Music hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment that was popular from the early Victorian era, beginning around 1850. It ended, arguably, after the First World War, when the halls rebranded their entertainment as Variety. Perceptions of a distinction in Britain between bold and scandalous Victorian Music Hall and subsequent, more respectable Variety differ. Music hall involved a mixture of popular songs, comedy, speciality acts, and variety entertainment. The term is derived from a type of theatre or venue in which such entertainment took place. American vaudeville was in some ways analogous to British music hall, featuring rousing songs and comic acts.
Originating in saloon bars within public houses during the 1830s, music hall entertainment became increasingly popular with audiences. So much so, that during the 1850s some public houses were demolished, and specialised music hall theatres developed in their place. These theatres were designed chiefly so that people could consume food and alcohol and smoke tobacco in the auditorium while the entertainment took place. This differed somewhat from the conventional type of theatre, which until then seated the audience in stalls with a separate bar-room. Major music halls were based around London. Early examples included: the Canterbury Music Hall in Lambeth, Wilton's Music Hall in Tower Hamlets, and The Middlesex in Drury Lane, otherwise known as the Old Mo.
By the mid-19th century, the halls cried out for many new and catchy songs. As a result, professional songwriters were enlisted to provide the music for a plethora of star performers, such as Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Little Tich, and George Leybourne. All manner of other entertainment was performed: male and female impersonators, lions comiques, mime artists and impressionists, trampoline acts, and comic pianists (such as John Orlando Parry and George Grossmith) were just a few of the many types of entertainments the audiences could expect to find over the next forty years.
The Music Hall Strike of 1907 was an important industrial conflict. It was a dispute between artists and stage hands on one hand, and theatre managers on the other, culminating in a strike. The halls had recovered by the start of the First World War and were used to stage charity events in aid of the war effort. Music hall entertainment continued after the war, but became less popular due to upcoming jazz, swing, and big-band dance music acts. Licensing restrictions had also changed, and drinking was banned from the auditorium. A new type of music hall entertainment had arrived, in the form of variety, and many music hall performers failed to make the transition. They were deemed old-fashioned, and with the closure of many halls, music hall entertainment ceased and modern-day variety began.
The Eagle Tavern in 1830.
|Cultural origins||18th century, United Kingdom|
Music hall in London had its origins in the 18th century. It grew with the entertainment provided in the new style saloon bars of public houses during the 1830s. These venues replaced earlier semi-rural amusements provided by fairs and suburban pleasure gardens such as Vauxhall Gardens and the Cremorne Gardens. These latter became subject to urban development and became fewer and less popular.
The saloon was a room where for an admission fee or a greater price at the bar, singing, dancing, drama or comedy was performed. The most famous London saloon of the early days was the Grecian Saloon, established in 1825, at The Eagle (a former tea-garden), 2 Shepherdess Walk, off the City Road in east London. According to John Hollingshead, proprietor of the Gaiety Theatre, London (originally the Strand Music Hall), this establishment was "the father and mother, the dry and wet nurse of the Music Hall". Later known as the Grecian Theatre, it was here that Marie Lloyd made her début at the age of 14 in 1884. It is still famous because of an English nursery rhyme, with the somewhat mysterious lyrics:
Another famous "song and supper" room of this period was Evans Music-and-Supper Rooms, 43 King Street, Covent Garden, established in the 1840s by W.H. Evans. This venue was also known as 'Evans Late Joys' – Joy being the name of the previous owner. Other song and supper rooms included the Coal Hole in The Strand, the Cyder Cellars in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden and the Mogul Saloon in Drury Lane.
The music hall as we know it developed from such establishments during the 1850s and were built in and on the grounds of public houses. Such establishments were distinguished from theatres by the fact that in a music hall you would be seated at a table in the auditorium and could drink alcohol and smoke tobacco whilst watching the show. In a theatre, by contrast, the audience was seated in stalls and there was a separate bar-room. An exception to this rule was the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton (1841) which somehow managed to evade this regulation and served drinks to its customers. Though a theatre rather than a music hall, this establishment later hosted music hall variety acts.
The establishment often regarded as the first true music hall was the Canterbury, 143 Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth built by Charles Morton, afterwards dubbed "the Father of the Halls", on the site of a skittle alley next to his pub, the Canterbury Tavern. It opened on 17 May 1852 and was described by the musician and author Benny Green as being "the most significant date in all the history of music hall". The hall looked like most contemporary pub concert rooms, but its replacement in 1854 was of then unprecedented size. It was further extended in 1859, later rebuilt as a variety theatre and finally destroyed by German bombing in 1942.
