A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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2ib             A CENTURY Ut BALLADS
His nervousness used to follow him to the concert platform, and he would often regret in the green-room that he had not sent the telegram. Sir Charles Santley, in his Reminiscences, tells the following story in this connection of an occasion when he was singing with Reeves in the provinces: "I was in the green-room when Reeves came in; he had got a fit of ' nerves '; he said he would give twenty pounds if he could go back to the hotel, for he felt he had no voice, and could not sing a note. I rallied him, and proposed that if he could not sing, he should whistle his songs, as the public would never be satisfied unless at least they saw him. He smiled faintly ; I left the room and planted myself in the wings to listen to his first song, Sullivan's ' Meet me once again ' ; his trousers were positively shaking. The first bar or two sounded as though he had plums in his mouth, but he forgot himself and his dismals, and 'pulled the house down.' His second song was ' The Bay of Biscay,' which produced a storm such as that delightful bay can produce, without the mal de mer attendant thereon."
There is one other anecdote of Sims Reeves, as told by Mr. Mackinlay, which is too good not to be quoted here. The occasion was a ballad concert, and the scene was the artists' room at the St. James's Hall. A young tenor was making his first appearance at these concerts, and was in
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