Peter Dawson

Real Name:
Peter Smith Dawson
Profile:
Australian bass-baritone and songwriter, born 31 January 1882 in Adelaide, Australia and died 27 September 1961 in Sydney, Australia.

From Australian Dictionary of Biography:
"Peter Smith Dawson (1882-1961), singer, was born on 31 January 1882 in Adelaide, youngest of nine children of Thomas Dawson, ironworker and plumber, and his wife Alison, née Miller. Peter attended the East Adelaide Primary School and Pulteney Street Grammar School, and was then apprenticed to his father. His parents encouraged his appreciation of music, and when 8 he sang as a boy soprano at a social at the College Park Congregational Church, St Peters, and was later in the St Andrew's Presbyterian Church choir. When 17 he began taking singing lessons from C. J. Stevens and sang at concerts with the Adelaide Grand Orchestra. In 1900 he was a soloist in their performance of Handel's Messiah, was successful in several local contests, and won the bass solo section at the South Street Competitions, Ballarat, Victoria. Next year he won an amateur boxing championship.

"In 1902, encouraged by Stevens, Dawson went to London and studied with B. L. Bamford, (Sir) Charles Santley, the eminent baritone, and Professor Kantorez. His first engagement was at a church in the East End for a fee of 7s. 6d. He was soon touring in the west of England with the popular concert and opera singer Madame Albani, and singing in London at the Crystal Palace and Queen's Hall promenade concerts. On 20 May 1905 he married Annie Mortimer Noble, a soprano with the stage name of Annette George. They had no children and often toured together internationally until a serious car accident ended her public career.

"In 1908 Dawson was principal baritone at the Chappell ballad concerts. Next year he sang in The Mastersingers of Nuremberg at Covent Garden and joined Amy Castles and her company in touring Australia. Back in London he extended his repertoire from ballads and operatic arias to include German lieder and French songs. Leading reviewers of his 1911 concerts agreed that he was the finest English baritone of the day. Dawson was in Australia during World War I; in 1918 he enlisted as a private in the Australian Imperial Force, but did not serve overseas.

"For all his success as a concert singer, the gramophone record made Dawson's a household name in many countries; he was one of the first artists to have faith in the process. In 1904 he made a test record for the Edison Bell Phonograph Co., and later in the year began his fifty-year career for His Master's Voice which spanned recording techniques from the two-minute cylinder to the long-playing disc and tape. His early record labels carried such pseudonyms as Frank Danby for light songs, Will Strong for music-hall ditties, and Hector Grant for Scottish songs. For Zonophone he used the names Arthur Walpole, Charles Hardy, Walter Wentworth and Robert Woodville. For some twenty years he was on a substantial annual retainer and did not receive royalties. His eventual total was more than 13 million sales of some 3500 titles. He came to see recording as 'the dominating success of his career'.

"Dawson composed many songs under such pseudonyms as J. P. McCall, Evelyn Byrd, Peter Allison, Denton Toms, Charles Weber, Arnold Flint, Gilbert Mundy, Geoffrey Baxter and Alison Miller. He set several of Rudyard Kipling's poems to music: Boots and Route Marching were among the most popular. In 1930-31 he topped the bill in variety at the London Palladium above many famous stars; it was often said that he could have been a professional comedian.

"In 1939-47 Dawson lived in Sydney. During the war he sang for the troops and on recruiting drives in Australia and New Zealand. He had plans to retire after the war, but he claimed his tax bills were so crippling that he had to keep singing. His peak earnings between the wars had been about £14,500 a year, but he was a 'hopeless businessman'. On 7 December 1950 he sang the bass solo role in the Messiah at the Adelaide Town Hall where he had sung the same part half a century before. In 1951 he published an autobiography Fifty Years of Song. As president of the Australian Songwriters and Composers' Association in 1953 he pressed for legislation to increase the compulsory radio time for local music. That year his wife 'Nan' died after a long illness. On 29 April 1954 he married her sister Constance Bedford Noble in Sydney. They lived at Dee Why where Dawson enjoyed painting, drawing cartoons and growing roses.

