Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Neville Bishop And A Bag Of Yorkshire Mixture

Regular readers know that there is nothing I like better than to discover some new on-line digital archive. My little face lights up when I find that some splendid fellow has digitised the entire minute books of the Pontefract Band of Hope Fellowship and made them available on-line. I always think of such offerings as the digital equivalent to a bag of sweets. Like a bag of Dobson's Yorkshire Mixture they are sweet, enticing, tasty, and difficult to put down. However if one is to repeatedly dip into the sweet bag of digital archives one has a responsibility to occasionally replenish the bag. Unfortunately, I do not have a large historical archive waiting to be digitised and therefore you will have to be satisfied with forays into Uncle Fowlers' postcard collection and Uncle Frank's suitcases.
Today's selection comes from the latter (well from one of his scrap albums to be exact) and comprises a signed programme from a performance by Neville Bishop and his Orchestra at the Marina in Great Yarmouth in, I think, 1948. I know there is another Neville Bishop programme already available on-line in the archives of the Tikamoto Institute of Contemporary Culture (or some such organisation), but that is an earlier example. With my offering future researchers will be able to identify changes in not only orchestra personnel over time, but also programme elements. Of particular note to a mere amateur like myself is that by early 1948 Neville had already incorporated hit tunes from Oklahoma into his programme even though the musical had only been introduced a few months before (H K Longmoore et. al are going to have to revise their groundbreaking article "The Engagement Of British Riparian Entertainment And American Cultural Hegemony 1932-51" in light of this new evidence).
I have even included the back page of the programme in my scan as that incorporates several gems including "Popular Meals At Popular Prices at The Civic Restaurant" and the ever-satisfying "Pies From Pecks". Now that's what I call a bag of sweets.

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