Another early music hall was The Middlesex, Drury Lane (1851). Popularly known as the 'Old Mo', it was built on the site of the Mogul Saloon. Later converted into a theatre it was demolished in 1965. The New London Theatre stands on its site.
Several large music halls were built in the East End. These included the London Music Hall, otherwise known as The Shoreditch Empire, 95–99 Shoreditch High Street, (1856–1935). This theatre was rebuilt during 1894 by Frank Matcham, the architect of the Hackney Empire. Another in this area was the Royal Cambridge Music Hall, 136 Commercial Street (1864–1936). Designed by William Finch Hill (the designer of the Britannia theatre in nearby Hoxton), it was rebuilt after a fire in 1898.
The construction of Weston's Music Hall, High Holborn (1857), built up on the site of the Six Cans and Punch Bowl Tavern by the licensed victualler of the premises, Henry Weston, signalled that the West End was fruitful territory for the music hall. During 1906 it was rebuilt as a variety theatre and renamed as the Holborn Empire. It was closed as a result of German action in the Blitz on the night of 11–12 May 1941 and the building was pulled down in 1960. Significant West End music halls include:
Other large suburban music halls included:
A noted music hall entrepreneur of this time was Carlo Gatti who built a music hall, known as Gatti's, at Hungerford Market in 1857. He sold the music hall to South Eastern Railway in 1862, and the site became Charing Cross railway station. With the proceeds from selling his first music hall, Gatti acquired a restaurant in Westminster Bridge Road, opposite The Canterbury music hall. He converted the restaurant into a second Gatti's music hall, known as "Gatti's-in-the-Road", in 1865. It later became a cinema. The building was badly damaged in the Second World War, and was demolished in 1950. In 1867, he acquired a public house in Villiers Street named "The Arches", under the arches of the elevated railway line leading to Charing Cross station. He opened it as another music hall, known as "Gatti's-in-The-Arches". After his death his family continued to operate the music hall, known for a period as the Hungerford or Gatti's Hungerford Palace of Varieties.
By 1865, there were 32 music halls in London seating between 500 and 5,000 people plus an unknown, but large, number of smaller venues.
In 1878, numbers peaked, with 78 large music halls in the metropolis and 300 smaller venues. Thereafter numbers declined due to stricter licensing restrictions imposed by the Metropolitan Board of Works and LCC, and because of commercial competition between popular large suburban halls and the smaller venues, which put the latter out of business.
Hitherto the halls had borne unmistakeable evidence of their origins, but the last vestiges of their old connections were now thrown aside, and they emerged in all the splendour of their new-born glory. The highest efforts of the architect, the designer and the decorator were enlisted in their service, and the gaudy and tawdry music hall of the past gave way to the resplendent "theatre of varieties" of the present day, with its classic exterior of marble and freestone, its lavishly appointed auditorium and its elegant and luxurious foyers and promenades brilliantly illuminated by myriad electric lights— Charles Stuart and A. J. Park The Variety Stage (1895)
One of the most famous of these new palaces of pleasure in the West End was the Empire, Leicester Square, built as a theatre in 1884 but acquiring a music hall licence in 1887. Like the nearby Alhambra this theatre appealed to the men of leisure by featuring alluring ballet dancers and had a notorious promenade which was the resort of courtesans. Another spectacular example of the new variety theatre was the Tivoli in the Strand built 1888–90 in an eclectic neo-Romanesque style with Baroque and Moorish-Indian embellishments. "The Tivoli" became a brand name for music-halls all over the British Empire. During 1892, the Royal English Opera House, which had been a financial failure in Shaftesbury Avenue, applied for a music hall licence and was converted by Walter Emden into a grand music hall and renamed the Palace Theatre of Varieties, managed by Charles Morton. Denied by the newly created LCC permission to construct the promenade, which was such a popular feature of the Empire and Alhambra, the Palace compensated in the way of adult entertainment by featuring apparently nude women in tableaux vivants, though the concerned LCC hastened to reassure patrons that the girls who featured in these displays were actually wearing flesh-toned body stockings and were not naked at all.
One of the grandest of these new halls was the Coliseum Theatre built by Oswald Stoll in 1904 at the bottom of St Martin's Lane. This was followed by the London Palladium (1910) in Little Argyll Street.
