Leslie Day

"The wonder voice of fourteen year old Leslie Day has made him a 'star' even when so young. He is not one of those untried, unpractised boy singers often heard, but he uses his voice with feeling and sympathy. He sang in the choir of St. Barnabas', Hackney His 'discovery' led to his introduction to the London Pavilion audiences, who clamour nightly for encores. He was introduced to wireless audiences on May 13th, proving a huge success with listeners. Hear this wonder record - so beautifully sung." ...Columbia Catalogue, June, 1933

"I hear Master Leslie Day is having a great success on the music halls. His first record of entirely unsuitable songs shows great promise. At present he is recording For you alone and I hear you calling me; and one can only hope he will come well through such experiences." ...Gramophone, June1933 (C.M. Crabtree)

leslie~2.jpg (25141 bytes)Perhaps the greatest mystery of all surrounds Master Leslie Day. Born, I believe, in 1917 in Hackney to a lady with the maiden name of Fisher, he became a chorister at S. Barnabas’, Hackney from where he was discovered and put on the stage of the Pavilion Theatre, London. According to a review, audiences clamoured nightly for encores. Aged fourteen or fifteen, Leslie Day made four records and later appeared in two films, Television Follies English, in 1933 - in which he sang Love’s old sweet song, and Musical Medley Mancunian, in 1935 (when he must have been seventeen). I have, as yet, been unable to trace copies of either film. Leslie Day’s voice is featured on volume one of The Better Land, singing 'I hear you calling me' and 'For you alone.' His voice was described as ‘very promising’ by the reviewers, but his songs as ‘quite unsuitable’. Not a trace of Master Day can be found. Where is he now?

Additional notes from "The Better Land - Volume IV

In the 1933 edition of The Gramophone, C.M. Crabtree, whose reviews were rarely less than caustic, wrote of Leslie Day: ‘He seems to have a very good voice and has apparently gone from church choir (S. Barnabas’, Hackney) to music hall at the age of fourteen.  He has a very strong sense of style. At present he is recording 'For you alone' and 'I hear you calling me' (featured on volume one of The Better Land), and one can only hope he will come well through such experiences.’

Leslie Day sang regularly at the London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus and then appeared in two films for the Mancunian Film Company.  It seems a  Miss Denville was either Day’s guardian or manager.

One modern critic has called into question the gender of Master Day, saying he had a woman’s voice.  However, we may rest assured that Columbia were in no doubt of his credentials and a photograph of a very masculine  Day (reproduced here) appeared in the June edition of The Gramophone.  An advert for his first record (featured on Volume l ) adds that ‘he was introduced to wireless audiences on 13th May 1933, proving a huge success with listeners.  Hear this wonder record, so beautifully sung.’

It is very fitting that one of our few remaining ‘lost’ boys should introduce Volume lV with a  record made in June 1933 at the age of fourteen.

 The Boys

Copyright © 2015 Boychoirs.org