Violet Carson – Pianist, Singer, Musician 1898-1985 – Part 1

Violet Carson. A musical phenomenon. Let us remember her too. We often read that she “sang” and that she “played the piano”. But what sort of singer was she? What sort of pianist was she? (For personalities and artistes mentioned below, please navigate to the bottom of the page)

Anybody aged 60 in 2017 will struggle to have known Violet Carson the musician. That age group would know her for quite different reasons. For Miss Violet Carson took on more acting roles after she was in her 50s.

Anybody younger than 50 will only have a rough idea of Violet Carson’s work. Most of that information will come from this very internet.

People over 65 will have a much clearer picture and those over 75 will remember her output. But there are very few around now who know exactly what it was that Violet Carson could do and even fewer around who actually remember her performances.
Seldom Recorded
Sadly for us, Violet Carson was seldom recorded and the reasons for this remain unclear for so popular an artist.

Perhaps as a member of BBC staff, there may have been contractual restrictions or she simply may not have enjoyed being in the recording studio and preferred to work “live”. However, what little there is is extremely interesting although it only just about captures Violet Carson’s spontaneity in performance.

Nevertheless, here is a link to her accompanying the great Al Bowlly singing “Sweet As A Song” with the Five Herons. You can also hear Violet singing on this recording too. (The other side of this is “Sweet Someone” again with Violet Carson at the piano. Link here.)  The piano style on this disc is typical of her work for this type of music, with wonderfully energetic flexible continuity between the hands and with the rich harmonic vocabulary that she preferred – not to mention her skilful pedalling – although you have to listen very hard at the end!
Violet Carson Musicianship
In the 1940s and 1950s, Violet Carson also ran a section of the Children’s Hour Broadcast along with Charles Groves, the conductor of the BBC Northern Orchestra. In this part of the programme, Violet Carson would play for the listeners the examination pieces from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and talk about the various pitfalls and difficulties that piano pupils might encounter, suggesting ways that such examples might be overcome. Many pupils found that very useful although the Associated Board might have not necessarily approved.

Early Examination Successes
Violet played the piano from the age of three and took lessons from the age of eight. She attended an ordinary Elementary School in Manchester City Centre. She sat the examinations of Trinity College London, and in 1911, this notice appeared:
Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Friday 3 November 1911:
– Trinity College Results.
“Among the local results of the examinations held during the session 1910-11 of the Manchester Centre of the Trinity College of Music, for which the prizes will be distributed to-day, are the following:
Senior (Advanced) Honours: Violet Helen Carson, pianoforte.”

(This is the equivalent of the Grade VIII of the Associated Board today). Trinity College examinations were always more difficult than the Associated Board at that time and as well as pieces, scales and arpeggios, also included difficult studies. And this at the age of 14!

Royal Manchester College of Music
Later in the 1920s, Violet Carson became a student of Professor Frank Merrick (1886-1981) who taught at the then Royal Manchester College of Music. His students also included (among many) the composers Thomas Baron Pitfield and Alan Rawsthorne. Another of Violet Carson’s contemporaries was Thomas A. Johnson, composer and pianist. Many pianists will have memories of his editions of classics, as well as his sight reading and interpretation exercises.

Starting the Story
It is difficult to know where to begin with Violet Carson’s story. It is only going to be a part story too – taking little account of her work in the great Granada Television Studios for that is well-documented elsewhere.
Lack of Interviews
And by the time that Violet Carson should have been interviewed, there were very few interviews. That is a mistake. Now it is possible to realise that while Violet Carson had little in the way of a planned career, she did exercise a great deal of musical influence on the lives of many many individuals from the 1910s right up to the 1950s.
BBC Broadcasts 1924-1949
Thus this essay commences with Violet Carson’s radio broadcasts. Violet Carson was a prolific broadcaster. She was associated with many programmes on the radio, both at what used to be called the “National Programme” and also the “Regional Programme”.
Critical Appraisal
Some of the programmes came to the attention of the critics, who were nearly always positive and encouraging. After the early broadcasts, few radio programmes however were reviewed in depth. At the time of writing, there are plenty of positive notices to be found and only two critical notices have come to light – and these show a fussiness and nebby tone from those who seemed to be grinding local axes.
Pioneer Broadcaster at Trafford Park, Manchester
Violet Carson’s very first broadcast – never before mentioned – was in 1924. Appearing with her sister, Nellie (about whom more later on), the broadcast came from the 2ZY Manchester station. Although, somewhat surprisingly Violet Carson never mentioned this broadcast in any interview.
Tuesday 26 February 1924 Radio Times
Nellie Carson (Soprano), Violet H. Carson (Mezzo-Soprano), H. Norman Booth (Baritone), Frank Fisher (Elocutionist).

Songs at the Piano
From 1935 until about 1952, Violet Carson broadcast her own show – “Songs at the Piano”. The programme went out on the BBC on both the National and Regional services. During the 1939-45 War, Violet Carson would also broadcast this programme on the Home Service and the Forces’ Network (later to become the Light Programme).
“Songs at the Piano” was just that and it became very popular. At the present time, it is difficult to find out what exactly she did sing but amazingly, her song diary/notebook came up for sale a couple of years ago and I missed the sale by days, so somebody does have it out there!
Types of Songs and Repertoire
“Songs at the Piano” was about 15 to 20 minutes of music. There were Folk-songs; Songs from the Lancashire dialect poets; Songs from Violet Carson’s Scottish heritage; there would be Art Songs and Modern Art Songs; as well as these there were always syncopated numbers.
Piano Style
Violet always accompanied herself at the piano; she had a particular and extremely natural rubato. She was extremely well-connected in the musical profession of the time and on occasions, would have Thomas A Johnson write songs for her.
Violet Carson as a singer
Violet Carson’s voice was a lighter mezzo-soprano that had its own distinct sound, instantly recognisable. It was flexible too and Violet Carson’s diction was also very clear. This made her presentation on the radio admirable. We might call her tone of voice comforting, like we imagine a mother my have once sung to her children.
BBC Archive – what is left?
Sadly few recordings of any quality exist from those days but some of them did surface in a Broadcast initiated by Geoffrey Wheeler in 1981.

Songs That Father Sang (And Mother Too)
There were several distinct developments directly related to “Songs at the Piano”. These included “Songs that Father Sang” which ran from 1937 to 1944. It later acquired a new title “Songs the Father Sang (And Mother Too)”. Accompaniments were provided by the BBC Northern Orchestra (sometimes a section of the orchestra) and the programme was extremely popular. During part of the war and with so many musicians called upon to serve in the armed forces, the Manchester Hippodrome Orchestra often supplied the accompaniments, under their own conductor.
Edwardian Echoes
Another series which ran during the course of the War was “Edwardian Echoes” which involved Violet Carson and others, presenting music from the Edwardian Music Hall and the Musical Comedies of those times.

Sundry Entertainment Shows and Orchestral Pianist
Various types of Revues, Afternoon and Evening Entertainments were also devised in which Violet Carson would play orchestral piano (a skill not easily acquired and very much misunderstood today); and during which she would also sing as part of a close-harmony group called “The Three Semis” (the other members of which were Doris Gambell and Muriel Levy).
The Orchestral and Solo Pianist
As an orchestral pianist, Violet Carson would also play with Jack Hardy’s Little Orchestra. This work alternated with Violet Carson as a serious soloist, playing movements from piano concertos with the BBC Northern Orchestra in lunchtime broadcasts. These were usually conducted by her great friend, Charles (later Sir Charles) Groves. They worked to each other’s hand and some exciting performances were often on the cards – including the Scherzo from Concerto Symphonique No. 4 by Litolff. Another piece which became a kind of signature tune for Violet Carson and Charles Groves was Caprice-Valse (Wedding Cake) Opus 76 by Saint-Saens. Here is a link to a recording with score.
The Duettist
As a pianist in her own right, Violet Carson also played a whole series of programmes from 1939 throughout the war, with another pianist, Edith Roscoe. I can find no record of Edith Roscoe as a pianist, so if anybody can help, please get in touch. This programme was “Music at Two Pianos” and often contained light music for two pianos, which is not a combination often heard today.
Serious Stuff
Lest anybody think that these two piano programmes were just “light fodder” or “wallpaper”, then it deserves to be better known that the first broadcast also included Arensky’s Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Opus 23. Subsequent programmes made good use of original music too, with quite a lot of popular arrangements too. There is every reason to suppose that many of these arrangements of contemporary popular music were improvised by Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe. There were 12 broadcasts spread over two years. As with many of Violet Carson’s broadcasts, the programmes were rarely if ever published.

