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.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ANNE ZIEGLER TIME LINE - (1910 - 1938)

Irené Frances Eastwood (Anne Ziegler) was born on 22 June 1910, the youngest child of Ernest and Eliza Frances Eastwood (née Doyle) of 13 Marmion Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool.

 Her father was a cotton broker, and her mother, born in Bootle, was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Doyle. James was an architect, who designed the Grand Hotel, Llandudno. Anne attended the private Belvedere School in Liverpool and left at the age of sixteen.

Anne's father paid for her to give a recital at the Wigmore Hall.

 Several months later her father lost money in the cotton slump, so Irené went to London to find theatrical work to support herself. She took Ziegler as a stage name when she signed a contract to appear in the musical play, By Appointment, starring Maggie Teyte. 

At the end of 1934 Anne auditioned for a colour film of Faust and was chosen to play the role of Marguerite from 200 others who auditioned for the part. There she met Webster Booth who played Faust in the film. He had been married to Paddy Prior for two years, but his meeting with Anne spelt the end of his marriage to Paddy. He introduced Anne to producers at the BBC and by the 5 January 1935 she was singing the lead role in a BBC production of Love Needs a Waltz and was hailed by the press as a talented new singer.

Anne made a test recording for HMV  in 1935 but she made very few solo recordings for the company. It was only when she began singing duets with Webster that her recording career as a duettist was established. Here is her test recording from 1935:

The Waltz Song from Merrie England

At  the end of 1935 she was principal boy in Mother Goose, her first pantomime, at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool with George Formby and George Lacey. Dorothy Roberts (below) was fourteen at the time of the production and was a member of the chorus of Mother Goose.

                                                      Anne in Mother Goose

                                         Dorothy Roberts in the chorus of Mother Goose

December 1936/37EMPIRE THEATRE, Edinburgh

CINDERELLA 1936-1937 Once again Anne was principal boy, this time with Will Fyffe as the Dame.

Will Fyffe sings Twelve and a tanner a bottle 
1937 - Anne was invited to go to the States to appear in the musical Virginia by Schwartz. She
    Sh decided  to  take the name of Anne Booth for her appearance there and made up a new"life story" to go with her new name. The show 
 show was presented at the Center Theater, New York, but it was not  a great success and Anne did not receive good notices. She returned to the UK after the show ended.
November 1937 Anne appeared in a joint recital with Joseph Farrington, a famous 
bass baritone, in Bath.

29 March 1938 
Paddy Prior entertaining for ENSA in 1941.

Anne and Webster had been singing together in joint engagements in
1937 and 1938 before the divorce from 
Paddy Prior came through. The decree was made final in October 1938 and they were
married on 5 November. They made several recordings together in 1939 and took their
"Sweethearts of Song" act to the Variety stage in 1940.