Will Fyffe, CBE (16 February 1885 – 14 December 1947) was a Scottish music hall artist, a star of the 1930s and 1940s, on stage, screen and records.
Fyffe made his debut in his father's stock company at the age of six. He travelled extensively throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK, playing the numerous music halls of the time, where he performed his sketches and sang his songs in his own inimitable style. During the 1930s, he was one of the highest paid musical hall artistes in Britain.
In addition, Fyffe appeared in 23 major films of the era (American and British), sometimes starring, and recorded over 30 songs, delivered with his own unique style.
His singer-songwriter skills are still well-known today, particularly his own composition, "I Belong To Glasgow". This song has been covered by Danny Kaye, Eartha Kitt, Gracie Fields and Kirk Douglas:
As a result of this song, Fyffe became forever associated with Glasgow, even though he was born 70 miles (110 km) away in the east coast city of Dundee, where a street bears his surname. Fyffe was also Freemason, who was initiated and then became a full member of Lodge St John, Shotts No 471. Fyffe left some rare footage of his stage act, which gives us a glimpse of stage life in those times. In the footage, he performs the "Broomielaw" sketch and sings his song "Twelve and a Tanner a Bottle". The footage came about as a result of a screen test, shot for Pathe in New York in 1929.
Fyffe died after falling from a window in the Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews in December 1947. The fall has been attributed to dizziness caused by an operation on his ear.
Birth and Death Data: Born February 16, 1885 (Dundee), Died December 14, 1947 (St Andrews)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1921 - 1927
Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, lyricist, composer, speaker
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Columbia||W144059||10-in.||4/28/1927||I'm 94 to-day||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and talk, with orchestra||vocalist, lyricist, composer, speaker|
|Columbia||W144060||10-in.||4/28/1927||I belong to Glasgow||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and talk, with orchestra||vocalist, lyricist, composer|
|Columbia||W144061||10-in.||4/28/1927||The engineer||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and talk, with orchestra||vocalist, lyricist, composer|
|Columbia||W144062||10-in.||4/28/1927||Sandy's holiday||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and talk, with orchestra||vocalist, lyricist, composer|
|Columbia||W144208||10-in.||5/24/1927||The centenarian||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and talking, with orchestra||vocalist, composer, lyricist|
|Columbia||W144209||10-in.||5/24/1927||The gamekeeper||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and talking, with orchestra||vocalist, lyricist, composer|
|Columbia||71404||10-in.||09/16/1921||I'm 94 today||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and monologue, with orchestra||speaker, vocalist, composer, lyricist|
|Columbia||71405||10-in.||09/16/1921||I belong to Glasgow||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and monologue, with orchestra||speaker, composer, lyricist, vocalist|
|Columbia||71406||10-in.||09/16/1921||The engineer||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and monologue, with orchestra||speaker, composer, lyricist, vocalist|
|Columbia||71407||10-in.||09/16/1921||Sandy's holiday||Will Fyffe||Male vocal solo and monologue, with orchestra||speaker, composer, lyricist, vocalist|
|Columbia||71705||10-in.||05/17/1922||New Year's Day||Will Fyffe||vocalist|
|Columbia||71706||10-in.||05/17/1922||The first wee drappie in the morning||Will Fyffe||vocalist|
|Columbia||71707||10-in.||05/17/1922||Good-bye Jenny||Will Fyffe||vocalist|
|Columbia||71974||10-in.||10/24/1922||The hieland jazz||Will Fyffe||vocalist|
|Columbia||71975||10-in.||10/24/1922||I'm going to sea||Will Fyffe||vocalist|
|Columbia||73401||10-in.||04/26/1923||I'm tight too||Will Fyffe||vocalist|
|Columbia||73402||10-in.||04/26/1923||Up among the heather||Will Fyffe||vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Fyffe, Will," accessed January 30, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108970.
Fyffe, Will. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108970.
"Fyffe, Will." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 30 January 2023.
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