Both were designed by the prolific Frank Matcham. As music hall grew in popularity and respectability, and as the licensing authorities exercised ever firmer regulation, the original arrangement of a large hall with tables at which drink was served, changed to that of a drink-free auditorium. The acceptance of music hall as a legitimate cultural form was established by the first Royal Variety Performance before King George V during 1912 at the Palace Theatre. However, consistent with this new respectability the best-known music hall entertainer of the time, Marie Lloyd, was not invited, being deemed too "saucy" for presentation to the monarchy.
The development of syndicates controlling a number of theatres, such as the Stoll circuit, increased tensions between employees and employers. On 22 January 1907, a dispute between artists, stage hands and managers of the Holborn Empire worsened. Strikes in other London and suburban halls followed, organised by the Variety Artistes' Federation. The strike lasted for almost two weeks and was known as the Music Hall War. It became extremely well known, and was advocated enthusiastically by the main spokesmen of the trade union and Labour movement – Ben Tillett and Keir Hardie for example. Picket lines were organized outside the theatres by the artistes, while in the provinces theatre management attempted to oblige artistes to sign a document promising never to join a trade union.
The strike ended in arbitration, which satisfied most of the main demands, including a minimum wage and maximum working week for musicians.
Several music hall entertainers such as Marie Dainton, Marie Lloyd, Arthur Roberts, Joe Elvin and Gus Elen were strong advocates of the strike, though they themselves earned enough not to be concerned personally in a material sense. Lloyd explained her advocacy:
We (the stars) can dictate our own terms. We are fighting not for ourselves, but for the poorer members of the profession, earning thirty shillings to £3 a week. For this they have to do double turns, and now matinées have been added as well. These poor things have been compelled to submit to unfair terms of employment, and I mean to back up the federation in whatever steps are taken.
World War I may have been the high-water mark of music hall popularity. The artists and composers threw themselves into rallying public support and enthusiasm for the war effort. Patriotic music hall compositions such as "Keep the Home Fires Burning" (1914), "Pack up Your Troubles" (1915), "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" (1914) and "We Don't Want to Lose You (but we think you ought to Go)", were sung by music hall audiences, and sometimes by soldiers in the trenches.
Many songs promoted recruitment ("All the boys in khaki get the nice girls", 1915); others satirised particular elements of the war experience. "What did you do in the Great war, Daddy" (1919) criticised profiteers and slackers; Vesta Tilley's "I've got a bit of a blighty one" (1916) showed a soldier delighted to have a wound just serious enough to be sent home. The rhymes give a sense of grim humour (When they wipe my face with sponges / and they feed me on blancmanges / I'm glad I've got a bit of a blighty one).
Tilley became more popular than ever during this time, when she and her husband, Walter de Frece, managed a military recruitment drive. In the guise of characters like 'Tommy in the Trench' and 'Jack Tar Home from Sea', Tilley performed songs such as "The army of today's all right" and "Jolly Good Luck to the Girl who Loves a Soldier". This is how she got the nickname Britain's best recruiting sergeant – young men were sometimes asked to join the army on stage during her show. She also performed in hospitals and sold war bonds. Her husband was knighted in 1919 for his own services to the war effort, and Tilley became Lady de Frece.
Once the reality of war began to sink home, the recruiting songs all but disappeared – the Greatest Hits collection for 1915 published by top music publisher Francis and Day contains no recruitment songs. After conscription was brought in 1916, songs dealing with the war spoke mostly of the desire to return home. Many also expressed anxiety about the new roles women were taking in society.
Music hall continued during the interwar period, but no longer as the single dominant form of popular entertainment in Britain. The improvement of cinema, the development of radio, and the cheapening of the gramophone damaged its popularity greatly. It now had to compete with jazz, swing and big band dance music. Licensing restrictions also changed its character.
In 1914, the London County Council (LCC) enacted that drinking be banished from the auditorium into a separate bar and during 1923 even the separate bar was abolished by parliamentary decree. The exemption of the theatres from this latter act prompted some critics to denounce this legislation as an attempt to deprive the working classes of their pleasures, as a form of social control, whilst sparing the supposedly more responsible upper classes who patronised the theatres (though this could be due to the licensing restrictions brought about due to the Defence of the Realm Act 1914, which also applied to public houses as well). Even so, the music hall gave rise to such major stars as George Formby, Gracie Fields, Max Miller, Will Hay, and Flanagan and Allen during this period.
