Robert Duncan Peel and John Bonner were the first of four Manchester boy sopranos to make records. Peel's record is one of the earliest to be featured in the series. Duncan Peel was born on May 14th 1914 and educated at Manchester Cathedral School. He entered the choir in 1921 aged seven-and-a-half. Duncan's record Angels ever bright & fair was recorded in the Cathedral with Mr. Wilson at the organ at the same session as John Bonner's first record With verdure clad on 21st September 1927, a few months after Ernest Lough's famous recording of Hear my prayer, made in the Temple Church, London. Columbia was not entirely satisfied with the quality of Peel's record and claimed the wax had not set correctly; it was, therefore, hoped to re-record it six months later. Unfortunately, Duncan's voice broke soon after so it was decided to issue the record as it stood, with an organ solo on the reverse. This was issued in 1928 some months after Bonner's first disc.
Robert Duncan Peel Handel ("Theodora"): Angels ever bright and fair (matrix WAX 3076-2) Rec. 21 Sept. 1927 in Manchester Cathedral with Archibald Wayet Wilson (1869-1950), the Cathedral organist 1919-43. Available on Amphion CD "The Better Land" vol. 5. This was Peel's only recording; the coupling is an organ solo by Wilson (Bach: Chorale Prelude no. 17, made the same day). Retail price 4/6.
You can order the Better Land CDs directly from producer Stephen Beet for £10.00 plus post and packing. £55 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" E-mail for postage quotes: StephenRBeet@gmail.com
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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
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This book is available for the cost of postage and packing only if the set of six The Better Land CD albums is ordered.