This is the second in a series of publicity shots from the early years of the recording business that our friends at the EMI Archive Trust have made available to us. These two photos are of Abert Chevalier who was a comedian, actor and music hall star at the turn of the last century. He is clearly throwing himself into the world of PR – much more so than opera stars Gluck & Homer in our previous photo.
Chevalier’s most famous act was as a singing Cockney costermonger (or market trader; which must be the top photo) and biggest hit was My Old Dutch which was a sentimental tune about a man’s love for his wife ( its Cockney rhyming slang: Dutch = Duchess of Fife = wife). It was written in 1892 and already hugely popular when Fred Gaisberg recorded Chevalier singing it at the Maiden Lane studios in 1899. The tune was a hit both in the UK and US and went on to two spawn two films of the same name, the first starring Chevalier in 1915. His full name has to be mentioned; he was born Albert Onesime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis Chevalier. We are going to give Mr C 4/5 for his photo pose but will award him an extra half a mark for that collection of forenames. So, final PR score for effort in a publicity photo = 4.5/5. Great score.
If you have been affected by any of the content included in this post please dont hesitate to get in touch with The EMI Archive Trust who will be happy to talk to you about this picture and the rest of their wonderful collection.