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First, two further "singleton" composers of musical comedies, this time from around 1920. Herbert Barnes was responsible for the modest musical Charles Goes East, produced at Redditch in 1920. The following saw the production in Hammersmith of a musical entitled Mutt and Jeff; its composer the much more famous, Lancashire-born Jack Hylton (1892-1965) was pianist, cinema organist, bandleader (his bands, variously named, were prolific recording artistes and eclectic as to repertoire, anything from jazz to classical) and finally theatre impresario for many popular musical shows.

Alf(red) Edwards was a concertina player who indeed published an instruction book thereon in 1960, rather after the heyday of this archetypally Victorian instrument. Edwards’ compositions – or perhaps arrangements would be a more accurate description, as many were settings of traditional material – included Crafty Clara’s Hornpipe, Dugald’s Strathspey and Reel, the country dance Peggy Seeger and the The Wallace Selkirk, all for concertina with orchestra and The Peter Polka for ocarina and orchestra.

Another Edwards, not related so far as I know, was Clara, who composed ballads around the time of the Second War, the titles of these included My Shrine (1948), A Hunt of Spring, The Fisher’s Widow, Into the Night, My Homeland, My Little Brown Nest By the Sea, Sometimes at Close of Day, Spain and With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair.

And so finally to J. G. Callcott, sometimes spelt with one l, (1827-?, a mid-Victorian composer of songs and dance music, of which one of the most popular titles was the Rose of Castile Polka, based on themes from Balfe’s opera, popular in the 1850s. He should not be confused with John Wall Callcot (1766-1821), musical theorist and composer, especially of glees (the once popular Ye Mariners of England is by him), nor with J.W. Callcott’s son, William Hutchins Callcott, also apparently, like J.G. Callcott, a popular composer and compiler of his day.

Philip L Scowcroft

October 2001

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at

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