Charles R. Whittle (1874–1947)
Charles R. Whittle was one of the last of the dapper lions comiques of the Music Hall. His greatest hits were Put Me Amongst The Girls, We All Go The Same Way Home, and Let’s All Go Down The Strand. Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope has this to say about Whittle:
There were certain music hall performers who, by virtue of their individual qualities or perhaps because they had such great songs, will live on in memory longer than the rest....
Recall the figure of Charles Whittle....[J]ust the sort of man everyone knew, the real sort of man to be a star of that entertainment which was for the people, of the people and by the people. His mastery of an audience was complete; all felt he was their friend, all knew him the moment he walked on. He knew all about singing songs, he had some of the best to sing and he sang them quietly but with all the proper emphasis.
When he invited them all to “go down the Strand and have a banana” he had the audience in the hollow of his hand....[H]e and they were pals, for he was the Man in the Street singing the songs of the Man in the Street for the Men in the Street.1
Whittle recorded very little; according to discographer Brian Rust, Fred Godfrey’s In The Island Of Go-As-You-Please was among several songs that Whittle recorded at a session for HMV’s Zonophone label in 1913 but that the company rejected.2 On stage, however, he seems from sheet music covers and other sources to have performed Godfrey’s I Want You To See My Girl (1908); When You’ve Got A Lady Near You (1909?); Take It Nice And Easy (1910); We’re Irish And Proud Of It Too (1914); and Have Another One (date unknown). He also sang My Girl’s A Yorkshire Girl (Ee, By Gum, She’s A Champion), a 1908 hit which Godfrey claimed to have written but for which he receives no credit.
1 W. MacQueen-Pope, The Melodies Linger On: The Story of Music
Hall (London: W.H. Allen, 1950), p. 398.