Children’s Hour – Violet Carson was NOT Auntie Vi
So here is a list of Violet Carson’s Broadcasts that have come to light so far. The list does not include much about “Children’s Hour” – as the details of those broadcasts were rarely published in advance. As regards “Children’s Hour”, Violet Carson was not ever known as “Auntie Vi”. To confirm that, here is a note from an Aberdeen Newspaper which states that “Aunti Vi” was Violet Fraser – it is a notice of her marriage in Scotland. (Quote from Violet Carson: “I was never anybody’s Aunt”).

Aberdeen Press and Journal – Wednesday 25 January 1928
BBC Wedding

Aberdeen Graduate as Bride in London

A wedding of much interest to wireless enthusiasts all over the country, because of the fact that both the bride and the bridegroom are prominent members of the B.B.C. staff, has taken place in St Peter’s Church, Bayswater, London.

The bride was Miss Violet Muriel Fraser, a graduate of Aberdeen University, but better known to thousands of listeners-in as “Auntie Vi” of the Manchester B.B.C. Station.     Mr Thomas R. Scott, of the Educational Section, B.B.C. London, was the bridegroom. The bride was given away by Sir William Noble, retired engineer-in-chief, Post Offoce, a native of Aberdeen.      The wedding company included Mrs Scott, mother of the bridegroom; Mr Rollo Scott, elder brother; and Mrs Rollo Scott; Mr J.C. Hobart, chief of the Educational Section of the B.B.C., and Mrs Hobart; and Miss Somerville, also of the Educational Section.

After breakfast in the Palace Hotel, Kensington, the newly married couple left by motor on their honeymoon.

Incomplete List including Notices from the Newspapers
The list is incomplete as yet and will be revised from time to time as material becomes available. The list also contains some references to live performances which may not have been broadcast at the time. The “Have A Go” shows will appear on a separate page.

Tuesday 26 February 1924 – 2ZY Manchester – 3.30pm.
Nellie Carson (Soprano)
Violet H. Carson (Mezzo -Soprano), H. Norman Booth (Baritone), Frank Fisher (Elocutionist) (60m)

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail – Thursday November 21 1935
Violet Carson, the young Manchester entertainer, who is to broadcast to-night at 7-15, began to study the piano at a very early age later becoming a pupil of Frank Merrick’s. Along with her sister, now a member of the famous English Singers, she also had many successes at festivals in songs and duets. Tonight she will sing various syncopated numbers at the piano.

Thursday 21 November 1935 – North 449.1m (668kc.)- (also K.L.M. Rediffusion)
7.15pm – Violet Carson in Songs at the Piano (15m)

Wednesday 15 April 1936 – North
6.55pm Violet Carson (songs at the piano) (15m)

Wednesday 16 September 1936 – Northern
7.45pm – Violet Carson (songs at the piano)

Tuesday 27 October 1936 – Northern
6.30pm – Violet Carson (songs at the piano)

Tuesday 12 January 1937 – Sheffield
6.0pm – Colin Biggin and his Band, with Violet Carson (songs at the piano) and Muriel Forest
The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer writes as follows:-
“Sheffield contributes two broadcasts today. At 1.15 (Reg.) there is an organ recital by Ellis White from the City Hall. The second programme is at 6 by Colin Biggin and his Band with Violet Carson at the piano.”

Wednesday 2 June 1937 – North
6.35pm – Violet Carson, songs at the piano

Friday 18 June 1937 – North
The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer writes as follows:-
“Leeds contributes a National variety programme at 8.15, with the title “Between the Houses.” The artists are Douglas Maynard, Mag and Alice (Doris Gambell and Muriel Levy), Violet Carson, Culley and Gofton, the Two Constables and their Sister, and Henry Reed’s Variety Orchestra.

July 12 1937 – Northern
9.35pm – The artists features in an after-dinner cabaret on July 12 (North Regional) will be: Violet Carson, songs at the piano; the Three Semis, close harmony trio (Violet Carson, Doris Gambell and Muriel Levy); Henry Reed, syncopated pianist; and Johnny Rosen and his Four Chaps, a new dance combination. (A bright half-hour of new lyrics by Joyce Lustgarten and music by Henry Reed. The programme is arranged by David Porter) (25m)

Saturday 31 July 1937 – Yorkshire Evening Post (preview)
6.0pm – “Songs that Father Sang” will again be broadcast on Monday evening (see below). F. A. Nichols and Arthur Spencer have devised this programme in which Violet Carson (soprano) Hamilton Harris (bass), F. A. Nicholls and the Colunio Male Voice Chorus will be heard, together with the B.B.C Northern Orchestra, conductor Alfred Barker. This type of entertainment commands wide popularity in the North; and listeners will be rewarded by such items as “Her Golden Hair Was Hanging Down Her Back” and “The Old Rustic Bridge by the Mill”

Monday 2 August 1937 – North
6.0pm – Songs That Father Sang (and Mother too);  arranged and devised by F. A. Nicholls and Arthur Spencer, with the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (led by Harold Jones), conducted by Alfred Baker; Violet Carson (soprano); Hamilton Harris (bass); F.A. Nichols; Colunio Male Voice Chorus (50m)

Monday 16 August – Northern (668 kc/s, 449.1 metres)
10.0pm – “After Dinner,”; New lyrics by Joyce Lustgarten; new music by Henry Reed; arranged by David Porter; with The Three Semis, Violet Carson, Henry Reed, Johnny Rosen and His Four Chaps; compère Felix Deebank.

Wednesday 8 September 1937 – Regional Northern (668 kc/s, 449.1 metres)
9.30pm – Violet Carson – Songs at the Piano

Monday 13 September 1937 – Northern
10.5pm – “After Dinner,” the North Regional cabaret show, makes its third appearance tonight. New lyrics by Joyce Lustgarten; new music by Henry Reed; the programme arranged by David Porter; with The Three Semis, Henry Reed, Jack Plant, Johnny Rosen and his Four Chaps, Violet Carson

Wednesday 22 September 1937 – Northern
9.40pm – Songs that Father Sang (and mother, too) – Violet Carson (soprano) and Hamilton Harris (bass), F. A. Nicholls, Colunio Male Voice Chorus; B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (led by Harold Jones), conducted by Alfred Barker (50m) (Hull Daily Mail writes as follows:- “The many listeners who have heard and enjoyed the previous programmes under the title of “Songs that Father Sang” will be tuning-in in anticipation of a very enjoyable 50 minutes to-night. The programme is again arranged and devised by F. A. Nichols and Arthur Spencer, and the artists are Violet Carson (soprano), Hamilton Harris (bass), F. A. Nichols, The Colunio Male Voice Chorus, and the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra, conducted by Alfred Barker. Frank Nichols, is, of course, the Lancashire actor so well known to listeners as Harry Hopeful.“) (Nottingham Evening Post on 8th September writes as follows:- “…what promises to be a highly entertaining broadcast to please both young and old listeners.”)

Monday 27 September 1937 – Northern
10pm – “After Dinner” – David Porter; compère, Felix Deebank, with Charlie Kunz, The Three Semis, Violet Carson, Henry Reed, Johnny Rosen and his Four Chaps, Taylor Frame (25m)(Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail writes as Follows:- “For the Fourth of the “After Dinner” series David Porter has secured Charlie Kunz – who will grace this popular feature by permission of the New Manchester Hippodrome. Henry Reed has written the music of two new songs for this occasion and Joyce Lustgarten the words. The Three Semis, Violet Carson and Johnny Rosen and his Four Chaps and Taylor Frame will serve up the good fare, which is to be broadcast to the Empire too.”) (Nottingham Evening Post writes as follows:- “When ‘After Dinner,’ the cabaret show which has taken a popular place in the North’s programmes, makes its fourth appearance next Monday, it will be broadcast for the entertainment of Empire listeners also. There is also the possibility that a distinguished guest artist will be “on the bill.” In any event, good fare will be provided by The Three Semis, Violet Carson, Henry Reed, Johnny Rosen and his Four Chaps, and Taylor Frame. Joyce Lustgarten is again doing the lyrics.”)

