Sang in the choir of St Ethelburga's Church, St Leonard's-on-Sea, from age nine, then at Holy Trinity, Eastbourne. Awarded first prize at the Brighton Music Festivals 1933-36. Died in 2005. Robert's life and career are given in more detail in Stephen Beet's book "The Better Land" (2005).
Robert Harris A: Bird Songs at Eventide (incipit: Over the quiet hills, slowly the shadows fall.) (wds Royden Barrie (pseud. of Harry Rodney Bennett (1890-1948)) - music Eric Coates (1886-1957), 1926) (Rec. 1934). B: Who is Sylvia? (wds after Shakespeare: "Two Gentlemen of Verona" Act IV, sc. ii - music Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828) (D.891, 1826) arr. Henry Ernest Geehl (1881-1961)) (matrix E7039-1, rec. 17 June 1934, Grand Hotel, Eastbourne). Both accomp. by Leslie Jeffries and his orchestra. Both issued on Amphion CDs "The Better Land" vols. 3 & 1 respectively.
Robert Harris A: One night of love (incipit: [chorus] One night of love, when two hearts are one.) (wds Gus(tav Gerson) Kahn (1886-1941) - music Victor L. Scherztinger (1880 [or 1890]-1941); song from the film "One Night of Love" (Columbia, 1934) directed by Scherztinger). B: Love's old sweet song (incipit: Once in the dear, dead days beyond recall.) (wds Graham Clifton Bingham (1859-1913) - music James Lynam Molloy (1837-1909), 1884). Both rec. 1934(?) & accomp. by Leslie Jeffries and his orchestra at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne. Both issued on Amphion CD "The Better Land" vol. 4 ("1933").
"One night of love": starts in the published score (1934) "Though my heart may be lonely", which Harris sings after the chorus. The full text is: "Though my heart may be lonely, I find romance in my dreams. While I am waiting for only one night of love, one starlit night of love. (Chorus) One night of love, when two hearts are one, a night to have and hold, when love is gone and starlight grows cold. One night of love, when love is all that I'll recall. When at the break of dawn, I find my lover gone [Harris sings a bowdlerised: I wake to greet the morn], I'll whisper with a smile, I've lived a little while, I've known one night of love."
Robert Harris The Old Church Bells (incipit: "I sit in an Old World garden") (wds & music (?) H.M. Farrar) (matrix CE6633-1, rec. 26 Sept. 1934, Grand Hotel, Eastbourne) accomp. by Leslie Jeffries and his orchestra. Issued on Amphion CD "The Better Land" vol. 4 from a rather worn test pressing. If anyone can provide details of lyricist/composer/music publisher, please get in touch. Is there perhaps a connection with the Rev. Herbert William Farrar (1856-1943), Rector of Barcombe, Sussex 1915-42, a few miles from Eastbourne? Songs of the same title were also written by E. Fox (1857); Edward W. Thomas (1872); M. Connelly (1879); H. Dacre (1892); J.M. Mason (1894) & R. Rogers (1894) - but all have a different incipit.
Master Derek Barsham Recorded 30 Apl. 1947 (AR11093 & 11094), with Gladys Palmer, contralto, Norman Lumsden, bass & London Symphony Orchestra cond. Stanford Robinson. Issued June 1947 on Decca K.1601. ["Better Land" the two parts separately in vols. 3 & 4]
Available from the producer at £10 plus postage, or £55 plus postage for the set of 6 CD's (which includes as a special offer Stephen R. Beet's book "The Better Land - in search of the lost boy sopranos"
Contact StephenRBeet@gmail.com Paypal: email@example.com
Master Derek Barsham & Norman Lumsden, bass Recorded 30 Apl. 1947 (AR11093 & 11094), with Gladys Palmer, contralto, Norman Lumsden, bass & London Symphony Orchestra cond. Stanford Robinson. Issued June 1947 on Decca K.1601. ["Better Land" the two parts separately in vols. 3 & 4]
Individual CD's £10 each plus postage. The Better Land set of 6 CD's is available from StephenRBeet@gmail.com
Price £55 plus postage. Included in this offer is a FREE copy of "The Better Land - In search of the Lost Boy Sopranos" (retail value £10)
Paypal address: firstname.lastname@example.org
As well as chapters on Iwan Davies, Derek Barsham, and Denis Wright, amongst others there are also chapters under the following headings: The Temple Boys, The Manchester Boys, The Music Hall Boys, The Fleeting Boys, and The Broadcast Boys.
This book is available directly from the author: Contact StephenRBeet@gmail.com
Price £10 plus postage
This book is available for the cost of postage and packing only if the set of six The Better Land CD albums is ordered.