Episode 2 – Syria Lamonte, the world’s first female recording star

Just weeks after arriving in London, Fred makes the world’s first disc recording of a female singer outside of America. The lady’s name is Syria Lamonte and, according to Fred, she’s a barmaid in Rule’s restaurant, next to his studio on Maiden Lane. Lamonte – real name Sarah Cohen – is an Australian who arrived in London from Sydney in 1896. Her recordings, which include songs such as Comin’ Through The Rye, accompanied by a tinkling piano, are groundbreaking. But was Lamonte really the struggling waitress that Fred claims? Hall and Holley discover that Lamonte’s history is not quite as Fred described.

Syria Lamonte, Melbourne Punch 19 October 1899

Links:

Syria Lamonte

https://soundofthehound.com/2013/08/21/syria-lamonte/

Newspaper clipping about Syria from July 1896

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/63934926

Recording of Comin’ Through The Rye

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IxaVcro3m4

The Tivoli Music Hall

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tivoli_Theatre_of_Varieties

The Oxford Music Hall

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Music_Hall

 

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