Friday 15 October 1937 – Regional Programme
9.45pm – Violet Carson – Songs at the Piano
“Entertainer at the piano” is a very good description for Violet Carson, who during the last two years has become increasingly well-known, and well-liked, among listeners in the North. She is a most versatile artist – solo pianist, accompanist, and ‘straight’ singer. Recently she contributed some delightful songs at the piano to the North’s new and popular “After Dinner” cabaret show, produced by David Porter, who has also presented Violet Carson in a number of short Variety interludes during recent months.

Monday 1 November 1937 – North Regional 668ks. 449.1m.
8.0pm – Swift Serenade Orchestra, The Singer, Violet Carson; The Speaker, David Porter (30m)

Friday 12 November 1937 – Northern
7.30pm – Jack Hardy’s Little Orchestra, Violet Carson (soprano)
(The Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail writes as follows:- “Listeners who like light and generally popular music should switch on to North Regional’s Little Orchestra at 7.20 to-night. They will hear a bright half-hour’s programme. Jack Hardy will, as usual, be the director and pianist of the Orchestra – which is, in fact, a quintet – and Violet Carson, who now needs no introduction to the Northern listener, will the artist.”)(30m)

Wednesday 8 December 1937 – Northern (668 kc/s 449.1 metres)(also K.L.M. Rediffusion)
8.30pm – Violet Carson – Songs at the piano.

Friday 17 December 1937 – Northern
9.30pm – Swift Serenade: Swift Serenade Concert Orchestra; Singer, Violet Carson; Speaker, David Porter (30m)

Tuesday 21 December – North
9.0pm – A Right Good Do. The Guests: Harry Korris, Johnny Rosen, Eric Kershaw and his Rhythmic Guitars, Violet Carson, Brent Wood, The Three Semis, G. H. Dayne, The Two Constables and their Sister, Taylor Frame, Mag and Alice with Henry Reed and his Variety Orchestra; The Host: David Porter (60m)

Monday 31 January 1938 – Northern
5.0pm – Children’s Hour: Another story about Jan the Dachshund by Monica Marsden. Adventures of Professor Branestawm by Norman Hunter, Song by Violet Carson.
& National 200kc/s, 1500 metres
6.45pm – Swift Serenade. The Swift Serenade Concert Orchestra; Violet Carson (singer); David Porter (speaker); concert arrangements by Ray Terry from North (30m)

Monday 14 February 1938 – Northern 668 kc/s.
9.35pm – “After Dinner,” presented by David Porter with The Three Semis, Violet Carson, Taylor Frame and Alan Holmes’s Swing Sextet

Wednesday 11 May 1938 – Northern
6.0pm – Violet Carson – Songs at the piano.

Tuesday 24 May 1938 – North Regional
9.40pm – After Dinner, presented by David Porter, with The Three Semis, Violet Carson, Taylor Frame, and Alan Holmes’s Swing Sextet (20m)

Friday 24 June 1938 – North
11.40am – Violet Carson (songs at piano)

Monday 11 July 1938 – Scottish (767 kcs., 391.1m.)
2.20pm – Violet Carson. Songs at the piano.

Wednesday 26 October 1938 – Northern (68kc/s 449.1 metres)
9.15pm – Variety at Home: Violet Carson, Mag and Alice, Mira B. Johnson, Douglas Maynard, Eric Kershaw and his Rhythmic Guitars, Edwin and Ceres Harper, and Rowland Powell’s Variety Orchestra (45m)

Thursday 1 December 1938 – Northern (668 kc/s, 449.1 metres)
8.45pm – Violet Carson (songs at the piano)

Friday 9 December 1938 – Regional
11.30am – Violet Carson (songs at the piano) (20m)

Saturday 31 December 1938 – Northern
5pm – Songs the Father Sang (and Mother, too), with Violet Carson (soprano), Hamilton Harris (bass); The Grosvenor Singers; section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (40m)

Sunday 1 January 1939 – Northern as above

Wednesday 4 January 1939 – North Regional
9.45pm – Violet Carson (Songs at the piano).

Friday 6 January 1939 – Northern (449.1 metres).
8.30pm – Famous Music-Halls: No.7 – The Palace Theatre, Halifax; illustrated by Charles H. Rittle, F.E. Moore, Violet Carson, R. E. Horsfall, Arnold Smith, Albert Murgatroyd, Philip Robinson, James R. Gregson, Wilfred Pickles, The Colunio Chorus, Roland Powell’s Variety Orchestra conducted by Henry Reed and records (60m)

Saturday 28 January 1939 – National
5.0pm – Children’s Hour: Variety with Thomas Kay, Beryl Reid, Maurice Arnold, David Southwood, Violet Carson, Laurie Howard and Peter Sloan’s Guitar Trio

Wednesday 8 February 1939 – Regional
7.50pm – Violet Carson (songs at the piano) (15m)

Saturday 25 February 1939 – North
5.0pm – Songs That Father Sang (and Mother too); Violet Carson (soprano), A. Bell Walker (tenor), Hamilton Harris (bass) Wilfred Pickles (compère), Grosvenor Singers, section of B.B.C. Northern Orchestra. (40m)

Sunday 19 March 1939 – Northern
5.0pm – Songs That Father Sang (and Mother too), with Violet Carson (soprano); A. Bell Walker (tenor); Hamilton Harris (bass); Wilfred Pickles (compère); Grosvenor Singers; section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra

Friday 28 April 1939 – North Regional (668kc/s, 449.1 metres)
6.45pm – Violet Carson: Songs at the piano (15m)

Monday 22 May 1939 – Northern (449.1 metres).
8.10pm – Jenny, a comedy by Esther McCracken: music by John Morley; produced by Martyn C. Webster, with Doris Gambell, Diana Morrison, Muriel Levy, Violet Carson, Wilfred Pickles, Norman Partriege, Patrick Waddington, John Morley, Donald Avison, Peggy Thompson, Mae Bamber; A Section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (leader Harold Jones; conductor H. Foster Clark)

Saturday 3 June 1939 – North (449.1m)
5pm – Edwardian Echoes: Musical Comedy programme, with Violet Carson (soprano) and B.B.C. Northern Orchestra

Saturday 10 June 1939 – North (668kc/s, 449.1 m.)
10.15 – Music for two pianos, played by Edith Roscoe and Violet Carson (15m)

Friday 7 July 1939 – Regional
11.30am – Violet Carson, songs at the piano. (15m)

Saturday 8 July 1939 – Scottish Programme 767 kcs., 391.1m
11.30am – Violet Carson. Songs at the piano.
7.20-7.50pm – Songs that Father Sang: Violet Carson (soprano), Hamilton Harris (bass), Grosvenor Singers, and B.B.C. Orch.

Monday 31 July 1939 – National
1.15 – Violet Carson (songs at piano)

Friday 11 August 1939 – Northern (449.1m)
5.15pm – Stuff and Nonsense! Fun Fare on the air, with Doris Gambell, Wilfred Pickles, Violet Carson, Frederick Allen and Muriel Levy (30m)

Saturday 19 August 1939 – Northern
9.35am – Two Pianofortes, played by Edith Roscoe and Violet Carson (15m)
5.20pm – Songs that Father Sang (and Mother too), arranged by Arthur Spencer and Pat Ryan, with Violet Carson (soprano); A. Bell Walker (tenor); Hamilton Harris (bass); Wilfred Pickles (compère); The Grosvenor Singers; a section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (40m)

Saturday 26 August 1939 – North
2.0pm – Violet Carson at the piano (15m)

Saturday 4 November 1939 – North
5.0pm – The Children’s Hour. “Stuff and Nonsense – Fun Fare on the Air.” Concocted by Muriel Levy, with Doris Gambell, Wilfred Pickles, Violet Carson, Alan Mitcheson and Muriel Levy

Sunday 12 November 1939 –
Songs that Father Sang (seventh in the present series). Violet Carson will be at the piano and Hamilton Harris will sing. Once again Wilfred Pickles will be compère. The only change brought about by the war is the fact that the music will be provided by the Manchester Hippodrome Orchestra, whose regular conductor is Charles Windsor. The programme should appeal to listeners of the older generation. Violet Carson will also be heard in a programme of music on two pianos, with Edith Roscoe, on November 13. Both are well-known pianists, but Violet Carson will be particularly well remembered.

