Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (, WOOD-howss; 15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) was an English author and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century. Born in Guildford, the third son of a British magistrate based in Hong Kong, Wodehouse spent happy teenage years at Dulwich College, to which he remained devoted all his life. After leaving school he was employed by a bank but disliked the work and turned to writing in his spare time. His early novels were mostly school stories, but he later switched to comic fiction, creating several regular characters who became familiar to the public over the years. They include the feather-brained Bertie Wooster and his sagacious valet, Jeeves; the immaculate and loquacious Psmith; Lord Emsworth and the Blandings Castle set; the Oldest Member, with stories about golf; and Mr Mulliner, with tall tales on subjects ranging from bibulous bishops to megalomaniac movie moguls.
Most of Wodehouse's fiction is set in England, although he spent much of his life in the US and used New York and Hollywood as settings for some of his novels and short stories. He wrote a series of Broadway musical comedies during and after the First World War, together with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, that played an important part in the development of the American musical. He began the 1930s writing for MGM in Hollywood. In a 1931 interview, his naïve revelations of incompetence and extravagance in the studios caused a furore. In the same decade, his literary career reached a new peak.
In 1934 Wodehouse moved to France for tax reasons; in 1940 he was taken prisoner at Le Touquet by the invading Germans and interned for nearly a year. After his release he made six broadcasts from German radio in Berlin to the US, which had not yet entered the war. The talks were comic and apolitical, but his broadcasting over enemy radio prompted anger and strident controversy in Britain, and a threat of prosecution. Wodehouse never returned to England. From 1947 until his death he lived in the US, taking dual British-American citizenship in 1955. He was a prolific writer throughout his life, publishing more than ninety books, forty plays, two hundred short stories and other writings between 1902 and 1974. He died in 1975, at the age of 93, in Southampton, New York.
Wodehouse worked extensively on his books, sometimes having two or more in preparation simultaneously. He would take up to two years to build a plot and write a scenario of about thirty thousand words. After the scenario was complete he would write the story. Early in his career he would produce a novel in about three months, but he slowed in old age to around six months. He used a mixture of Edwardian slang, quotations from and allusions to numerous poets, and several literary techniques to produce a prose style that has been compared to comic poetry and musical comedy. Some critics of Wodehouse have considered his work flippant, but among his fans are former British prime ministers and many of his fellow writers.
Birth and Death Data: Born 1881 (Guildford), Died 1975 (Village of Southampton)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1905 - 1938
Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 53 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||B-2747||10-in.||9/12/1905||Put me in my little cell||Billy Murray||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-18531||12-in.||10/5/1916||Gems from Little Miss Springtime||Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19039||10-in.||1/12/1917||My castle in the air||George MacFarlane||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19068||10-in.||2/2/1917||You said something||Alice Green ; Harry Macdonough||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19069||10-in.||2/2/1917||Napoleon||Billy Murray||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19151||10-in.||2/1/1917||Honeymoon Inn||Elizabeth Spencer||Female vocal solo, with xylophone and orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-19309||12-in.||2/23/1917||Gems from Have a heart||Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19334||10-in.||3/2/1917||You never knew about me||Edna Brown ; Edward Hamilton||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19335||10-in.||3/2/1917||An old fashioned wife||Alice Green||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19362||10-in.||3/12/1917||Nesting time in Flatbush||Ada Jones ; Billy Murray||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-20400||12-in.||7/19/1917||Gems from Oh boy!||Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-20813||10-in.||10/1/1917||Leave it to Jane||Victor Opera Trio||Mixed vocal trio, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-20878||10-in.||10/18/1917||Just a voice to call me, dear||Alice Green ; Orpheus Quartet||Female vocal solo, with male vocal quartet, whistling, and orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-21010||10-in.||10/26/1917||The bungalow in Quogue||Ada Jones ; Billy Murray||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-21222||10-in.||12/3/1917||The land where the good songs go||Alice Green ; Charles Harrison||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-21401||12-in.||1/2/1918||Gems from Leave it to Jane||Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-21603||12-in.||3/13/1918||Gems from Oh lady! Lady!||Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-38141||10-in.||3/7/1927||May moon||Victor Orchestra||Orchestra, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-41584||10-in.||1/26/1928||Oh gee! Oh joy!||Johnny Johnson ; Statler Pennsylvanians||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-41585||10-in.||1/26/1928||Say so||Johnny Johnson ; Statler Pennsylvanians||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-43390||10-in.||3/22/1928||Your eyes||The Troubadours||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||CS-026830||12-in.||9/8/1938||Leave it to Jane||Leonard W. Joy ; Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal soloists, with orchestra and vocal ensemble||lyricist|
|Victor||CS-026832||12-in.||9/8/1938||Show boat, part 2||Leonard W. Joy ; Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal soloists, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||CS-026854||12-in.||9/9/1938||Oh boy||Leonard W. Joy ; Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal soloists, with orchestra and vocal ensemble||lyricist|
|Victor||CS-Test-1075||12-in.||12/21/1933||Bill||Connie Gates||Female vocal solo, with piano||lyricist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Wodehouse, P. G.," accessed January 16, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102253.
Wodehouse, P. G.. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 16, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102253.
"Wodehouse, P. G.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 16 January 2022.
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