|Birth name||Albert Onesime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis Chevalier|
|Also known as||Albert Knight|
|Born||21 March 1861
Notting Hill, London
|Died||10 July 1923(aged 62)|
|Genres||Music hall comedy|
Albert Chevalier was born in the Royal Crescent, in London's Notting Hill. The son of a French master at Kensington Grammar School, and a Welsh mother, he showed a keen interest in acting and performed The September Gale in a private family performance, when he was seven. His brother Charles Ingle, who served as his manager and occasional partner, is known for composing music hall classics such as "My Old Dutch". In 1869, Albert premièred in public as Mark Anthony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, in an amateur performance at the local Cornwall Hall. He joined another local amateur group, the Roscius Dramatic Club at the age of fourteen, adopting the stage name, Albert Knight.
In 1891, however, he began a successful music hall career as a singer of coster songs of his own invention, a new type in which he had an immediate success, both in England and America. He subsequently organized an entertainment of his own, with sketches and songs, with which he went on tour, establishing a wide popularity as an original artist in his special line.
Chevalier appeared in the 1909 production of "The Sins of Society" at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, playing the role of James Hogg.
Chevalier performed several sentimental songs in his act; the most popular of these was My Old Dutch, about an old man's long happy marriage to his wife. The song's title is based on Cockney rhyming slang: in this case, "Dutch" is a shortening of the phrase "Duchess of Fife" which rhymes with "wife". The singer's "old Dutch" is therefore his spouse. Chevalier also starred in a film entitled My Old Dutch. His own old Dutch, was his wife, Florrie, the daughter of music hall star George Champagne Charlie Leybourne.
Chevalier died on 10 July 1923. He is buried with his son and father in law George Leybourne at Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London. Their grave is cared for by The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.
- Before I Forget Albert Chevalier (1902)
- Albert Chevalier and ‘My Old Dutch’ Felbridge & District History Group accessed 21 June 2007
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