Whit Cunliffe (1876–1966)

 


Whit Cunliffe (Norris Collection)Manchester-born comic singer Whit Cunliffe’s biggest hits included Fall In And Follow Me, It’s A Different Girl Again, Something In The Seaside Air, We’ll All Have A Holiday In The Summer Time, and What Would The Seaside Be Without The Ladies?

Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope describes Cunliffe as

a bit of a dandy. Sometimes he was a straw-hatted symphony in brown as he walked about the stage in a figure eight....In a mauve frock coat and other garments to match he demanded “Who Were You With Last Night?” His male audience responded (for most men like to be imagined “dogs”) and the female element surrendered to the compliment to their charms. “Were they going to tell their missus when they got home?” he asked. Most emphatically they were not, and well he knew it, there was perfect understanding between singer and front of the house....Whit Cunliffe [was] indeed [a] great singer of great songs and the epitome of what made Music Hall.1

Fred Godfrey’s Who Were You With Last Night? (1912) was Mark Sheridan’s song above all, but it was such an enormous success that Cunliffe, the great Australian star Albert Whelan, and many others performed it. Cunliffe seems to have recorded just one Godfrey song, however: There Are Nice Girls Everywhere (Homophone 789; Jumbo 521, 1910).

Listen to Whit Cunliffe singing There Are Nice Girls Everywhere (1910)

 

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Note

1  W. MacQueen-Pope, The Melodies Linger On: The Story of Music Hall (London: W.H. Allen, 1950), pp. 398–99.