolm Sargent chose him especially to sing the part for his sixtieth birthday concert in 1955.
I have Webster Booth’s recording of Celeste Aida, sungin English as are all his other operatic recordings. When Webster Booth was in South Africa he and Anne Ziegler made an LP of their popular duets in Afrikaans entitled Net maar ‘n Roos, but Romance from the film, The Robber Symphony is the only other WB recording I know in a language other than English.
I see that in 1948 he also
recorded Break of DayWayside Rose, and My Heart and I, all closely associated with Richard Tauber. I know he had no say in what he recorded but was given a selection of songs to record on particular recording dates. I can only think that the powers-that-be at HMV
decided he should record these songs because Tauber had recently died.
At the age of 61 he sang the tenor part in Elijah in Pietermaritzburg. The MD told everyone that the organ was pitched a semitone higher than concert pitch so the orchestra would have to tune up accordingly. When asked whether the higher pitch would be a problem for Webster at his
advanced singing age, he replied that he would just put on a second jockstrap and all would be well! As far as I know, it was!
Webster Booth was one of Britain's finest oratorio singers of his generation and was known for the clarity of his diction and runs, and for his excellent musicianship. He recorded for HMV for over 20 years, and was Sir Malcolm Sargent's personal choice as soloist at his 60th birthday concert in 1955.
I have never understood why Webster is underrated as a singer today as I think he deserves a place amongst the best.  Most people think all he ever did was sing light duets with Anne Ziegler on the variety circuit. He told me that oratorio singing meant more to him than any other branch of his singing career.

Recordings not in my collection
Someone asked me the other day how many Booth-Ziegler recordings I had in my collection. Rather than count them up, I compiled a list of those which are not in my collection. If anyone has any of these recordings, I would be delighted to receive an MP3 of it and will gladly send them an MP3 of one of mine in exchange. Apart from the Noel Coward Selection (2), which features Anne Ziegler, all the other recordings feature Webster Booth.

Decca K628 Rosemarie Vocal Selection/Friml/ Victor Conway, Anne Welch, Webster Booth, 12 December 1930

Decca F9921 Sanctuary of the Heart/Ketelby; He Bought My Heart At Calvary/Hamblen with choir of St Stephen’s Church Dulwich, Fela Sowande (organ) June 1952

Decca F9942 Castles in the Air/Lincke; The White Dove/Léhar, July 1952


M-41171-A What More Can I Ask?; Brighter Than the Sun/ from film The Little Damozel, Durium Dance Orchestra, Peter Rush,1 February 1933

Test recording Serenata, Macushla Reginald Paul, C Studio, Small Queens Hall, London, 20 November 1929

B3735 Somewhere a Voice is Calling/Tate; I Know of Two Bright Eyes/Clutsam, Ray Noble, New Mayfair Orchestra, Friends Meeting House, London,10 January 1930/April 1931

B8360 As I Sit Here/Sanderson; Love Passes By/Victor
Schertzinger, September 1935

B8476 I’m all alone/May; I’ll wait for you/ Feiner, September 1936

B9030 When You Wish Upon a Star/Pinocchio/ Harline;
Rosita/Kennedy/Carr, 1939

B9071 Sylvia/Oley Speaks, Gerald Moore, September 1940

B9164 A Ballynure Ballad/arr
Hughes + Trottin’ to the Fair/Stanford, Gerald Moore, 1941

B9271 Will You Go with Me?/Brandon-Park/Murray,Gerald Moore

*B9428 Tomorrow; / Sweet Yesterday, Leslie-Smith, Herbert Lodge, 12 July 1945

B9458 Just for today/Partridge/Seaver; There is No
Death/Johnson/O’Hara, Gerald Moore, 1946

B9502 All Soul’s Day/ Richard Strauss; Memory Island/ Harrison/ Gerald Moore, September 1946

B9507 O, Come All Ye Faithful, Bertram L Harrison, 1946

B9640 Show Me the Way/O’Connor/Morgan; Napoli
Bay/Kynoch, George Melachrino, 1948

C2260 Chu Chin Chow Vocal Gems/Asche/Norton, Light Opera Company, including Stuart Robertson, Webster Booth, 17 March 1931

