Today is the birthday of the great British music hall singer Harry Champion (1865-1942). His real name is William Crump, which in its way is just as good a stage name). Champion had never been in American vaudeville so I haven’t included him in my Stars of Vaudeville series. He is best known for popularizing the 1910 Fred Murray and R. P. Weston song “I’m Henery the Eighth, I Am”, later revived by Herman’s Hermits in 1965:
He is also associated with another favorite music hall song of mine, written in 1915 by T.W. Conner: “A Little Bit O’ Cucumber”. Champion did a lot of songs about food; I don’t think he meant anything by this song, but it’s hard for me not to like it for all the wrong reasons:
To find out more about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.