In the mid-1950s, rock and roll, whose performers initially topped music hall bills, attracted a young audience who had little interest in the music hall acts while driving the older audience away. The final demise was competition from television, which grew very popular after the Queen's coronation was televised. Some music halls tried to retain an audience by putting on striptease acts. In 1957, the playwright John Osborne delivered this elegy:
The music hall is dying, and with it, a significant part of England. Some of the heart of England has gone; something that once belonged to everyone, for this was truly a folk art.— John Osbourne, The Entertainer (1957)
Moss Empires, the largest British music hall chain, closed the majority of its theatres in 1960, closely followed by the death of music hall stalwart Max Miller in 1963, prompting one contemporary to write that: "Music-halls ... died this afternoon when they buried Max Miller". Miller himself had sometimes said that the genre would die with him. Many music hall performers, unable to find work, fell into poverty; some did not even have a home, having spent their working lives living in digs between performances.
Stage and film musicals, however, continued to be influenced by the music hall idiom, including Oliver!, Dr Dolittle and My Fair Lady. The BBC series The Good Old Days, which ran for thirty years, recreated the music hall for the modern audience, and the Paul Daniels Magic Show allowed several speciality acts a television presence from 1979 to 1994. Aimed at a younger audience, but still owing a lot to the music hall heritage, was the late '70s series The Muppet Show.
The music hall was first imported into France in its British form in 1862, but under the French law protecting the state theatres, performers could not wear costumes or recite dialogue, something only allowed in theaters. When the law changed in 1867, the Paris music hall flourished, and a half-dozen new halls opened, offering acrobats, singers, dancers, magicians, and trained animals. The first Paris music call built specially for that purpose was the Folies-Bergere (1869); it was followed by the Moulin Rouge (1889), the Alhambra (1866), the first to be called a music hall, and the Olympia (1893). The Printania (1903) was a music-garden, open only in summer, with a theater, restaurant, circus, and horse-racing. Older theaters also transformed themselves into music halls, including the Bobino (1873), the Bataclan (1864), and the Alcazar (1858). At the beginning, music halls offered dance reviews, theater and songs, but gradually songs and singers became the main attraction. 
Paris music halls all faced stiff competition in the interwar period from the most popular new form of entertainment, the cinema. They responded by offering more complex and lavish shows. In 1911, the Olympia had introduced the giant stairway as a set for its productions, an idea copied by other music halls. The singer Mistinguett made her debut the Casino de Paris in 1895 and continued to appear regularly in the 1920s and 1930s at the Folies Bergère, Moulin Rouge and Eldorado. Her risqué routines captivated Paris, and she became one of the most highly-paid and popular French entertainers of her time.
One of the most popular entertainers in Paris during the period was the American singer Josephine Baker. Baker sailed to Paris, France. She first arrived in Paris in 1925 to perform in a show called "La Revue Nègre" at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. She became an immediate success for her erotic dancing, and for appearing practically nude on stage. After a successful tour of Europe, she returned to France to star at the Folies Bergère. Baker performed the 'Danse sauvage,' wearing a costume consisting of a skirt made of a string of artificial bananas.
The music-halls suffered growing hardships in the 1930s. The Olympia was converted into a movie theater, and others closed. Others continued to thrive. In 1937 and 1930, the Casino de Paris presented shows with Maurice Chevalier, who had already achieved success as an actor and singer in Hollywood.
In 1935, a twenty-year old singer named Édith Piaf was discovered in the Pigalle by nightclub owner Louis Leplée, whose club, Le Gerny, off the Champs-Élysées, was frequented by the upper and lower classes alike. He persuaded her to sing despite her extreme nervousness. Leplée taught her the basics of stage presence and told her to wear a black dress, which became her trademark apparel. Leplée ran an intense publicity campaign leading up to her opening night, attracting the presence of many celebrities, including Maurice Chevalier. Her nightclub appearance led to her first two records produced that same year, and the beginning of a legendary career.
Competition from movies and television largely brought an end to the Paris music hall. However, a few still flourish, with tourists as their primary audience. Major music halls include the Folies-Bergere, Crazy Horse Saloon, Casino de Paris, Olympia, and Moulin Rouge. 