C2800 Co-optimists Medley/Gideon/Olive Groves, Effie Atherton, Webster Booth, Stuart Robertson, George Scott Wood, 1 October 1935

C2814 Neapolitan Nights, Light Opera Company with Webster Booth

C2827 Memories of Tosti/La Scala Singers with Webster Booth

C3050 Songs That Have Sold a Million (2) with Dorothy Clarke, Foster Richardson, Webster Booth, 1938

Ave Maria/Schubert, Ernest Lush (unpublished) - Also recorded on 11 August 1939

C3128 Mikado Vocal Gems, Sullivan, Light Opera Company, with Anne Ziegler, Nancy Evans, Dennis Noble, George Baker; chorus & orchestra, Isadore Godfrey, Kingsway Hall, London, 27 October 1939

C3151 Gondoliers Vocal Gems/ Sullivan Light Opera Company with Anne Ziegler Nancy Evans, Dennis Noble, George Baker; chorus and orchestra conducted by Isadore Godfrey, Kingsway Hall, London, 27 October 1939

C3522 Ivor Novello Medley(2) with Helen Hill, Olive
Groves, Peter Graves, Harry Acres, 15 October 1946

#C3636 Noel Coward Medley 2 with Anne Ziegler, Joyce
Grenfell, Graham Payn, Harry Acres, 11 March 1947

Here Comes the Bride Selection/Schwartz/Light Opera Company with Alice Moxon, Stuart Robertson, Webster Booth, George Baker/Ray Noble/Studio C, Small Queens Hall, London/Cc18897-4, 25 March 1930 (Number unknown)

I have accumulated a large collection of recordings featuring Anne and Webster over the years - 78rpms, LPs, CDs and tape recordings. Recently I compiled as complete a discography of their recordings as possible and discovered that I still need to add the following records to my collection. I would like to find the following recordings, particularly the ones marked with an asterisk. I would be glad to hear from anyone who could let me have an MP3 of any of one of the following recordings. I would be happy to send them one of my MP3s in exchange:  

Webster Booth

All soul’s day/Bernhoff/Richard Strauss Moore, Memory Island/Askew/Harrison/Moore September 1946 B9502
As I sit here/Sanderson/Love passes by/Victor Schertzinger B8360
A Ballynure Ballad/arr Hughes,/Trottin’ to the Fair/Stanford Gerald Moore, B9164
Chu Chin Chow/Asche/Norton/Vocal Gems/Light Opera Company, including Stuart Robertson, WB 17 March 1931 C2260
Come back my love/Miller/Rubinstein/arr Grün/ Will you go with me?/Brandon-Park/Murray Moore B9264
Co-optimists Medley/Gideon/Olive Groves, Effie Atherton, WB, Stuart Robertson, conductor George Scott Wood, 1 October 1935 C2800 
I know of two bright eyes/Clutsam/ Somewhere a voice is calling/Tate / New Mayfair Orchestra/ Ray Noble April 1931 B3735
I’ll wait for you/May B8476 Just for today/Partridge/Seaver/Moore B9458
Mikado vocal gems/Sullivan/Light Opera Company C3128 Memories of Tosti/La Scala Singers C2827
Napoli Bay/Kynoch Show me the way/O’Connor/Morgan /Melachrino B9640
Neapolitan Nights/ C2814
O come all ye faithful/Bertram L Harrison B9507
Pinocchio/When you wish upon a star/HarlineRosita/Kennedy B9030 
Rosemarie Vocal Selection/Friml Victor Conway, Anne Welch, WB 12 December 1930 Decca K628
Sylvia, Oley Speaks, Gerald Moore B9071 1941

Sweet melody of night/Give us this night/KorngoldB8442
There is no death/Johnson/O’Hara/Moore/B9458 Undivided/Sievier/Thayer B8545
Where’er you go/O’Keefe Eric Robinson, 18 May 1951 B10092

Decca recordings:Webster Booth
*Castles in the air/Lincke /The white dove/Léhar Decca F9942 
*He bought my heart at Calvary/Hamblen/ Sanctuary of the heart/Ketelby with choir of St Stephen’s Church Dulwich, Fela Sowande (organ) Decca F9921

I recently published a new edition of my book: Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler: Excerpts from Gramophone & Discography, compiled by Jean Collen. This book is available at: MY LULU STOREFRONT