Peter Dawson

Peter Dawson, bass-baritone

Katie Moss’s 1911 song “The Floral Dance” was first recorded by Peter Dawson in 1912, and its popularity has endured. Dawson recorded four commercially released versions of it, and two broadcasts survive. The first recording of September 1912 was followed by a 10” version on the cheaper Zonophone label before the end of the year. His later electrical version was coupled with Frances Allitsen’s “The Lute Player” in 1927, a coupling that was repeated in 1934. The pairing of the two songs seems to have been so popular on HMV that other labels emulated it – Frederick Ranalow on Metropole, and Robert Easton (under the nom de disque Graham Stewart) for Broadcast Twelve.

When Dawson’s first recording of the Floral Dance was released it was coupled with Slaughter’s “The Dear Homeland,” sung by the baritone Thorpe Bates.

Sullivan – HMS Pinafore – Captain’s song
(My gallant crew good morning… I am the captain of the Pinafore)
Sullivan Quartette:
Thorpe Bates
, baritone
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone
Stanley Kirkby, baritone
Ernest Pike, tenor

Download – Sullivan – HMS Pinafore – Captain’s Song – Thorpe Bates

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Gramophone Concert Record G.C.-4404 (10”)
Matrix 8352b (4404 II)
Recorded 16th June 1906


Thorpe Bates listed as soloist in Gramophone Company archives. Though the record label notes “Sullivan Quartette”, the ledgers give “Sullivan Operatic Party.” As noted earlier, Dawson is distinctly audible in the chorus. The recording ledgers do not list the chorus members, but Pike, Dawson and Kirkby were all in studio on the same day, recording with Bates and Eleanor Jones-Hudson in various combinations: Kirkby (recording as Walter Miller) was accompanied by the Minster Singers, comprising Dawson, Bates, Pike and Jones-Hudson), and when Pike was the soloist his place is the same named group was taken by Kirkby.

Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – Sextette (in English)
Eleanor Jones-Hudson, soprano (credited as Alvena Yarrow)
Amy Augarde, mezzo-soprano
Ernest Pike, tenor
Leonard Sidney, tenor
Thorpe Bates, baritone
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone
Zonophone Grand Record X-44113
Matrix 9006e
Recorded 13th October 1908
Mozart – Don Giovanni – Give me thy hand, Oh fairest (La ci darem la mano)
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone
Eleanor Jones-Hudson, soprano (credited on label as Alvena Yarrow)

Mediafire link for Mozart – Don Giovanni – excerpts in English – Tudor Davies, Peter Dawson, Eleanor Jones-Hudson

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Zonophone X-44130
Matrix 10142e (X-44130-IV)
Recorded 19th May 1909
Bizet – Carmen – Habanera; Gipsy Song

Edna Thornton,
(credited on label as Madame Violetta)
Eleanor Jones-Hudson, soprano
Ernest Pike, tenor
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone

Bizet – Carmen – Habanera – Thornton
Bizet – Carmen – Gipsy Song – Thornton

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Zonophone Celebrity Record G.O.9
Matrices 11589e, 11590e (side numbers 43205, X43207)
Recorded 14th April 1910

Plays at about 78.5rpm.

Thornton enters a beat early for the final verse of the Gipsy Song, but somehow she and the orchestra get themselves back together again after some time.

Bizet – Gems from “Carmen”
Zonophone Operatic Party
Carrie Tubb,
Violet Elliott, mezzo-soprano
Ernest Pike, tenor
Harold Wilde, tenor
Stewart Gardner, baritone
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone

Bizet – Carmen – gems – Zonophone

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Zonophone The Twin Serial A 50
Matrices z5447f, 5449f (side numbers Z-044509. Z-044510)
Recorded 15th September 1911

Plays at 75.6rpm

Moss – The Floral Dance
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone, with Kennedy Russell, piano

Mediafire link for Floral Dance and Lute Player recordings

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice C 441
Matrix z 6557f (single-side number 02426)
Recorded 10th September 1912, 81rpm in Db major

This recording was coupled with the following:
Slaughter – The Dear Homeland
Thorpe Bates, baritone with anonymous pianist
Matrix Ai 6268f (single-side number 02394)
Recorded 13th May 1912, 81rpm in Eb major

Moss – The Floral Dance
Allitsen – The Lute Player
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone
Gerald Moore, piano
His Master’s Voice C 1313
Matrices Cc 8106-X, Cc 8101-VA (single-side numbers 2-02207, 2-02208)
Recorded 14th January 1927, 78rpm in Db major and C minor respectively

Leave a Reply