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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Major's "My Old Man"
There are several "histories" of the Music Hall available, but this one is especially worthy. As a concise survey of the subject it is remarkably wide-ranging, accurate, and very readable. It also deals briefly but revealingly with the American and European versions of what is usually considered to be a rather "British" phenomenon, and even includes a fascinating survey...
Published on 29 Oct. 2012 by Vivyan

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My old man
Very heavy going but worth reading. Interesting to read about the old musical hall days and the type of people who worked there.
Published on 2 Jan. 2013 by Sandra Tolley


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Major's "My Old Man", 29 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
There are several "histories" of the Music Hall available, but this one is especially worthy. As a concise survey of the subject it is remarkably wide-ranging, accurate, and very readable. It also deals briefly but revealingly with the American and European versions of what is usually considered to be a rather "British" phenomenon, and even includes a fascinating survey of Minstrel shows. Added to this, the "personal" element - the story of Sir John Major's own music hall family - adds a human dimension, bringing the whole story to life. Highly recommended as both a serious study of part of our theatrical heritage, and also as a great introduction to the subject for experts and newcomers alike. In my opinion, this is not just an enjoyable, but also an important contribution to Music Hall studies. I couldn't put it down!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 25 Oct. 2012
This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
I have always had an interest in the history of the music hall and was itching to read this book, after hearing John speak on radio 2. Like the other reviewer I too learnt a few new facts. The book was an excellent read and kept me interested all the way through. Especially enjoyed reading about Tom & Kitty's career. Anyone with an interest in music hall will enjoy this book, I'm sure. Great selection of photographs too! Highly recommended. Wilton's music hall in London gets a mention and is a great place to visit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasant view of Old Time Music Hall, 19 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
My Old Man, by Sir John Major
This is a very good history of Music Hall from before this name was established to the end of the era, when Television killed the institution off.
John Major writes with great knowledge and affection of the Artists of old, and makes the era come alive. A fascinating, enjoyable read, and a great history lesson on this section of Theatre
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent read - buy a copy!, 10 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
It was only after hearing John Major interviewed on Radio 3 that I knew about this book - My Old Man - A Personal History of Music Hall - and that is what it is. Not only is it beautifully written but it is aimed, I guess, at the reader with a general interest in Music Hall, not the officiardo. John Major has stated that he must be the only person to have run away from the circus to be an accountant - and this respectful history confirms that. I already knew a little about the Music Halls but this volume covered pre Music Hall, and its demise. John gives us brief life historys of the famous names, and interesting facts about the less well known, but equally hard working, artists. I really enjoyed every word of the book - learnt lots of new facts and appreciated the good selection of colour and black and white illustrations. Read this book - you are going to love it. I have now bought a copy of John Major's eaarlier book about cricket - of which I know little, but am looking forward to finding out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUSIC HALL, 10 Dec. 2012
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Montague Barber (london gb) - See all my reviews
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The research done by John Major is amazing. When I discovered his background was a circus family in Brixton, I downloaded the book at once (and I am Labour supporter!). I am old enough to have seen, as a child, Gracie Fields, Flanagan & Alan and many others, live at the LONDON PALLADIUM.(my father was the drummer in the pit orchesra). Later, I saw them all at the METROPOLITAN EDGWARE ROAD, ALEXANDER STSTOKE NEWINGTON, HIPPODROME BALHAM omongst others, when the artist played the circuits. THATS ENTERTAINMENT!! Anyone with appreciation of real entertainment, should find this book exciting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 5 Dec. 2012
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D. L. Hull - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
Lots of personal details on the lives of well-known and not so well-known performers. Very enjoyable.Can recommend with

perfect confidence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy memories, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. it brought back happy memories of my grand-mother, of whom I was very fond. In the dying days of the music hall, she took me to the Metropolitan in Edgware Road to see the fading stars: Nellie Wallace; G. H. Elliot-"the chocolate-coloured coon"; and, above all, Max Miller. Major's description of Max's entry is EXACTLY as I remember it- people were rolling in the aisles BEFORE he said a word. He asked "Do you want tne red book [usually "white" according to Roy Hudd] or the blue book?" and, as a boy of 10 or so, I didn't understand why everybody chose "blue"- and at the tops of their voices! A great master at work.

It brought back other memories too. Seeing Olivier's Henry V at the Odeon, Marble Arch for my 11th birthday, with George Robey in a leading role; my father-in law telling me he walked several miles to see Marie LLoyd's funeral cortege pass by.

It is hard to imagine any form of entertainment before or since that so linked the stars with the populace. John major captures this very well
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now then Missus., 11 April 2015
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M. Julian (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
An excellent book on a subject we don't hear much of. I cannot understand the reviews which say it is "dry". it is easily read with lots of anecdotes and John Major is surprisingly good at describing and creating atmosphere and period. Perhaps my only caveat is the "personal" part of the book. The worst, and its forgivable, part of the book is the chapter on his father and Kitty. It doesn't fit in well with the rest of the book, and tends to be something of a list of when they played where. The other references peppered throughout the book do fit in and give a sense of the human - though that is not short in this history. All this and a realisation that "Daddy wouldn't buy me a bow-wow" is in fact full of sexual innuendo! A better writer than prime minister.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A present for a pal who knows the old music halls well., 31 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
This was a well liked book and was something that was wanted, well written and quite comprehensive. The oldtime music halls were the great form of entertainment for the masses and here you will find many old stars mentioned. A must for the lovers of old time entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Major Biography Of Music Hall, 5 Aug. 2013
This review is from: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall (Hardcover)
An excellent book.I now know the difference between music hall and variety.I used to go quite often to the London Palladium in the 1960s and 1970s when variety bills were still booked there as well as pantos.I remember a great panto there with Frankie Howerd.The artists that Major refers to can be seen on film.I would recommend "Elstree Calling","Music Hall" and "Say It With Flowers" in particular from the 1930s.You will be able to see Charles Coburn,Florrie Forde,Gus Ellen,Lily Morris and G.H.Elliott.Great shame that the halls are no longer with us and the acts are now of course on tv on talent shows.Such is progress!
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My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall
My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall by John Major (Hardcover - 13 Sept. 2012)
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