Where are they now?
The search goes on... Can you help in locating information about the 'lost boys' of The Better Land?
Stephen Beet, the producer of The Better Land series has, with the help of many people, traced the majority of the great boy sopranos of the 20th Century.
Mr Beet is planning a book about these 'lost boys' and how he was able to trace them. This book will focus on the social and human stories and will not compete with another, more academic, volume planned by another author, with whom Mr Beet is co-operating. He has offered to provide a few preview notes and details of his researches, which will be included shortly.
Several boys still remain to be traced and as time goes on the task becomes more urgent.
Leslie Day - Perhaps the greatest mystery of all surrounds Master Leslie Day. Born, Mr Beet believes, 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. His manager appears to have been Lilly Denville. 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). Mr Beet has, as yet, been unable to trace copies of either film.
Raymond Kinsey & Gordon Carter - The other two boys in the great Manchester triumvirate of soloists were Gordon Carter (featured in O for the wings of a dove on volume one) and Raymond Kinsey. Little is known of either boy other than that they were trained, as Bonner was, by Mr. A. W. Wilson, who was appointed by Dean Johnson to rejuvenate the choir.
Michael Morley - It is remarkable that we can find no details of Michael Morley, the first boy to record on LP for Decca. Morley is one of the later boys featured on The Better Land, having made his records in the early 1950s.
Trevor Schofield - Nothing at all is known about this boy who had a most remarkable voice.
Stephen Beet would be grateful for any leads. Please forward any information about these boys to Mr Beet at this address:
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This page was last modified on 03 April 2014