The musical forms most associated with music hall evolved in part from traditional folk song and songs written for popular drama, becoming by the 1850s a distinct musical style. Subject matter became more contemporary and humorous, and accompaniment was provided by larger house-orchestras as increasing affluence gave the lower classes more access to commercial entertainment and to a wider range of musical instruments, including the piano. The consequent change in musical taste from traditional to more professional forms of entertainment arose in response to the rapid industrialisation and urbanisation of previously rural populations during the Industrial Revolution. The newly created urban communities, cut off from their cultural roots, required new and readily accessible forms of entertainment.
Music halls were originally tavern rooms which provided entertainment, in the form of music and speciality acts, for their patrons. By the middle years of the nineteenth century, the first purpose-built music halls were being built in London. The halls created a demand for new and catchy popular songs that could no longer be met from the traditional folk song repertoire. Professional songwriters were enlisted to fill the gap.
The emergence of a distinct music hall style can be credited to a fusion of musical influences. Music hall songs needed to gain and hold the attention of an often jaded and unruly urban audience. In America, from the 1840s, Stephen Foster had reinvigorated folk song with the admixture of Negro spiritual to produce a new type of popular song. Songs like "Old Folks at Home" (1851) and "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers" (James Bland, 1879) spread round the globe, taking with them the idiom and appurtenances of the minstrel song. Other influences on the rapidly developing music hall idiom were Irish and European music, particularly the jig, polka, and waltz.
Typically, a music hall song consists of a series of verses sung by the performer alone, and a repeated chorus which carries the principal melody, and in which the audience is encouraged to join.
In Britain, the first music hall songs often promoted the alcoholic wares of the owners of the halls in which they were performed. Songs like "Glorious Beer", and the first major music hall success, Champagne Charlie (1867) had a major influence in establishing the new art form. The tune of "Champagne Charlie" became used for the Salvation Army hymn "Bless His Name, He Sets Me Free" (1881). When asked why the tune should be used like this, William Booth is said to have replied "Why should the devil have all the good tunes? "The people the Army sought to save, knew nothing of the hymn tunes or gospel melodies used in the churches, but 'the music hall had been their melody school.'"
By the 1870s, the songs were free of their folk music origins, and particular songs also started to become associated with particular singers, often with exclusive contracts with the songwriter, just as many pop songs are today. Towards the end of the style the music became influenced by ragtime and jazz, before being overtaken by them.
Music hall songs were often composed with their working class audiences in mind. Songs like "My Old Man (Said Follow the Van)'", "Knocked 'em in the Old Kent Road", and Waiting at the Church expressed in melodic form situations with which the urban poor were very familiar. Music hall songs could be romantic, patriotic, humorous or sentimental, as the need arose. The most popular music hall songs became the basis for the pub songs of the typical Cockney "knees up".
Although a number of songs show a sharply ironic and knowing view of working class life, there were, too, those which were repetitive, derivative, written quickly and sung to make a living rather than a work of art.
The typical music hall comedian was a man or woman, usually dressed in character to suit the subject of the song, or sometimes attired in absurd and eccentric style. Until well into the twentieth century, the acts were essentially vocal, with songs telling a story, accompanied by a minimum of patter. They included a variety of genres, including:
The vocal content of the music hall bills, was, from the beginning, accompanied by many other kinds of act, some of them quite weird and wonderful. These were known collectively as speciality acts (abbreviated to "spesh"), which, over time, have included:
The music hall has been evoked in many films, plays, TV series, and books.
London was the centre of music hall with hundreds of venues, often in the entertainment rooms of public houses. With the decline in popularity of music hall, many were abandoned, or converted to other uses such as cinemas, and their interiors lost. There are a number of purpose-built survivors, including the Hackney Empire, an outstanding example of the late music hall period (Frank Matcham 1901). This has been restored to its Moorish splendour and now provides an eclectic programme of events from opera to "Black Variety Nights". A mile to the south is Hoxton Hall, an 1863 example of the saloon style. It is unrestored but maintained in its original layout, and currently used as a community centre and theatre. In the neighbouring borough, Collins Music Hall (built about 1860) still stands on the north side of Islington Green. The hall closed in the 1960s and currently forms part of a bookshop.
In Clapham, The Grand, originally the Grand Palace of Varieties (1900), has been restored, but its interior reflects its modern use as a music venue and nightclub. The Greenwich Theatre was originally the Rose and Crown Music Hall (1855), and later became Crowder's Music Hall and Temple of Varieties. The building has been extensively modernised and little of the original layout remains.
