William Henry Crump (17 April 1865 – 14 January 1942), better known by the stage name Harry Champion, was an English music hall composer, singer and comedian, whose onstage persona appealed chiefly to the working class communities of East London. His best-known recordings include "Boiled Beef and Carrots" (1909), "I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am" (1910), "Any Old Iron" (1911) and "A Little Bit of Cucumber" (1915).
Champion was born in Bethnal Green, East London. He made his stage debut at the age of 17 at the Royal Victoria Music Hall in Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, in July 1882. He initially appeared as Will Conray and went on to appear in small music halls in the East End of London. In 1887 he changed his stage name to Harry Champion and started to perform in other parts of London where he built up a wide repertoire of songs. His trademark style was singing at a fast tempo and often about the joys of food.
After more than 4 decades on the stage, Champion took early retirement after the death of his wife in 1928, but returned two years later to appear on radio, gaining a new, much younger audience as a result. During the great depression of the 1930s, music hall entertainment had made a brief comeback, and Champion, like other performers of the genre, returned to performing. By the early 1940s he was in ill health, and died just a month after being admitted to a nursing home in 1942.
Birth and Death Data: Born 1866 (Shoreditch), Died January 14th, 1942 (Tottenham)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1915
Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Columbia||29309||10-in.||either 1914 or 1915||Little bit of cucumber||Harry Champion||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Champion, Harry," accessed October 20, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104965.
Champion, Harry. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104965.
"Champion, Harry." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 20 October 2020.
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