Columbia 4719

Listen to a 1928
recording by
Maurice Elwin.


Music by Lawrence Wright as “Horatio Nicholls”, words by Fred Godfrey as “Godfrey Williams”; EMI credits Wright as “Nicholls” and Godfrey as himself; British Library credits Nicholls only; some sources credit Godfrey only, as himself — London: Lawrence Wright Music, 1928.

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One of the very few of Fred Godfrey’s “serious” songs to be a success, Janette appeared early in 1928, as noted by the following trade paper report: “Horatio Nicholls [Lawrence Wright] went up to Leeds to conduct the first performance in a public dance hall of his new waltz ‘Janette,’ which was a feature of the final of the dance competition....The waltz was greatly admired and enthusiastically cheered” (The Era, 29 February 1928, p. 19). At this stage in his career, Godfrey seems to have turned his hand more toward lyric writing, and it must be admitted that the song was mostly heard as an instrumental, the musical credit for which must go to Lawrie Wright. Jack Hylton & His Band played it before King George V and Queen Mary at the Royal Command Performance at the Coliseum, London (March 1928). The song was also performed by Nora Bancroft in the revue Playtime, Marine Gardens Pavilion, Folkstone (July 1928), where she was accompanied at the piano by “Horatio Nicholls,” who was on a tour of Britain featuring his songs; by Henry Ford, “the singing vagabond,” London Theatre, Shoreditch, London (May 1928); by Percival Mackey’s Band in the revue Will O’ The Whispers (April 1928); and by Teddy Morris & His Band, Holborn Empire, London (March 1928). Interpolated in Alf E. Dodd’s revue Something New, Metropolitan, London (May 1928).


In the British Pathé archives is a fascinating 29 March 1928
newsreel clip of well-known British composers. One scene shows
Bennett Scott in his garden and playing the piano, while another, at the very end, features Lawrence Wright ( “Horatio Nicholls”) sitting at the piano composing Janette. Too bad the clip is from the silent era.




Harry Bidgood & His Broadcasters, with Herbert Griffiths at the Stoll Picture Theatre Organ; Cavan O’Connor, vocal (Broadcast 216, 1928)

Maurice Elwin (Zonophone 5074, 1928)

Bert Firman’s Dance Orch. (Zonophone 5080, 1928)

——— as The London Orch., in “On With The Show, 1928” (Zonophone 5187, 1928)

Charles “Nat” Star & His Dance Orch. (Homochord D-1215, 1928)

The Raymond Dance Band; directed by Stan Greening (Regal G-9061, 1928)

Jack Hylton & His Orch. (HMV B-5442, 1928)

Stanley Kirkby (Edison Bell Radio 826, 1928)

Lenox Dance Orchestra (Perfect [label number unknown], 1928)

Debroy Somers’ Band; Ramon Newton, vocal (Columbia 4719, 1928)

Charles W. Saxby (Zonophone 5094, 1928)

Horace Sheldon’s Palladium Orch. as The Royal Court Orch. (Edison Bell Winner 4805, 1928)

——— as The Royal Court Orch., in “Selections From On With The Show” (Edison Bell Winner 4867, 1928)

G.T. Pattman on the Compton Organ, The Astoria Theatre, London (Columbia 4847, 1928)

[unidentified vocal & band] (Little Marvel 1155)