Victoria Monks

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Victoria Monks – photograph from the sheet music for "Take Me Back to London Town" published in 1906.

Victoria Annie Monks (1 November 1884 – 26 January 1927) was a British music hall singer of the early 20th century. During the Edwardian and First World War eras she performed and recorded popular songs such as "Take Me Back to London Town" and "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey".

Life and career[edit]

Monks was born in Blackpool, Lancashire on 1 November 1884, the daughter of Charles Monks.[1][2][3] She was educated in both England and Belgium.[1] In 1899 she made her first stage appearance as "Little Victoria"; her first appearance in London was at the Oxford Music Hall on 9 March 1903.[1] She went on to appear in all the leading Music Halls, both in London and the provinces. She married the American songwriter and Music Hall manager Karl F. Hooper and by 1911, they were living in Lambeth, London with a daughter.[1][2] In 1915 she was prevented from working following an accident which involved a stage door at one of the Moss Empires theatres; she became bankrupt shortly afterwards.[4]

She died in London in 1927 and is buried in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery near Harlesden, London.[5] Her great-granddaughter Chloe Hooper was born in Basingstoke and grew up in Silchester – she is both an international vocalist and Tribute Act today.

Songs and recordings[edit]

"Call around any old time and make yourself at home" by Victoria Monks in 1908

Monks performed and recorded a number of popular songs of her day.[1] A list of some of her recordings is given below with lyricists and recording dates where known. Monks recorded for HMV and their Zonophone sister label between 1906 and 1913.[6] and also for Pathe, Jumbo Fonotipia, Edison and Homophone.

  • "Ain't the Old Place Good Enough for You", (Clarence Wainwright Murphy & D. Lipton)
  • "Ain't Yer Gwine to Say 'How Do'?". Recorded 1906
  • "Buy Me a Home in London"
  • "Give My Regards to Leicester Square", (William Hargreaves). Recorded 1906
  • "Take Me Back to London Town", (Arthur Trevelyan & Harry Von Tilzer).
  • "Ain't I No Use, Mr Jackson?", (Clarence Wainwright Murphy & D. Lipton). Recorded 1906
  • "If You Want to Have a Row, Wait Till the Sun Shines", (William Hargreaves). Recorded 1906
  • "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey?", (Hughie Cannon) never recorded
  • "Brown Eyes and Blue Eyes" not recorded
  • "Ise Gwine Back to Jacksonville". Recorded 1906
  • "Love Song". Recorded 1906
  • "Open the Door". Recorded 1907
  • "Hello Old Man". Recorded 1907
  • "Sweet Saturday Night", (Percy Ford & J.B.Mullen). Recorded 1907
  • "I'm Leaving Home". Recorded 1907
  • "Moving Day", (Andrew B. Sterling & Harry Von Tilzer). Recorded 1908
  • "Hello Miss London: A Bunch of Roses", (Tom Mellor). Recorded 1913
  • "The Vickey Glide", (Tom Mellor). Recorded 1913

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Who's who in the theatre, Ed. John Parker, Pitman & Sons Ltd, London 1916, "Who's who in variety" – p. 57
  2. ^ a b The British 1911 Census, folio 251, page 1, piece 2109
  3. ^ The 1911 census gave Blackpool as the place of birth but Who's Who in the theatre 1916 gave Manchester as the place of birth.
  4. ^ The Glasgow Herald, 19 October 1915, p. 9 "The Affairs of Miss Victoria Monks". Retrieved 12 March 2013
  5. ^ Music Hall and Variety Artistes Burial Places. Retrieved 12 March 2013
  6. ^ The AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music. Retrieved 12 March 2013

External links[edit]