There are three identifiable Hugh Wade compositions from 1928, at least two of which were very successful.
“When the Swallows Fly Home” (april 1928)
This was another tune with lyrics by Collie Knox and was possibly a follow-up to “When the Lovebird Leaves the Nest” . I cannot find any evidence that this tune made it on to record but it was considered worthy of inclusion in Feldman’s 33rd Song and Dance album (a book of sheet music, not a disc) along with “Why Am I Blue?”. These music publishers’ booklets were the “Now That’s What I Call Music” of their day. Number 33 (“Complete Words & Music with Tonic Sol-Fa Setting and Ukulele Accompaniment”) consisted of this perfect snapshot of late twenties “pop”,
“Under the Moon (Fox-trot) – I ain’t that Kind of a Baby (Fox-trot) – Why am I Blue? (Waltz) – When the Swallows fly home (Fox-trot) – So Tired (Fox-trot) – Community (Lancers) – Is Everybody Happy Now? (Fox-trot) – There’s Everything Nice about You (Fox-trot) – If all the Stars were pretty babies (Fox-trot) – Broadcast (Barn Dance) – I left my Sugar standing in the Rain (Fox-trot)”
Members of the Goofus Five were recruited by Fred Elizalde to play at the Savoy Hotel and had a big impact on British Dance-Band and jazz musicians and enthusiasts. Given that the list also includes Ted Lewis’ theme tune (“Is Everybody Happy Now?”) and the much recorded “I Ain’t that Kind of Baby”, I would suggest that Hugh’s music was regarded pretty highly (at least by his publishers) and would have found its way into a lot of homes. Until the 1940s, sheet music sales were considered more important than record sales.
“I’m Tired Of Waiting For You” (april 1928 but probably earlier)
I’ve already posted about this tune here hugh-wade-the-savoy-orpheans-and-collie-knox and would simply re-state that the Charlie Kunz version is a cut above the average. It is often hard to judge the quality of 1920s popular music as the quality of the recordings and arrangements is not always as one would wish.
The tune is often credited just to Reg Batten but the copyright shows that both men wrote it. It is one of the rare examples of Hugh working with another musician rather than a lyricist.
“Rosalie” (May 1928)
This was another widely played tune of Hugh’s. It was, I think, also much recorded but as there are a number of songs called Rosalie and as the Gershwin show of that name also opened in 1928, it has been hard to pin down.
As you can see from the sheet music cover, Jack O’Connor sang it in the show “Miss 1928 Revue”. There was also sheet music featuring Winifred Hammond on the cover. If anyone has any information on either of these artists, please let me know.
One recording we can be certain of is by Charles Hill, who also recorded I’M Tired of Waiting For You. Hill was a singer best known for orchestrated ballads such as Annie Laurie and Sweet Afton.
There is a recording of Rosalie by the Rhythmic Eight. It was released June 1928 so is likely to be the same tune. The Rhythmic Eight was essentially Bert Firman’s band and thus one of the classier outfits of the era. I’ve not heard a 100% certain Hugh Wade Rosalie so I don’t know if this Ciro’s Club Band recording is the right song. I hope so, firstly because I like it and secondly because Elvira was a regular at Ciro’s. The Ciro’s Club Dance Band was really the Debroy Somers Orchestra, who had already recorded When The Lovebird Leaves the Nest.
Somewhere floating around the internet is a Midi file entitled
by Hugh Wade & Val Valentine
Featured by Herman Darewski and his band
at The Winter Gardens Ball Rooms at Blackpool
© 1928 by B. Feldman & Co. London, England”
Though completely forgotten today Darewski had a long career in revue and as a composer.He was the king of light orchestral music in the 1920s and ruled the roost between the wars in the great seaside resorts of Blackpool and Bridlington. If Rosalie was in his repertoire then it was heard by thousands of holidaymakers that year.
Eric Gordon “Val” Valentine, who provided the lyrics to Rosalie, deserves a mention. He was to become a prolific screenwriter with at least fifty films to his credit, including the original stories for Waterloo Road and We Dive At Dawn. He also worked with Alfred Hitchcock on Elstree Calling. Strangely, his great bequest to British popular culture is more than likely “The St.Trinian’s School Song“, for which he provided the words. Like Hugh’s other lyricist, Collie Knox, Valentine died in Brighton in the 1970s. Whether these two were part of the social scene around Hugh, Elvira and others, or whether they were just professional partners, I cannot say but I would like to find out.
Who are the unidentified people in this photo?
From mid-1928 everything seems to stop on the songwriting front for Hugh, or at least slow down considerably. It is about this time that he takes up residency at the Blue Lantern, so maybe he was now seeing himself primarily as a performer. It may be that there are more tunes and I just can’t find them. Either way, I’ll explore the next phase in a subsequent post.
Thanks to William Wade for the 78 scan.
UPDATE William Wade has confirmed that the Ciro Club version is of Hugh’s tune.