Monday 13 November 1939 – North
7.10pm – Music for Two Pianos, played by Edith Roscoe and Violet Carson. (Twenty minutes of light music on two pianos will be played by Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe on November 13. Both are well-known pianists, Violet Carson being particularly well remembered for her contributions to Northern programmes.)

Sunday 3 December 1939 – New Victoria, Preston (A GB Theatre)
At 7.15 Radio’s Popular Entertainer at the Piano VIOLET CARSON

Wednesday 13 December 1939 – Home Service (391.1m and 449.1m)
7.20pm – The Return of Mr, Muddlecombe, J.P., with Robb Wilton, Dolly Elsie, Maurice Denham, Sam Costa, Ernest Sefton, Fred Yule, Foster Carlin and Violet Carson; the Revue Orchestra

Thursday 4 January 1940 – Home Service
6.30pm – Songs that Father Sang (and Mother too), arranged by Pat Ryan and Arthur Spencer; presented by Arthur Spencer, with Violet Carson, Hamilton Harris, Wilfred Pickles, the Grosvenor Singers, B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (30m)

Thursday 11 January 1940 – Forces
10.45am – Violet Carson – Songs at the piano (15m)

Thursday 1 February 1940 – Home Service
4.30pm – Hen Party, a party with music and songs; Pat Kirkwood, Doris Gambell, Muriel Levy, Edith Roscoe, Violet Carson and the Three Semis (30m)

Saturday 17 February 1940 – Home Service 767 kc/s (391.1 metres) and 668 kc/s (449.1 metres)
Songs That Father Sang (And Mother Too), with Violet Carson, Helmer Fernback (tenor), Hamilton Harris, Wilfred Pickles, the Grosvenor Singers, a section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra

Tuesday 12 March 1940 – Forces Programme
1.10pm – Brief Variety : Norman Evans, Lancashire’s ambassador of mirth, Violet Carson, songs  at the piano, Edwin and Ceres Harper, brothers in harmony, with Al Singer

Thursday 14 March 1940
5.20 – The Children’s Hour: Pipe Down, Wolf: Aesop’s fable, with Mae Bamber, Violet Carson, Doris Gambell, Wilfred Pickles, James Miller, and a section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (10m – probably an extract from the Northern Broadcast)

Tuesday 14 May 1940
12-30: Songs that Father Sang, with Violet Carson (soprano), Jan van der Gucht (tenor), the Wilton Singers: a section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (30m)

Monday 17 June 1940 – For the Forces (373.1 metres and 342.1 metres)
12.30 p.m., Hen Party, with Tessie O’Shea, Mag and Alice, Violet Carson, Liza and Laurette and the Three Semis (30m)

Monday 24 June 1940 – For the Forces
1.15pm – Violet Carson: Songs at the Piano (15m)

Thursday 27 June 1940 – Ambassador Theatre, Pendleton,
Personal Appearance, VIOLET CARSON

Friday 28 June 1940 – Pendleton, Ambassador
Tonight (about 6.30 & 9 p.m.) Personal appearance VIOLET CARSON – Radio’s North Star.

Saturday 20 July 1940 – Programme for the Forces
2.30pm – Variety, with Albert Modley, Donald Peers and Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe at the pianos; compèred by Wilfred Pickles (30m)

Saturday 3 August 1940 – Programme for the Forces
1.40pm – New Tunes for Old: Richard Valery and his Orchestra; with Violet Carson and Wilfred Pickles (20m)

Thursday 8 August 1940 – For the Forces
12.30pm – Songs that Father Sang, with Violet Carson (soprano), Jan van der Gucht (tenor), the Wilton Singers, Wilfred Pickles (compère), and Orchestra conducted by Maurice Johnstone. (30m)

Friday 16 August 1940 – Forces
9.45am – Tunes for Two – Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe (15m)

Tuesday 20 August 1940 – For the Forces To-day
1.55pm – New Tunes for Old: Richard Valery and his Orchestra with Violet Carson and Wilfred Pickles. (Time signal at 2.) (35m)

Saturday 7 September 1940 – Home Service 1,013 kc/s (296.2 m.). 767 kc/s 391.1 m.) and 668 kc/s (449.1 m.).
5.30pm – Stuff and Nonsense, with Doris Gambell, Noel Morris, Muriel Levy, Wilfred Pickles, Violet Carson

Saturday 21 September 1940 – Home Service 1,013 kc/s (296.2 m.). 767 kc/s 391.1 m.) and 668 kc/s (449.1 m.).
4.30pm – Any More: Who’s for a sail? with Frank Randle, Violet Carson, Doris Baker-Jones, Roy Davey, Jack McCormick and his Ambassadors, Malcolm Graeme. (30m)

Sunday 3 November 1940 – Live at the Capitol, Didsbury
Norman Evans, Donald Peers, Johnson Clark, Violet Carson, Doris Gambell, The Wilton Singers, Douglas Maynard, Wilfred Pickles, Compere. To be broadcast Live, A Grand Variety Show to Aid the War Comforts Fund

Monday 11 November 1940 – Programme for the Forces
1.15pm: Autumn Antics, the fall of the blues, with Barton and Breach, Winnie Collins, Jim Sherry, Violet Carson, Wilfred Pickles, and Alan Holmes and his Swing Sextet (35m)

Wednesday 27 November 1940 – Programme for the Forces
7.0pm: Those Tunes Again. Some favourites played by the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra and two pianos (Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe) (30m)

Tuesday 10 December 1940 – Home
8.20am – Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe (pianos)(40m)

Monday 13 January 1941 – For the Forces (373.1 metres and 41.49 metres)
4.0pm – “Varie-Tea” with Cavan O’Connor, Violet Carson, Kenneth Frith, Tony Heaton, the Tennessee Trio, and Richard Valery and his Orchestra

Friday 17 January 1941 – Colne Rotary Club Ladies’ Evening –
(from the Barnoldswick and Earby Times) – “The company were entertained during the evening by Miss Violet Carson, entertainer, at the piano.”

Tuesday 21 January 1941 – For the Forces
8.30pm – B.B.C. Northern Orchestra with two pianos (Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe)

Wednesday 19 February 1941 – Forces
9.20pm – Besses o’ the Barn Band, Violet Carson, songs at the piano (40m)

Thursday 20 February 1941 – Radio
4.30pm – “The Milky Way,” Tea time with the stars, with Violet Carson, Alec Pleon and Francis Wall and Johnny Rosen and his Band (30m)

Friday 21 February 1941 – Ambassador, Pendleton (Live appearance)
At 7 p.m., Charlie Kunz & Violet Carson. J McCormick & Bd.

Saturday 22 February 1941 – Ambassador, Pendleton at 7 p.m.-
Charlie Kunz & Violet Carson. J McCormick & Bd.

Friday 7 March 1941 – For the Forces
10.20pm – “Edwardian Echoes:” Presented by Arthur Spencer, Manchester Hippodrome Orchestra; Violet Carson (soprano) (40m)

Thursday 13 March 1941 – Programme for the Forces
2.45pm: Snap! Variety, with Len Bermon, Violet Carson, Raymond Cooper, and Mary Walsh (15m)

Thursday 20 March 1941 – Programme for the Forces (342.1m. and 42.46m.)
4.25pm: B.B.C. Northern Orchestra; two pianos, played by Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe (30m)

Wednesday 2 April 1941 – Avenue Cinema, Rochdale Road, Blackley –
Sunday 6th April at 3 p.m.: Cavan O’Connor & Eddie McGarry’s Band; Violet Carson. Bk. now

Saturday 12 April 1941 – Forces
9.30pm – Songs that Father Sang (and mother, too), with Violet Carson (soprano), Dale Smith (baritone), Wilfred Pickles (compère), The Wilton Singers, a section of the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (30m)

Sunday 13 April 1941 – PLAZA, Chorley
Cavan O’Connor, Violet Carson, Jack McCormick and His band with Little Norman Waddington

Saturday 26 April 1941 – For the Forces
1.45pm – Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe (pianos). (15m)

Monday 28 April 1941 – For the Forces
1.45pm – Two Pianos (Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe) (15m)

Tuesday 27 May 1941 – Home Service Programme
7.45pm: Third edition of What Manchester Thinks To-day. – with Dennis Noble, Effie Atherton, Ronnie Hill, Violet Carson, The Three Radio Graces. B.B.C. Chorus and Theatre Orchestra

Thursday 29 May 1941 – Home Service
4.30pm – “Varie-Tea”: Cavan O’Connor, Violet Carson, Joan Blackmore, Olive Lucius, and Jack McCormick and his Ambassadors. (30m)

Tuesday 5 August 1941 – For the Forces
11am – Two Pianos. Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe (20m)

Wednesday 6 August 1941 – Home Service
11am – Music for Two Pianos played by Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe

Thursday 28 August 1941 – For the Forces 342.1m., 48.46m.
6.30pm – “Those Tunes Again” : B.B.C. Northern Orchestra, Violet Carson and Edith Roscoe (pianos).