In the nondescript Grace's Alley, off Cable Street, Stepney, stands Wilton's Music Hall. This 1858 example of the "giant pub hall" survived use as a church, fire, flood and war intact, but was virtually derelict, after its use as a rag warehouse, in the 1960s. The Wilton's Music Hall Trust has embarked on a fund-raising campaign to restore the building. In June 2007, the World Monuments Fund added the building to its list of the world's "100 most endangered sites". The music video of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood single "Relax" was shot here. Many of these buildings can be seen as part of the annual London Open House event.
There are also surviving music halls outside London, a notable example being the Leeds City Varieties (1865) with a preserved interior. This was used for many years as the setting for the BBC television variety show The Good Old Days, based on the music-hall genre. The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford was built in 1914 for theatre impresario Francis Laidler, and later owned by the Stoll-Moss Empire. It was restored in 1986, and is a fine example of the late Edwardian style. It is now a receiving theatre for touring productions and opera.
In Nottingham, the Malt Cross music hall retains its restored cast-iron interior. It is run as a cafe bar by a Christian charitable trust promoting responsible drinking, also as the location of a safe space late at night and for operating a street pastor service. It is an award-winning and popular venue true to its original purpose of providing a venue for up-and-coming musical acts.
In Northern Ireland, the Grand Opera House, Belfast, Frank Matcham 1895, was preserved and restored in the 1980s. The Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man is another Matcham design from 1900 that remains in use after an extensive restoration programme in the 1970s. In Glasgow, the Britannia Music Hall (1857), by architects Thomas Gildard and H.M. McFarlane, remains standing, with much of the theatre intact but in a poor state, having closed in 1938. There is a preservation trust attempting to rescue the theatre.
One of the few fully functional music hall entertainments is at the Brick Lane Music Hall in a former church in North Woolwich. The Players' Theatre Club is another group performing a Victorian-style music hall show at a variety of venues, and The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America stage music hall-style entertainments.
The term "music hall" is used to describe some large musical venues, such as: the Paris Olympia, Radio City Music Hall, Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin and Music Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio (see Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra).
AFAS Live (formerly known as the Heineken Music Hall) is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands, near the Johan Cruyff Arena. The big hall, named "Black Box" has a capacity of 6,000 and is 3000 m²; a smaller hall for after parties (Beat Box) has a capacity of 700. Many artists, both national and international, have performed at the venue, including Westlife, Toto, Kylie Minogue, Avril Lavigne, Bring Me the Horizon, Bob Dylan, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Sam Smith and Within Temptation, Troye Sivan, Monsta X.Alan Jackson
Alan Eugene Jackson (born October 17, 1958) is an American country singer and songwriter. He is known for blending traditional honky tonk and mainstream country sounds and penning many of his own songs. Jackson has recorded 16 studio albums, three greatest hits albums, two Christmas albums, two gospel albums and several compilations.
Jackson has sold over 80 million records, with 66 titles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Of the 66 titles, and six featured singles, 38 have reached the top five and 35 have claimed the number one spot. Out of 15 titles to reach the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, nine have been certified multi-platinum. He is the recipient of two Grammy Awards, 16 CMA Awards, 17 ACM Awards and nominee of multiple other awards. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017 by Loretta Lynn and into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, civil rights activist, actress, and pianist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was minister. At the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career recording for Columbia Records. However, she achieved only modest success. She found acclaim and commercial success after signing with Atlantic Records in 1966. Hit songs such as "Respect", "Chain of Fools", "Think", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)", and "I Say a Little Prayer", propelled her past her musical peers. By the end of the 1960s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as "The Queen of Soul".
She continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amazing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976) before experiencing problems with her record company. Franklin left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. She appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It (1982), Who's Zoomin' Who? (1985), and Aretha (1986) on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song "A Rose Is Still a Rose", later issuing the album of the same name, which went gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of "Nessun dorma" at the Grammy Awards, filling in at the last minute for Luciano Pavarotti, who had canceled after the show had already begun.
In a widely noted performance, she paid tribute to 2015 honoree Carole King by singing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries, and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in history. Franklin's other well-known hits include "Rock Steady", "Call Me", "Ain't No Way", "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)", "Spanish Harlem", "Day Dreaming", "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", "Something He Can Feel", "Jump to It", "Freeway of Love", "Who's Zoomin' Who", and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (a duet with George Michael). She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (1968–1975), and she is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first female performer to be inducted, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2010 Rolling Stone magazine ranked her number one on their list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" and number nine on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".Canadian Music Hall of Fame
The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978 by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) to honour Canadian musicians for their lifetime achievements in music. The award presentation is held each year as part of the Juno Award ceremonies. Since 2012, the inductee also performs at the ceremony as the final performer.
