[Dame] Gracie Fields
“Our Gracie” was one of Britain’s best-loved singers, comediennes, and film stars through the 1930s and ’40s. Her most famous songs include Sally, Heaven Will Protect An Honest Girl, and The Biggest Aspidistra In The World.
Much has been written about this great entertainer. The Oxford Companion to Popular Music has a usefully concise entry on her;1 for a full-length biography, see Gracie Fields, by Muriel Burgess and Tommy Keen.2
Gracie Fields recorded three Fred Godfrey songs: Oh Maggie! What Have You Been Up To? (HMV B-3202, 1929); Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty (as part of medley, “Old Soldiers Never Die,” Rex 8618, 1935); and The Grandest Song Of All (Regal Zonophone MR-3288, 1940).
In June 1919, a very young Gracie sang Godfrey’s Dad And Mammys Golden Wedding Jubilee at the Penge [London] Empire (The Stage, 12 June 1919, p. 12).
1 Peter Gammond, The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 189.