Saturday 13 September 1941 – BBC
Henry Hall’s Guest Night from Coventry Hippodrome
“…the final guest artistes, Miss Violet Carson and Miss Edith Rouse (Roscoe), two accomplished pianists. He said that he (Henry Hall) had switched on the radio one morning and had heard these two girls broadcasting and immediately decided that they should be invited to appear in his guest night.”

Sunday 28 September 1941 – Pyramid Theatre, Sale
At 2.30pm, The Royal Artillery Band, Donald Peers, Wilfred Pickles, Violet Carson, Will Shepherd, Leonard Hillman and other B.B.C. stars. Live concert.

Tuesday 30 September 1941 – For the Forces
11.15-12.0 noon: The Little Orchestra with Violet Carson (soprano and pianist).

Thursday 16 October 1941 – Programme for the Forces
8.30pm: General Release. Music from current and forthcoming films with Violet Carson, Anne Lenner, Harry Porter, B.B.C. Theatre Chorus and Orchestra (30m)

Tuesday 28 October 1941 – For the Forces – 342.1m., 48.86m.
10.20pm – The Little Orchestra, Violet Carson, Jan van der Gucht (40m)

Sunday 30 November 1941 – Home Service
4.15pm – “Songs that Father (and Mother too) Sang” : with Wilfred Pickles (compère), Arthur Spencer, Violet Carson, etc. (30m)

Sunday 28 December 1941 – Home Service
1.30pm – Songs that Father Sang – Violet Carson, Frank Titterton, and Wilfred Pickles

January 8 1942 – Laing Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Violet Carson and Cuthbert Kelly will be associated in songs and duets with lute accompaniment (live also possibility of broadcast)

Sunday 25 January 1942 – Home Service
1.45pm – Songs that Father Sang: Violet Carson, Dale Smith (30m)

Wednesday 4 February 1942 – Women’s Social Service Club, Cloth Hall, Colne
“Inasmuch. . . .”
Miss Violet Carson, Songs at the Piano
Miss Eve Kisch, Flute
Followed by Community Singing
Admission 6d. Everybody Welcome

Review from the Barnoldswick and Earby Times – Friday 6 February 1942
“Women’s Social Service Club. On Wednesday afternoon there was a good attendance at the Women’s Social Service Club in Cloth Hall, where a musical afternoon was given under the auspices of the C.E.M.A. (the Council for the encouragement of music and the Arts). Miss Violet Carson gave songs at the piano, most of these being British Folk Songs, and they were greatly enjoyed. Flute solos were rendered by Miss Eve Kisch, and her fine playing was much admired. Then the two ladies led community singing, in which the members joined very heartily. Miss Kisch gave a short talk in which she mentioned the objects of C.E.M.A., and also referred to the importance of preserving the artistic side of life in these difficult times. The members greatly enjoyed the concert and felt that they had spent a profitable and happy time. C.E.M.A……was created by the Pilgrim Trust and the British Treasury, and its main task is that (of) keeping up the highest standard of recreation which art can give. Concerts and dramatic productions have been given in all kinds of places all over the country and the Council is certainly doing a good work.

Wednesday 4 February 1942 – St. James’s Mutual Service Club at 7.30 p.m.
Miss Lillian Kisch (flautist) and Miss Violet Carson. A cordial invitation is extended to anyone interested An entrance charge of 6d will be made
(The article in the ‘Elizabeth Ann’s Gossip Column” in the Burnley Express for Saturday 31 January 1942 starts:- “The Council for the Encouragement of Music and Arts (C.E.M.A.) has been working hard since the outbreak of war, and the opportunity of attending one of its recitals in Burnley will be welcomed. The aim of the Council is to make it possible for art and music to be appreciated not only by a small minority but by everyone. It achieves a high standard in all its recitals, so carrying out its motto, “The best for the most.” It will be represented here, I understand, by Miss Lillian Kisch (flautist) and Miss Violet Carson who are to present a recital in St James’s Mutual Service Club at 7-30…a cordial invitation is extended to anyone interested. An entrance charge of 6d will be made.)

Sunday 22 February 1942 – Home Service
1.45pm – “Songs That Father Sang” (and Mother too), presented by Arthur Spencer, with Violet Carson, Jan van der Gucht and Wilfred Pickles (30m)

Tuesday 24 February 1942 – Home Service
9.40pm – Melodies from the Comedies: Violet Carson, Dennis Noble, B.B.C. Theatre Orchestra

Sunday 8 March 1942 – Central Girls’ Club, Bridge Street, Burnley
7.45pm – Concert; Alfred Barker (violin), Violet Carson (soprano)
Admission 6d. Everybody welcome.
(Elizabeth Ann’s Gossip in the Burnley Express, Saturday 7 March 1942 – Members of local girls’ clubs, together with parents and friends, are invited to the Central Girls’ Club, Bridge-street, Burnley, to-morrow evening to hear a recital by two well-known artistes, Alfred Barker (violin) and Violet Carson (soprano). This concert has been arranged by the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts as part of their North West region activities, and has been organised by Miss Eve Kisch, herself a noted flautist, and Miss Hope Markham, the local girls’ club leader. The latter assures me that a most enjoyable programme has been arranged, and parents of growing children can send them along with every confidence. The concert has been timed to begin at 7.45pm to enable those who wish to go to church to do so and still be in good time. Miss Carson, by the way, broadcasts a great deal these days, whilst Alfred Barker was on the air almost daily with the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra up to forming his own orchestra some time ago.

Sunday 22 March 1942 – Grand Theatre Derby
2.45pm Prompt
Celebrity Concert in aid of BRITISH RED CROSS SOCIETY
first appearance in Derby of Wilfred Pickles (the well-known BBC Newsreader, Announcer & Compère); Violet Carson (The famous BBC Star in Songs at the Piano); Dale Smith (The Popular BBC Baritone); Melsa (The World Famous Russian Violinist) Accompanist Gladys Whitfield

Sunday 29 March 1942 – Forces
1.45pm – “Songs that Father (and Mother too) Sang”: Violet Carson, Norman Walker, Wilfred Pickles, etc.
Wednesday 17 June 1942 – Programme for the Forces
6.30pm – Violet Carson in song and dance with The Little Orchestra

Thursday 9 April 1942 – Home Service
9.40pm – “Songs Here To-day and Gone To-morrow,” Violet Carson, Mervyn Saunders, Bettie Bucknelle, Revue Chorus and Billy Ternent’s Orchestra (40m)

Monday 13 April 1942 – Home Service
1.30pm – Songs and Duets sung by Violet and Nellie Carson (20m)

Thursday 23 April 1942 – For the Forces
11.0am – The Little Orchestra with Violet Carson (soprano) (40m)

Wednesday 17 June 1942 – For the Forces
6.30pm – Violet Carson in Song and Dance with The Little Orchestra (30m)

Monday 13 July 1942 – For the Forces 1.013 kcs (296.1 m); 877 kcs (342.1 m); 6.14 mcs (48.86 m)
8.20pm – B.B.C. Northern Orchestra; Violet Carson (piano) (40m)

Thursday 16 July 1942 – Home Service
11.0am – Violet and Nellie Carson (songs and duets), Margaret Maddison (piano) (30m)

Tuesday 27 October 1942 – For the Forces (295m and 342m)
7.45pm – “Easy to Remember,” Some of the music it is hard to forget, with Violet Carson, Stephen Manton, and the augmented B.B.C. Revue Orchestra (45m)

Wednesday 2 December 1942 – For the Forces
12.30pm – Violet Carson and the Little Orchestra (30m)

Saturday 5 December 1942 – The Forces (296m and 342m)
7.30pm – “Easy to Remember.” Some of the music it is hard to forget, with Violet Carson, Stephen Manton, Roderick Jones, and the Bachelor Girls (60m)

Thursday 4 February 1943 – Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1.15pm – 2pm Thursday Lunch Hour Concerts under the Auspices of C.E.M.A.
Violet Carson, Soprano
Eve Kisch, Flute
The audience is invited to bring sandwiches. Tea is provided by the W.V.S.

