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P. G. Wodehouse

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 jolly gentleman of leisure 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 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  
(Results 1-25 of 53 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Wodehouse, P. G.," accessed August 8, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102253.

Wodehouse, P. G.. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 8, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102253.

"Wodehouse, P. G.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 8 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102253

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