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. Join The Golden Age of Webster Booth-Anne Ziegler and Friends on Facebook.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


The following messages were sent to me via this blog, I am also including additional interesting information in note form. I will protect writers' privacy by omitting surnames. The newest information appears first.

1 December 2009
Tenor, Sipho Fubesi is currently appearing as Paris in the RNCM production of La Belle Helene by Offenbach.

18 October 2009

I just wanted to say how interesting and informative your blog on Anne Ziegler is and how much I have enjoyed the youtube videos. I have been listening to Anne Ziegler since I was 14 and got hold of an old LP, I'm 26 now. I was struck by the video of her singing 'A song in the night. it is beautiful and I wish so much I had it on cd. Do you know of any re-issues featuring it or anywhere I could download it? Also I thought you may be interested to know there is a video of her on British singing it in 1936 - but alas no sound!!! Wasn't she beautiful!
Thank you,
Best regards,

I sent Simon an MP3 of Anne's recording of A Song in the night by Loughborough. I think this is one of Anne's best solo recordings.

14 October 2009
I was very sorry to hear of the death of the Scottish baritone, Ian Wallace at the age of 90. He was one of my favourite singers and I always enjoyed his pithy comments on the BBC programme My Music. He could sing opera, Gilbert and Sullivan, musicals, and Flanders and Swann with the best of them but was not above turning his hand to comic songs with great effect like I can't do my bally bottom buttons up, Lazin', and Never do it at the station. My personal favourite was his heartfelt singing of Limehouse Reach by Michael Head. He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by many.

21 September 2009

Congratulations to Sipho Fubesi (tenor) from Centane in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, who is this year's winner of the Anne Ziegler prize at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.

Jeannie C

10 April 2009
I was really interested to read that you have in your collection the LPs of the 1963 and 1964 performances of ELIJAH and CREATION in the PMB City Hall. I sang in both these performances as a schoolboy. Any idea how or where I could obtain a copy of either the complete version or even some extracts - and/or a copy of the album sleeves? I recall that the ELIJAH LP box featured the Rose window in the Michaelhouse chapel.


As luck would have it I had been given copies of the LPs which I had transferred to CD several years before and sent copies to the music department of Michaelhouse and to Barry Smith in Cape Town who had conducted the performance when he was director of music at Michaelhouse in 1963. I was able to send Chris the CDs by post and e-mail him a copy of the cover of Elijah which features the Rose window of the Michaelhouse chapel.
Chris shared an amusing anecdote of what had occurred at an Elijah rehearsal:

Your comment about Webster showing some strain on the high notes was possibly not only due to his age. I vividly remember a slightly risque comment he made when he arrived for the first Elijah rehearsal with the orchestra and chorus. Barry Smith had the duty of forewarning him that the Pietermaritzburg organ was pitched notoriously sharp and that the orchestra had to tune their instruments up a semitone. Without batting an eyelid, Webster assured him that it was no problem and he would just 'wear an extra jock-strap!', a 'throw away line' which was the source of much amusement to the teenage boys and girl in the chorus.

26 March 2009
I'm desperately trying to find a CD with a recording of the couple singing I'll Walk Beside You.
It's wanted for a funeral service in the UK on Friday week. Any ideas where it might be?

Baie Dankie en Totsiens

Anne and Webster never made a duet recording of I'll walk beside you, but I was able to send Marcus an MP3 of Webster's solo recording of this famous song by Alan Murray in time for the funeral of his father-in-law.

20 March 2009
Their 'autobiography' Duet was ghostwritten by the late Frank S. Stuart. I have researched his background in my critical analysis of the Jasper Maskelyne 'War Magician' myths.
Frank was adept at presenting amusing tales that were only loosely based on factual events.
I have not yet read Duet. I am interested in hearing from you. How accurate a memoir is it?


I exchanged several e-mails with Richard about the ghost writer, Frank S. Stuart. Anne and Webster wrote the latter part of Duet themselves. It says a lot for the editor at the publisher Stanley Paul that one cannot tell at what point of the book Frank S. Stuart finished writing and where Anne and Webster continued.

8 March 2009
I am Rutland Boughton's grand-daughter and am very interested to realize that Webster Booth sang The Faery Song from the Immortal Hour. I wondered whether you could email me and we could chat from thereon.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes,

Rutland Boughton was on the staff of the Midland Institute, Birmingham when Webster was studying singing there with Richard Wassell. I was able to send Elaine an MP3 of Webster's recording of The Faery Song and she, in turn, sent copies to members of her family.

6 March 2009
I have 3 photos of Tom Howell's Opieros....would you like to have electronic copies?
Ken, Swansea

Although the photographs were taken before Webster joined the Opieros in 1927, I was delighted to have them. They included Ken's great grandmother's sister, Anita Evans of Llanelli. Recently I have added an article to the blog about Tom Howell's Opieros and I hope to find out more information about Anita's role in the concert party soon.

6 March 2009
HI, Jeannie
I was searching the internet for a song called and the only one I found was on your site in the listing for the This is the song of the Pirate Ship (Heigh Hi Ho)Nursery School Sing Along No. 2. I know the tune of the song but really need the lyrics as I can't remember more than 2 verses and I want to teach it to my class. Are you able to help me?

Thanks a lot!

I was glad to help Sharon by sending her an MP3 of the song. She was delighted with it and looked forward to teaching it to her class.