A hall facility was opened in Calgary in 2016 located within The National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta.Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the world's largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American vernacular music. Chartered in 1964, the museum has amassed one of the world's most extensive musical collections.David Foster
David Walter Foster, OC, OBC (born November 1, 1949), is a Canadian musician, record producer, composer, songwriter, and arranger. He has been a producer for musicians including Chaka Khan, Alice Cooper, Christina Aguilera, Andrea Bocelli, Toni Braxton, Michael Bublé, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Rogers, Seal, Rod Stewart, Jake Zyrus, Donna Summer, Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Peter Cetera, Cheryl Lynn and Barbra Streisand. Foster has won 16 Grammy Awards from 47 nominations. He was the chairman of Verve Records from 2012 to 2016.Dolly Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut in 1967 with Hello, I'm Dolly. With steady success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Parton's albums in the 1990s sold less well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000, including her own label, Dolly Records.
Parton's music includes 25 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. She has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 41 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. She has garnered nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, ten Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 47 Grammy nominations.
In 1999, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has composed over 3,000 songs, including "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene", "Coat of Many Colors", and "9 to 5". She is also one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. As an actress, she has starred in films such as 9 to 5 (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), for which she earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, as well as Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012).Don Williams
Donald Ray Williams (May 27, 1939 – September 8, 2017) was an American country singer, songwriter, and 2010 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He began his solo career in 1971, singing popular ballads and amassing 17 number one country hits. His straightforward yet smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones, and imposing build earned him the nickname: "Gentle Giant" of country music.Jerry Reed
Jerry Reed Hubbard (March 20, 1937 – September 1, 2008) was an American country music singer, guitarist, composer and songwriter, as well as an actor who appeared in more than a dozen films. His signature songs included "Guitar Man", "U.S. Male", "A Thing Called Love", "Alabama Wild Man", "Amos Moses", "When You're Hot, You're Hot" (which garnered a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male), "Ko-Ko Joe", "Lord, Mr. Ford", "East Bound and Down" (the theme song for the 1977 blockbuster Smokey and the Bandit, in which Reed co-starred), "The Bird", and "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)".
Reed was announced as an inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame on April 5, 2017, and was officially inducted by Bobby Bare on October 24.Jimmy Dean
Jimmy Ray Dean (August 10, 1928 – June 13, 2010) was an American country music singer, television host, actor, and businessman. He was the creator of the Jimmy Dean sausage brand as well as the spokesman for its TV commercials.
He became a national television personality starting on CBS in 1957. He rose to fame for his 1961 country music crossover hit into rock and roll with "Big Bad John" and his 1963 television series The Jimmy Dean Show, which gave puppeteer Jim Henson his first national media exposure.
His acting career included appearing in the early seasons in the Daniel Boone TV series as the sidekick of the famous frontiersman played by star Fess Parker. Later he was on the big screen in a supporting role as billionaire Willard Whyte in the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
He lived near Richmond, Virginia, and was nominated for the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, although he was inducted posthumously at age 81.Kris Kristofferson
Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American actor and singer-songwriter. Among his songwriting credits are the songs "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night", all of which were hits for other artists. Kristofferson composed his own songs and collaborated with Nashville songwriters such as Shel Silverstein. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen, and formed a key creative force in the Outlaw country music movement that eschewed the Nashville music machine in favor of independent songwriting and producing.
In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is also known for his starring roles in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Heaven's Gate, Blade and A Star Is Born, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.Londonderry, New Hampshire
Londonderry is a town in western Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The town sits between Manchester and Derry, the largest and fourth-largest communities in the state. The population was 24,129 at the 2010 census and an estimated 26,126 in 2017. Londonderry is known for its apple orchards and is home to the headquarters of Stonyfield Farm and part of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
The more densely settled portion of town, where 11,037 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Londonderry census-designated place (CDP) and roughly occupies the southeastern and southern parts of town, around New Hampshire Route 102.Omaha Civic Auditorium
Omaha Civic Auditorium was a multi-purpose convention center located in Omaha, Nebraska. Opened in 1954, it surpassed the Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum as the largest convention/entertainment complex in the city, until the completion of CHI Health Center Omaha in 2003. With the opening of the Ralston Arena in 2012, all teams that played at the Civic Auditorium moved, which reduced the venue's viability. The auditorium closed its doors in June 2014.Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, within Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, it is notable as the headquarters for the Rockettes, the precision dance company.