Saturday 27 February 1943 – Home Service (203.5, 391.1, 449.1 and 48.54 metres)
12.0 (noon) – Nellie and Violet Carson (singers) with Lucy Pierce (piano). (30m)

Sunday 14 March 1943 – Home Service
11.25pm – Violet Carson and the Little Orchestra (35m)

Thursday 18 March 1943 – For the Forces (296.1 and 342.1 metres)
4.55pm – Violet Carson (soprano), Wilfred Pickles, the Fletcher Singers and others

Monday 3 May 1943 – Home Service
4.35pm – Broadcast of North Country Songs, with Violet Carson and the Little Orchestra, directed by Jack Hardy (25m)

Thursday 27 May 1943 – Home Service (203.5, 391.1, 449.1 and 48.54 metres)
12.0 noon: Songs and duets sung by Nellie and Violet Carson (30m)

Sunday 20 June 1943 – Home Service
5.0pm – Children’s Hour. Wilfred Pickles takes listeners on an exploration of Cumberland in “Caumny Cumberlan’.” The programme includes songs by Violet Carson, and the Keswick Mountain Singers, together with descriptions of the countryside, shepherds, and wayfarers.

Wednesday 7 July 1943 – Home Service
1.15pm – B.B.C. Northern Orchestra, Violet Carson (piano) (45m)

Sunday 18 July 1943 – Forces Programme
“Songs that Father Sang” will open a new fortnightly series in the Forces programme on July 18, with Wilfred Pickles playing the father and Violet Carson the mother. Arthur Spencer will produce.
6.30pm – Fletcher Singers with Violet Carson (soprano), Jan van der Gucht (tenor), and Wilfred Pickles (30m)

Saturday 14 August 1943 – For the Forces
6.30pm – Songs that Father Sang; B.B.C. Northern Orchestra, Fletcher Singers, Violet Carson, Wilfred Pickles and Stephen Manton (30m)

Sunday 5 September 1943 – For the Forces
6.30pm – Songs that Father Sang; Wilton Singers, with Violet Carson (soprano), Dale Skith (baritone) and Wilfred Pickles

Friday 10 September 1943 – Home Service
5.20pm – Children’s Hour: Piano Medleys, played by Violet Carson and Muriel Levy

Sunday 19 September 1943 – For the Forces
6.30pm – Songs that Father Sang; Violet Carson (soprano), Frank Titterton (tenor), Wilfred Pickles and the Wilton Singers (30m)

Sunday 3 October 1943 – For the Forces
6.30pm – Songs that Father Sang; Violet Carson (soprano), Stephen Manton (tenor), Wilfred Pickles, Hamilton Harris and the Wilton Singers (30m)

Tuesday 5 October 1943 – Live at the Co-operative Cafe, Albert Rd, Colne
7pm – Colne Savings Committee. Opening meeting of the Winter’s “Raise the Standard Campaign”
Entertainment by Miss Violet Carson (Well known B.B.C. Broadcaster) The Colunio Singers
(Review in the Barnoldswick and Earby Times, Friday 8 October 1943. “…During the evening Miss Violet Carson of B.B.C. fame gave some delightful songs at the piano, and the Colunio Siners gave many favourite items, which were highly appreciated. At an interval light refreshments were served.”)

Friday 15 October 1943 – Home Service
4.30pm – English Songs and Duets, sung by Nellie and Violet Carson (30m)

Saturday 27 November 1943 – For the Forces
7.15pm – Bandstand; Dale Smith, Violet Carson, and Ronald Chesney (harmonica) (45m)

Sunday 5 December 1943 – Home Service
10.15am – Seventeenth Century Songs and Dialogues by Violet Carson and Dale Smith (15m)

February 6 1944 – Forces’ Programme
“Songs That Father Sang” is returning as a once-a-month show with Dale Smith, Violet Carson , and Wilfred Pickles. The first programme is on February 6. (Notice in the Dundee Evening Telegraph).

Saturday February 6 1944 – Forces
6.30: B.B.C. Northern Orchestra, with Violet Carson (soprano), Dale Smith (baritone), Wilfred Pickles and Royal Army Pay Corps singers. (Songs that Father (30m)

Sunday 27 February 1944 – Forces
“Variety Band-box.” John Blore and his Dance Orchestra, Harry Welchman, Olive Groves, Pat Frost, Violet Carson, Kathleen Moody (45m)

Lancashire Evening Post, Monday 6 March 1944.
Report:- At the Lancaster-road Congregational School on Saturday, Miss Violet Carson, B.B.C. artist, gave a recital of folk songs. The recital was arranged by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in co-operation with C.E.M.A. and was one of the events organised specially for members of youth groups.

Monday 27 March 1944 – Home Service (203.3, 301.1 and 440.1 metres)
4.30 – Violet Carson sings and plays with the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra (30m)

In the “Recommended” Column of the Manchester Evening News – Saturday 3 June 1944
Saturday 10th June – 9.0am – Violet Carson (soprano) and John Brennan (piano).

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer – Friday 16 June 1944
“Massed Choirs in Leeds” – Broadcast Planned

Leeds is to stage the most ambitious choral programme of its type arranged by the B.B.C. since the war started.

The concert will be held in the Town Hall on Saturday, July 8, at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast in the General Forces programme from 7.15 p.m. to 8.0 p.m. The conductors will be Sir Edward Bairstow, organist of York Minster, and Mr Maurice Johnstone, B.B.C. North Regional Music Director.

In Leeds yesterday, Mr. J.B. Coatman, North Regional Director, who originated the concert, explained the plans. “At least one out of every three of the men and women overseas come from the North of England, he said. “So few people realise what our resources are here. They think of the North as dark, satanic mills, whereas we have the richest vein of folk music and folk lore of any part of England. This programme will be listened to be Northeners all over the world.”

Mr Johnstone said from the enormous amount of material available they had extracted a two hours’ concert, the second half of which would be broadcast. It would combine traditional music and music of obvious Northern association.

The concert is to be introduced by Wilfred Pickles and will include singing by massed choirs. The B.B.C. Northern Orchestra will be making its first public appearance in Leeds. Violet Carson (soprano) and Dale Smith (baritone) are to sing and Margery Bell will play the Northumbrian pipes.

Leeds Philharmonic choir will be represented by 200 voices, and the other choirs are Huddersfield Glee and Madrigal Society, the Sale and District Musical Society and the Scunthorpe Male Voice Choir.

The audience, which is to include the Lord Mayor of Leeds (Alderman A. Hayes), will be asked to join in the singing of “Ilkla Moor,” and other songs representative of Cumberland, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Lancashire will be included in the programme.

Seats will be available from 1s.6d. to 6s. and booking will be at Archibald Ramsden’s, Leeds, from June 24.

Sunday 25 June 1944 – Home Service
6.30pm – Harry Davidson Orchestra, with Violet Carson (soprano) (60m)

Thursday 18 July 1944 – Home Service
4.30pm – “The Little Orchestra” with Nellie and Violet Carson (30m)

Friday 1 September 1944 – Home Service
9am – Little Orchestra, Violet Carson (soprano)

Thursday 28 September 1944
5.30pm – Northern Massed Bands, Choir and Violet Carson

Friday 22 December 1944 – General Forces
4.30pm – Northern Orch., Violet Carson (soprano) (30m)

Saturday 30 December 1944 – Home Service
6.55pm: Harry Davidson Orchestra, with Violet Carson (soprano).

Biggleswade Chronicle – Friday 26 January 1945
Report:- C.E.M.A. Concert. – Under the auspices of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts another concert was held at the Avenue Club on Sunday afternoon. Artistes taking part were the Misses Nellie and Violet Carson and Mr. Cuthbert Kelly. The programme consisted of solos, duets, trios (both vocal and instrumental) and elocutionary items.

Dundee Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 24 January 1945
Article:- I have been talking to Peter Hodgson, the 16-year-old Cranham (Upminster) boy, whose new concerto-fantasia for piano and orchestra will be performed in the Children’s Hour on February 1 by the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra, with Violet Carson as the pianist. Hodgson did not begin to read music or play the piano until six years ago. Since then he has written a Requiem, symphony, a tone poem and several concertos. He says his Fantasia was inspired by a visit to the first of last season’s Promenade Concerts. He will be in the studio to hear his new work performed.