31 August 2008

I am writing a history of a music firm in New Zealand, Charles Begg & Co. They were the firm responsible for bringing Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth to New Zealand. I am trying to find out all I can about their tour here and was wondering if you have any information, and, possibly, any photographs. I have got a copy of their autobiography which does deal with the tour but would welcome any additional information.
Many thanks.


My co-author on the book, Do you remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth?, Pamela Davies had received a book of cuttings concerned with Anne and Webster's tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1948. Pam does not use a computer but kindly agreed to compile a list of press cuttings which featured Anne and Webster on their tour. She sent this to me by post and I e-mailed it to Clare. Clare used the list when she went to the National Library to find the cuttings. She found some of the microfiche copies indecipherable but kindly sent me typed copies of some of the articles she managed to locate.

I have included Pam's list below.

Anne and Webster arriving in New Zealand (1948)

Preliminary articles
, some excessively laudatory (and not always accurate) designed to whet NZ audiences appetites
Timaru Herald/10/2/48
Wanganui Herald/11/2/48
NZ Truth 5/5/48 + photo, leaving Liverpool
Dominion (Wellington)/19/5/48
NZ Tablet 26/5/48 + Laughing Lady photo
Otago Daily Times/26/5/48 + Laughing Lady photo
NZ Listener 28.5.48 +photo
Nelson Mail 29.5.48+Laughing Lady photo
Oamaru Mail/31.5.48 +Laughing Lady photo
Auckland Herald/29/5/48 Arrival from Sydney
Weekly News/2/6/48+Photo of arrival in Auckland, + list of towns to be visited: Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Hastings, Napier, Gisborne, Rotorua, Hamilton, Whangarei, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill, Gore, Oamaru, Christchurch, Blenheim, Cold Lakes district
B Articles and crits on their concerts
Date and place of concert
Southern Cross (Wellington)
concert in Town Hall the previous night, and another that night (1st,2nd June)
Dominion (Wellington
concert in Town Hall the previous night, and another that night (1st,2nd June)
Evening Post
concert in Town Hall the previous night, and another that night (1st,2nd June)
Dominion (Wellington)
Re cocktail party the previous day, given at 33 Club in their honour attended by WB alone; AZ “indisposed”.
Southland Daily News
Southland Daily Times
Another introductory article, not a review of a particular concert.
Evening Post (Wellington)
Re second Wellington concert “on Saturday night” in the Town Hall.
Nelson Evening Mail
At the School of Music, “last night”.
Wanganui Chronicle
Re booking for the forthcoming concert.
Taranaki Daily News
Taranaki Herald
Opera House, New Plymouth “last night”.
Opera House, New Plymouth “last night”.
Manawatu Evening Standard
Palmerston North Opera House “on Saturday night”. Their second and final concert in Palmerston North to be “on Tuesday evening”.
Manawatu Daily Times
PN Opera House “on Saturday night”. Their second and final concert in PN to be “on Tuesday evening”.
Wanganui Herald
Wanganui Chronicle
Wanganui Opera House “last night”.
Wanganui Opera House “last night”.
Hawkes Bay Herald Tribune, Hastings
Municipal Theatre, Hastings “last night”. To appear in Napier “tomorrow night”.
Daily Telegraph, Napier
Napier Municipal Theatre “on Saturday Night”.
Gisborne Herald
Re talk given “today” by WB to members of Gisborne Rotary Club, where he complained about the lack of back-stage heating in NZ theatres.
Gisborne Herald
Gisborne Opera House “last night”.
Rotorua Post
Rotorua Post
Municipal Theatre, Rotorua “last night”.
Interview given by WB “today”. The eleventh concert of their tour, the first concert with back-stage heating at Municipal Theatre, Rotorua.
Waikatu Times, Hamilton
Theatre Royal, Hamilton, “last night”.
Northern Advocate, Whangarei
Whangarei Town Hall, “last night”.
Auckland Star
Town Hall, “last evening”.
Auckland Herald
Town Hall “last night”, the first of two Auckland concerts.
Auckland Star
Town Hall “last evening”.
Timaru Herald
Theatre Royal, Timaru, “last night”.
Re great demand for tickets for recital on Wednesday, July 14th at Civic Theatre: followed by one at St James Theatre, Gore on Thursday July 15th.
Otago Daily Times
Arrived Dunedin “yesterday”, an interview on their arrival, and photo of AZ&WB in their hotel lounge.

Evening Star, Dunedin
Another interview “this morning” apparently when WB&AZ were at the Town Hall, inspecting the stage.
Otago Daily Times
Town Hall “last night” (Dunedin)
Evening Star, Dunedin
Town Hall “last night” (Dunedin)
Article on demand for tickets for “next Wednesday night’s concert”.
Otago Daily Times
Town Hall (Dunedin) “last night”.
Evening Star, Dunedin
Town Hall (Dunedin) “last night”.
The Southend Times
Civic Theatre “last night”
Southland News
Civic Theatre “last night” (part of concert broadcast by 4YZ)
Nataura Ensign
St James Theatre “last night” at Gore.
Christchurch Press
Civic Theatre “last evening” with 2 further concerts “tonight and tomorrow night”.
Dominium, Wellington
at Wellington Town Hall “farewell recital”.
Evening Post
Re - signing autographs for a good cause and handing over a sizeable cheque at their final concert “last night”.