B. C. Hilliam

Bentley Collingwood Hilliam, usually credited as B C Hilliam (1890–1968), was a singer, songwriter and musician, and the first-named member of the comedy duo Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam (Mr. Jetsam was Malcolm McEachern).

Hilliam wrote most of the duo's songs, played the piano and sang in a "light, high tenor voice". The duo's only film appearance is in the prelude of the 1936 Tod Slaughter melodrama The Crimes of Stephen Hawke. He married Mona C Barrett-Lennard, his second wife, in December 1926 in Lambeth, London.

Hilliam also wrote music and lyrics, such as Ladies of Leamington, and was musical director, for the stage play Buddies, and starred in his own concert-party shows, 'Flotsam's Follies', whose cast included a young Tony Hancock.

Hilliam was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 1890, as Bentley Collingwood Smailes. He began his career as an entertainer at local functions, under the name Lloyd Holland, and also attended the local boys' school Scarborough College from 1902 to 1906. Hilliam wrote a series of odes for the school magazine under the pseudonym Aimless, an anagram of Smailes. He later changed his name permanently from Smailes to Hilliam.

During World War I, he served as a Lieutenant in the Canadian Engineers.

In 1935 he appeared in court after his first wife attempted to have him declared bankrupt for failure to pay alimony. His address was given as residing at Cadnam, Hampshire, England, and formerly West Hill, Highgate, London. On 23 May 1935, a conditional order of discharge was made. The case continued, with an adjournment in October of that year, when his address was given as Robin Grove, West Hill.

He appeared as a "castaway" on the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs on 3 August 1959.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1890 (Scarborough), Died 1968 (London)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1918 - 1920

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, lyricist


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-21616 10-in. 3/19/1918 Freedom for all forever Reinald Werrenrath Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Columbia 77849 10-in. 5/24/1918 Freedom for all forever Vernon Stiles Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Columbia 77897 10-in. 6/21/1918 Freedom for all forever Columbia Stellar Quartette ; Vernon Stiles Male vocal solo and male vocal quartet, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Columbia 78199 10-in. 12/13/1918 Freedom for all forever Oscar Seagle Baritone vocal solo, with male vocal quartet and orchestra composer, lyricist  
Columbia 49728 12-in. 12/30/1919 Vocal gems from Buddies Columbia Light Opera Company Mixed vocal ensemble, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
OKeh [OK cat 4123-b] 10-in. 4/15/1920 Hullo, home All Star Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Brunswick [Br cat 5245-b] 10-in. approximately July 1918 Freedom for all forever Joseph A. Phillips Male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Edison 6239 10-in. between 6/17/1918 and 6/20/1918 Freedom for all forever Arthur Middleton Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Edison 7069 10-in. 12/18/1919 Buddies Lenzberg's Riverside Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Hilliam, B. C.," accessed July 28, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101177.

Hilliam, B. C.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 28, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101177.

"Hilliam, B. C.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 28 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101177


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