Thursday 1 February 1945 – Home Service
5.20pm – Children’s Hour: “Saint Bridget’s Night,” Children’s Concert given by the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra; Violet Carson (piano).

Monday 5 February 1945 – General Forces
1pm – News, Variety, Lucan and McShane, Hal Monty, Violet Carson (60m)

Monday 19 February 1945 – Home Service
8.20am (app.)- Little Orchestra; Violet Carson (soprano)

Sunday 25 March 1945 – Home Service
10.20pm: The Little Orchestra, with Violet Carson (soprano)

Saturday 14 April 1945 – Home Service
6.55pm – Harry Davidson’s Orchestra, Violet Carson (songs)

Friday 15 June 1945 – Home
1.10pm – B.B.C. Northern Orchestra; Violet Carson, soprano, piano

Saturday 28 July 1945 – Light Programme
7.45pm – Blackpool North Pier Orch. with Violet Carson (soprano)

Monday 13 August 1945 – Home
7.55pm – Violet Carson Sings and Plays for you

Friday 12 October 1945 – Home Service 449.1ms. (668ks.) : 285.7ms. (1,050ks.)
6.30pm – Violet Carson (songs at the piano) (10m)

Monday 15 October 1945 – Home Service
5.15pm – Children’s Hour: “Here Comes Mumfie” and Violet Carson (piano)

Sunday 4 November 1945 – ODEON, Newcastle-on-Tyne
Reginal Foort’s GUEST NIGHT. The popular broadcasting organist, with VIOLET CARSON, MUSAIRE, ARTHUR WILLIAMS, MAISIE WELDON and CARL CARLISLE

Monday 19 November 1945 – North Home Service
6.45pm – Fairey Aviation Works Band, Birkenhead male Voice Choir, Violet Carson, Dale Smith (30m)

Saturday 2 February 1946 – North and Northern Ireland Home Services
5.0pm – Children’s Hour (Violet Carson entertains with songs and piano solos)(15m)

Sunday 17 March 1946 – Regional
4.10pm – Violet Carson and Dale Smith

Wednesday 24 April 1946 – Home Service
Violet Carson with the Little Orchestra (30m)

Friday 10 May 1946 – Home (Northern: 449.1m.)
5.0pm – Children’s Hour. 5.30pm – Violet Carson entertains with songs and piano solos (30m)

Report from Hastings and St. Leonard’s Observer – Friday 7 June 1946
“Toni’s Orchestra on the Air
His many friends and musical admirers in Hastings and St. Leonard’s will learn with great interest that Toni (otherwise Mr. S. L. Hopkins, formerly harpist and violinist in the Hastings Municipal Orchestra), the popular musical director of the North Pier Orchestra, Blackpool, has accepted an offer by the B.B.C., of an engagement for ten consecutive Sunday night broadcasts from June 30 to September 1. The title of these concerts will be “Pier Pavilion,” and they will be on the air each Sunday from 8.15 to 9 p.m. With the orchestra will be famous vocalists, including Norman Allin, Doris Gambell, Marjorie Thomas, Violet Carson, Jan van der Gucht, and others, and the series promises to be most attractive and successful.”

Saturday 27 July 1946 – Light Programme
8.15pm – “Pier Pavilion” – Toni and the North Pier Orchestra, Blackpool, Violet Carson (soprano)

Monday 12 August 1946 – North
6.45pm – Violet Carson, Songs at the Piano (15m)

Wednesday 18 September 1946 – North 449.1 metres
6.45pm – Violet Carson, Songs at the Piano (15m)

Wednesday 16 October 1946
6.30pm – Violet Carson Songs at the Piano (15m)

Wednesday 20 November 1946 – Home Service
6.30pm – Violet Carson, Songs at the Piano (15m)

Monday 13 January 1947 – Home Service
6.30pm – Violet Carson Songs at the piano (15m)

Monday 31 March 1947 – North Regional
6.30pm – String Orchestra, Violet Carson piano (30m)

Saturday 21 June 1947 – Hastings and St Leonard’s Observer – Article
“Toni on the Air – His many Hastings friends will be interested to learn that Toni (Mr S. L. Hopkins), music director of the North Pier Orchestra, Blackpool, will be broadcasting again this season. Last year, he did 10 consecutive Sunday “Pier Pavilion” broadcasts, and this season is doing 14 on consecutive Thursdays at 7. 30 p.m. till 8 p.m., starting next week (June 26). There will be a vocalist at each broadcast, including such well-known radio personalities as Owen Brannigan, Violet Carson, Stephen Manton and Marjorie Thomas. This is Toni’s 15th season at Blackpool. He opened on Good Friday and the season ends on September 28. He has an orchestra of 18 players.”

Thursday 10 July 1947 – Light Programme
7.30pm – Toni and North Pier Orchestra, Blackpool; Violet Carson (Soprano)

Monday 25 August 1947 – Nottingham Evening Post – Article
“Those who make a point of listening to the occasional broadcasts of “Stuff and Nonsense,” the Northern Children’s Hour Saturday feature, when relayed from some hospital, should make a note that next Saturday it will come from one of the wards of the Adela Shaw Orthapaedic Hospital, Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire. The radio team will include Violet Carson, Hugh Morton, Muriel Levy, Fred Fairclough, Herbert Smith, and Nan.”

Tuesday 25 November 1947 – Light Programme (261.1, 1500)
11am – Violet Carson (Piano.)

Monday 1 December 1947 – Nottingham Evening Post – Article: Wireless Whispers
“A Children’s Hour programme worth listening to will be that from the North to-morrow evening, when four regular contributors, Doris Gambell, Violet Carson, Muriel Levy, and Hugh Morton, will demonstrate their versatility in a new programme “Four-in-Hand,” in which listeners will hear them in all their different roles.”

Thursday 8 January 1948 – North (449.1m.)
6.30pm – Toni and his Orchestra: Violet Carson (soprano) (30m)

Tuesday 10 February 1948 – Third Programme 514.6 and 203.5 metres.
10.5pm – English Folk Songs and Ballads; Singers, Violet Carson, Steuart Wilson and Dale Smith. Pianist, Ernest Lush (30m)

Thursday 1 April 1948 – Home Service 449.1 metres
6.30pm – Violet Carson (soprano) with Jack Hardy’s Little Orchestra (30m)

Wednesday 21 April 1948 – Third Programme 514.6 and 203.5 metres.
6.0pm – English Folk Songs and Ballads; Singers, Violet Carson, Steuart Wilson and Dale Smith. Pianist, Ernest Lush (30m)

Tuesday 27 April 1948 – Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette – Announcement
‘Two Sunderland young men well enough known to readers of this column, Pat Lynn and Tommy Pears, make their first appearance as a team when, to-night, they provide music on two pianos in the new “Salon Variety” show. This is to star Violet Carson, and supporting her there will be the Silverdale Handbell Ringers, following whom will be the “Four Mystery Voices,” a novelty item in which listeners will be given four voices and will be asked to give them appropriate names. The show is produced by Hugh Middlemiss.’

Wednesday 19 May 1948 – North 449.1m (668k.c.)
6.30pm – Violet Carson (songs) (15m)

Saturday 11 September 1948 – Home
8.0pm – Violet Carson (piano) (15m)

Friday 17 September 1948 – Barnoldswick and Earby Times – Advertisement
BURNLEY AND NELSON MUSIC CLUB (In association with the Arts Council of Great Britain).
Artists engaged for the coming season include Boyd Neel, Violet Carson, Evelyn Rothwell (Mrs. John Barbirolli), Blech Quartet, Frederick Fuller, Pauline Juler Clarinet Trio, Richard Hall from R.M.C.M., etc.

Friday 23 September 1949 – “Variety Comes to Town” – Review from Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
“North and West were outstanding in “Variety Comes to Town” (Home). Violet Carson, with her self-accompanied songs, showed complete command of both standard and Lancashire English. Bert Middleton, after some West Country simplicities in humour, came out in song with bass notes deep enough to make even Huddersfield dither with envy.”

