The Biography of Gus Elen
And the Forgotten Songs CD

The Book’s Contents



Chapter One  The family – Houses and streets – The music hall beckons – Development of the music hall – The Royal Aquarium – A ‘real’ job.

Chapter Two The Opera Comique – Singing for his supper – Aldershot barracks – Margate and the minstrels – The death of a friend.

Chapter Three  A new leaf – On the halls – The Swansea impasse – Landladies and digs – The malevolent music hall manager – First provincial tour –                              Early songs – Agents – A career boost from Sam Redfern – Nerves – The music hall improves its image – In Dan Leno’s boots – 
                         Gus meets Marie – Richard Thornton – Seats at the Jubilee procession.

Chapter Four  Getting praised – Getting married – First published song – Fun with the gun – Gus and Myrtle in panto – Everything written down –
A lucky escape – The marriage ends.

Chapter Five  Songs and life converge – A reputation for meanness – Hugh J. Didcott – Albert Chevalier meets the music hall –
Costers, Cockneys and the East End – Gus and 
The Donah.

Chapter Six  Finding love in Liverpool – What does mum think? – Sandow, ‘King of all Strongmen’ – Wot Cher! Albert – Gus and Edith on tour –
Alec Hurley – The Dials.

Chapter Seven  A shooting challenge – As husband and wife – Katie Lawrence – There ain’t a coster like it to be found – ‘Wery’ odd –
The move to music hall land – A big hit.

Chapter Eight  Suicide mania – Eros unveiled – A bicycle made for two – The ‘T’ dog – The Famous Coster Comedian –The Donah dispute – 
                        Big earnings – A galloping success – The cabbies strike.

Chapter Nine  Elen vs. Chevalier – Pearly Kings and Queens – Marie Lloyd and Gus – Innuendo – Mimics – Gus in South Africa. (or not?)

Chapter Ten  Music hall syndicates – Quick changes – The Pro’s brougham – Nostalgic engagements – Oswald Stoll: A strict employer – 
                      Charity matinées.

Chapter Eleven  Song themes – Charles Godfrey wins a bet – Gus meets Harry Lauder – Prudes on the prowl – Town and country – 
                          Edgar Bateman.

Chapter Twelve  Pantomime and Variety at Christmas – Copyright and song sheets – Moving up market – Gus the gardener – 
                           Cycling and the lap scoring machine – Shame about Jim!

Chapter Thirteen  The prolific George Le Brunn – More of Charles Godfrey – A split with the London Syndicate – Celebrity Culture –
Letters from near and far – Talking machines – Offers of engagements in USA and Australia – Harry Rickards –
Marie Lloyd’s Sunday parties – Moving pictures.

Chapter Fourteen  Bizarre entertainment – Dan and Lydia Leno – Death of Gus’s mother – A family rift – A shooting companion – 
                              Moneybags and Misery – A price of fame.

Chapter Fifteen  Balham and a new home – A song can have a long life – Gus first records his songs – The Coon and the Cake Walk –
The Boer and The Bore.

Chapter Sixteen  The Costermongers’ Sports Day – Syd May, Emily and Ethardo – Harry Lauder first appears in London – 
                            Gus and Dan Leno as  ‘extras’ – Mafeking Night – The billiard player and the pear tree – The upper ten – 
                            Music hall fires and accidents –  Nephews, the workhouse and the training ship.

Chapter Seventeen  Illness and recuperation – Tall stories – Touring reduced – Harry Champion and Belle Elmore – The coronation of Edward VII –                                         The Alhambra, Blackpool – Cars.

Chapter Eighteen  Cockney weddings – Hilda Elen – Shooting plays second fiddle to fishing and motoring – The rise and fall of Dan Leno – 
                              Treasure hunting – The London Coliseum.

Chapter Nineteen  Moderately drunk – Winning and losing in court – Fishing ideas – The influence of George Foster – A fire at home –
Gus and Edith’s Christmas gifts for children – A new song with new presentation methods – Marie Lloyd weds Alec Hurley.

Chapter Twenty  The music hall strike – Gus becomes a manager.

Chapter Twenty-One  The American tour.

Chapter Twenty-Two  Gus and Harry Lauder – Stories of penny pinching – Edgar Bateman, Gus Elen and a tortoise – The Crystal Palace – 
                                    Dr Crippen.

Chapter Twenty-Three  The coronation of George V and Eel Pie Island – The landlord and his perks – 
                                       The Great Lafayette and the National Anthem – Barking and Wapping – The Royal Command Performance 1912 –
George Chirgwin and the Pilchard Inn – Sam Redfern’s investments – A juggler’s offer – A factual fishing story – 

                                       Marie Lloyd and Bernard Dillon – Gus’s decision to retire.

Chapter Twenty-Four  In and out of retirement – Sea fishing – A successful comeback, 1931 – Back to the recording studio – 
                                    Back to the film studio – Gus on the radio – The Royal Variety Performance, 1935 – The final curtain.


Gus Elen Discography

Index of Gus Elen’s songs

Index of Songwriters and Composers

Index of Music Halls, Theatres and Pubs etc.

Index of Personalities

The Gus Elen Archive CD