Radio City Music Hall was built on a plot of land that was originally intended for a Metropolitan Opera House. The opera house plans were canceled in 1929, leading to the construction of Rockefeller Center. The new complex included two theaters, the "International Music Hall" and the Center Theatre, as part of the "Radio City" portion of Rockefeller Center. The 5,960-seat Music Hall was the larger of the two venues. It was largely successful until the 1970s, when declining patronage nearly drove the Music Hall to bankruptcy. Radio City Music Hall was designated a New York City Landmark in May 1978, and the Music Hall was restored and allowed to remain open. The hall was extensively renovated in 1999.
Radio City Music Hall was designed by Edward Durell Stone and Donald Deskey in the Art Deco style. One of the more notable parts of the Music Hall is its large auditorium, which was the world's largest when the Hall first opened. The Music Hall also contains a variety of art. Although Radio City Music Hall was initially intended to host stage shows, it hosted performances in a film-and-stage-spectacle format through the 1970s, and was the site of several movie premieres. It now primarily hosts concerts, including by leading pop and rock musicians, and live stage shows such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The Music Hall has also hosted televised events including the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, and the NFL Draft.Ricky Skaggs
Rickie Lee Skaggs (born July 18, 1954), known professionally as Ricky Skaggs, is an American country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster and banjo.
Skaggs was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018.Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson; 16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965) was an English comic actor, writer, and film director who was part of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. He appeared with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles.Laurel began his career in music hall where he developed a number of his standard comic devices, including the bowler hat, the deep comic gravity, and the nonsensical understatement. His performances polished his skills at pantomime and music hall sketches. He was a member of "Fred Karno's Army", where he was Charlie Chaplin's understudy. He and Chaplin arrived in the United States on the same ship from the United Kingdom with the Karno troupe. Laurel began his film career in 1917 and made his final appearance in 1951. From 1928 onwards, he appeared exclusively with Hardy. Laurel officially retired following his comedy partner's death in 1957.
In 1961, Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for his pioneering work in comedy, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. Laurel and Hardy ranked top among best double acts and seventh overall in a 2005 UK poll to find the Comedians' Comedian. In 2009, a bronze statue of the duo was unveiled in Laurel's home town of Ulverston.The Oak Ridge Boys
The Oak Ridge Boys are an American country and gospel vocal quartet. The group was founded in the 1940s as the Oak Ridge Quartet. They became popular in southern gospel during the 1950s. Their name was changed to the Oak Ridge Boys in the early 1960s, and they remained a gospel group until the mid-1970s, when they changed their image and concentrated on country music.
The lineup which produced their most well-known country and crossover hits (such as "Elvira" (1981), "Bobbie Sue" (1982), and "American Made" consists of Duane Allen (lead), Joe Bonsall (tenor), William Lee Golden (baritone), and Richard Sterban (bass). Golden and Allen joined the group in the mid-1960s, and Sterban and Bonsall joined in the early 1970s. Aside from an eight-year gap (1987–95) when Golden left the group and was replaced, this lineup has been together since 1973 and continues to tour and record.The Rockettes
The Rockettes are an American precision dance company. Founded in 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri, they have performed at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York City, since 1932. Until 2015 they also had a touring company. They are best known for starring in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, an annual Christmas show, and for performing annually at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
The rules for the Tony Awards are set forth in the official document "Rules and Regulations of The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards", which applies for that season only. The Tony Awards are considered the highest U.S. theatre honor, the New York theatre industry's equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars) for film, the Emmy Awards for television, and the Grammy Awards for music. It also forms the fourth spoke in the EGOT, that is, someone who has won all four awards. The Tony Awards are also considered the equivalent of the Laurence Olivier Awards in the United Kingdom and the Molière Awards in France.
From 1997 to 2010, the Tony Awards ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in June and broadcast live on CBS television, except in 1999, when it was held at the Gershwin Theatre. In 2011 and 2012, the ceremony was held at the Beacon Theatre. From 2013 to 2015, the 67th, 68th, and 69th ceremonies returned to Radio City Music Hall. The 70th Tony Awards was held on June 12, 2016 at the Beacon Theatre. The 71st Tony Awards and 72nd Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in 2017 and 2018, respectively.