Tuesday 1 November 1949 – Home Service (449.1 metres)
6.45pm – Violet Carson (15m)


ALFRED BARKER: Violinist: Leader Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; BBC Northern Orchestra; Halle Orchestra to 1939;

COLIN BIGGIN: (From the Sheffield Forum):  ‘Colin Biggin’ clarinet, from Montreal born in Sheffield/England. ‘…At the end of the concert, Colin who also played tenor sax was putting his horn away in it’s case, I made myself known to him, he couldn’t have been nicer and greeted me with ‘hi mate, hope you enjoyed the show’ and…He did tell me a little about himself and how he arrived in Montreal. Apparently when Montreal/Quebec was hosting the 1967 World Fair they were advertising everywhere for musicians…to fill all the venues and activities that were going to take place over the duration. (Remember the ‘Fair’ had happened 30 years before ‘our’ conversation) Needless to say he got hired and eventually married and settled down there. Colin did mention, that his dad had had a band in Sheffield…Colin Biggin might have also said he’d played for his dad…”


FELIX DEEBANK: Felix Deebank was born on August 28, 1920 in Farnworth, Lancashire, England. He was an actor, known for My Brother Jonathan (1948), Dial M for Murder (1958) and One Step Beyond (1959). He died in May 1979 in Devonshire, England.
Born: August 28, 1920 in Farnworth, Lancashire, England, UK
Died: May, 1979 (age 58) in Devonshire, England, UK

DORIS GAMBELL L.R.A.M.: Doris Hughes Gambell born Wallasey, Cheshire 06 Jun 1903; died 29 Jul 1980, Withington, Manchester. A pioneer broadcaster from the 6LV Liverpool station of the BBC. A classical soprano who also sang modern works. A regular contributor to Children’s Hour as a singer and actress, she was also part of the “Mag and Alice” comedy duo with Muriel Levy. She worked until about 1964, finally playing “The Housekeeper” in fifteen episodes of Harry Worth’s show.
(From “Who’s Who on the Radio 1947″ – GAMBELL, DORIS. Soprano singer and Actress. b. Wallasey, Cheshire, 6th June, 1903. Known to the Children’s Hour, as Doris of ” Out with Romany,” North Regional Feature. Address: 20, Rutland Avenue, Manchester, 20. Phone: Didsbury 2767. Trained as a pianist. L.R.A.M. at 19. Successful audition as soprano soloist when relay station opened at Liverpool, 1924. From 1928 broadcast four or five times a week for ten years. Appeared regularly in evening features, musicals, first broadcast of ” Good Companions,” straight drama, and cabaret. During the war sang for C.E.M.A. in rural areas, factories, etc., and featured in manv opera productions in London with B.B.C. Theatre Orchestra in Gilbert and Sullivan, ” Merrie England,” ” Beggar’s Opera,” etc. Specialised in radio work, but became well-known as a singer since the war.


EDWIN and CERES HARPER: …an old advert from 1923…of the Floral Hall and Spa…publicising a concert by Masters Ceres and Edwin Harper…Ceres Harper and his band were synonymous with Bridlington in the pre and post-war periods. Ceres and Edwin were both born in Bridlington and were child prodigies as outlined in the advert. Ceres, just 14, was an excellent pianist while Edwin, almost 10 years his junior, held the audience spellbound with his drumming expertise. The event was held in Nafferton’s Shepherds’ Hall, which is now the village hall…Read more at:
1946 The “Golden Age” started with Ceres Harper as Musical Director

MIRA B JOHNSON: Mira B. Johnson presents her character sketch ‘On A Bus Top’;Sat, 07/12/1929 BBC Daventry 5GB (20:45-22:00): also Tue 210129 Daventry 5GB. 1915-2030 Mira B. Johnson presents a short sketch

THOMAS A JOHNSON: Composer: and

HAROLD JONES: Violinist: Deputy Leader Halle Orchestra; Leader BBC Northern Orchestra; Violin Teacher to Nellie Carson

ERIC KERSHAW: and Rhythmic Guitars:


MURIEL LEVY: Muriel Augusta Levy: born Paddington, London 02 Aug 1903; died North East Cheshire 30 Mar 1969. Writer and journalist, also a singer and actress and pioneer broadcaster from 1924 on the BBC 6LV Liverpool station. From the 1930s she wrote “Auntie Muriel’s Treasure Chest” – a children’s column in the Staurday edition of the Liverpool Echo. She lived on Queen’s Drive.  Muriel Levy wrote a considerable number of Ladybird Books titles for children, including Cinderella; Dick Whittington; The Adventures of Wonk; Fireworks; Sleeping Beauty; Seven White Gates, The Gay Dophin Adventure; In 1945 she adapted for radio in eleven parts the first book of Galsworthy’s “Forsyte Saga”, repeating the exercise with the second some ten years later. She also adapted “Inheritance” a 1932 novel by Phyllis Bentley.
From “Who’s Who on the Radio 1947″ – LEVY, MURIEL. Scriptwriter, actress, b. London, 1904. Adaptor of the notable ” Man of Property ” serial. Address : Oak Cottage, Longdon Green, nr. Rugeley, Staffs. Phone: Armitage (nr. Rugeley) 225. Did almost every kind of work on the air while on the staff, announcing, local news, accompanying, Children’s Hour, etc. Left B.B.C. for freelance creative work. Has written over three thousand broadcast scripts, including original plays, revues, songs and dramatisations of famous books such as ” National Velvet,” “Anne of Green Gables,” ” Arabian Nights ” and ” The Man of Property.” Has also acted almost every kind of part in almost every kind of show. Author of a number of published children’s books, plays, etc. Editor of Children’s Feature in ” Liverpool Echo.”

Playwright, b. Sheffield, 1890. Author of about 400 radio plays. Address: Foolow, Eyam, nr. Sheffield. Phone: Tideswell 258. Son of a Nonconformist Minister. Educated Manchester Grammar School, Gottingen and Sheffield Universities, Degrees of M.A. and Ph.D. Lecturer in English University College of the South West, 1922-26. Resigned to take up full-time authorship. Served in 1914-18 war in Manchester Regiment and Intelligence Corps, with rank of Captain. 1940-45, Major in Home Guard. Travelled widely in Europe, and was for a time lecturer in English at Gottingen University. Liberal in politics, and as such contested Derby in 1929 (unsuccessfully). On board of various professional Repertory Theatres. Author of a score of full-length plays, many one act plays, about 35 film scripts, as well as 400 radio plays. One of the founder members of C.E.M.A. Hobbies: Painting, amateur acting and producing.

WILFRED PICKLES: (From “Who’s Who in Radio 1947″) – PICKLES, WILFRED.
Actor, variety artist, announcer, etc. 6. Halifax, Yorkshire, 13th October, 1904. Has done about everything in radio except play the theatre organ. Address: 44, Devonshire Street, London, W.l. Phone : Welbeck 4643. Was intended, he says, for a career in the family trade as a builder. Was the worst builder the family had ever had, ran away and became an actor, was the best actor the family ever had — the only one! Actor for North Region until 1938, then became programme announcer, and in 1942 became a Newsreader and shocked England by saying ” Good Night Everybody, and to all Northerners wherever you be, Good Neet.” Became a variety artist for George Black, appeared at Westminster Theatre in ” The Cure for Love.” 1946 programmes included “Billy Welcome,” “Ex-Corporal Wilf,” “Music Hall” and “Have a Go— Joe!” Married to Mabel Myerscough in 1930.

JACK PLANT: Famous Dance Band Vocalist

Programme Controller, Cologne. b. Belfast, 16th April, 1913. Well known in radio as a producer of fantasy, burlesque and sophisticated revue. Address: 28, Yeoman’s Row, London, S.W.3. Started career as a tea planter in Kenya, then became an actor at Little Theatre, Belfast. Joined the B.B.C. in 1935 as announcer to the North Region, and the following year became Variety Producer to control studio light entertainment from Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle. Joined the Variety Department at Bristol, 1940, then entered the R.A.F. as a pilot and was shot down in 1944 while flying a Mosquito over Northern Italy. While a prisoner of war wrote libretto of opera ” Messalina,” which he later sold to Jack Hylton. Returned to the B.B.C. Variety Department in 1945, and left London for Germany in 1946 to take charge of the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk as a member of the Control Commission. Recreations: Flying and swimming.

RAY TERRY: arranger: – one of Geraldo’s staff arrangers and also a member of the mighty BBC Television orchestration department of the 1960s born 1906 Birmingham; staff arranger BBC see also imdb


BRENT WOOD: pen name of Edgar Lustgarten from 1937

(to be continued)


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