"Although Dawson loved the limelight, he remained unspoiled by fame, abhorred 'swank', and was never ashamed of the tattooed wrists that recorded his boyhood 'flames'. Survived by his wife, he died on 27 September 1961 in Sydney; after a funeral at St David's Presbyterian Church, Haberfield, he was buried in Rookwood cemetery. His estate was valued for probate at £1555."

Another pseudonym may be Henry Grant (4).
Sites:
Aliases:
Variations:
[a1359915]

Artist

Albums

D 504 to D514, D 504, D 505, D 506, D 507, D 508, D 509, D 510, D 511, D 512, D 513, D 514 Peter Dawson - The Pirates Of Penzance album art Light Opera Orchestra*, George Baker (3), Peter Dawson, Violet Essex, Edward Halland, Bessie Jones (2), Derek Oldham, Robert Radford, Edna Thornton, Nellie Walker Light Opera Orchestra*, George Baker (3), Peter Dawson, Violet Essex, Edward Halland, Bessie Jones (2), Derek Oldham, Robert Radford, Edna Thornton, Nellie Walker - The Pirates Of Penzance(11xShellac, 12", Album) His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice D 504 to D514, D 504, D 505, D 506, D 507, D 508, D 509, D 510, D 511, D 512, D 513, D 514 UK 1921 Sell This Version
DLP 1180 Peter Dawson - My Life Of Song album art Peter Dawson My Life Of Song (Album, Comp) His Master's Voice DLP 1180 UK 1958 Sell This Version
GEMM 171, GEMM 172 Peter Dawson - The Pirates Of Penzance album art Gilbert & Sullivan, Elsie Griffin, Derek Oldham, Leo Sheffield, George Baker (3), Dorothy Gill, Peter Dawson Gilbert & Sullivan, Elsie Griffin, Derek Oldham, Leo Sheffield, George Baker (3), Dorothy Gill, Peter Dawson - The Pirates Of Penzance(2xLP, Album, RE) Pearl, Pearl GEMM 171, GEMM 172 UK 1979 Sell This Version
OXLP-7661, OXLP-7662, OXLP-7663, OXLP-7664, OXLP-7665, OXLP-7666, OXLP-7667, OXLP-7668, OXLP-7669, OXLP-7670 Peter Dawson - Ambassador Of Song album art Peter Dawson Ambassador Of Song(10xLP, Mono, Box) EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia, EMI Records Australia OXLP-7661, OXLP-7662, OXLP-7663, OXLP-7664, OXLP-7665, OXLP-7666, OXLP-7667, OXLP-7668, OXLP-7669, OXLP-7670 Australia 1982 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

X-42467 Peter Dawson - Goodbye Little Sister album art Peter Dawson Goodbye Little Sister(Shellac, 10", S/Sided) Zonophone Record X-42467 UK 1906 Sell This Version
X-42732 Peter Dawson - Asleep In The Deep album art George Welsh* Asleep In The Deep(Shellac, 10", S/Sided) Zonophone Record X-42732 UK 1907 Sell This Version
X-42250 Peter Dawson - Calvary album art Mr. Peter Dawson* Calvary(Shellac, 10", S/Sided) Zonophone Record X-42250 UK 1908 Sell This Version
X-44082 Peter Dawson - Saved By Grace album art Ernest Pike And Peter Dawson Ernest Pike And Peter Dawson - Saved By Grace(Shellac, 10", S/Sided, Etch) Zonophone Record X-44082 UK 1908 Sell This Version
588 Peter Dawson - Young Tom O'Devon / Glorious Devon album art Peter Dawson Young Tom O'Devon / Glorious Devon(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 588 UK 1910 Sell This Version
511 Peter Dawson - Lead, Kindly Light / Thou’rt Passing Hence album art Peter Dawson Lead, Kindly Light / Thou’rt Passing Hence(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 511 UK 1911 Sell This Version
535 Peter Dawson - I Surrender All / Christ Arose album art Madame Deering, Miss Amy Augarde* , Messrs. Ernest Pike, Peter Dawson And Ernest Clifford / Madame Deering, Miss Amy Augarde* , Messrs. Ernest Pike, Peter Dawson And William Stewart (10) Madame Deering, Miss Amy Augarde* , Messrs. Ernest Pike, Peter Dawson And Ernest Clifford / Madame Deering, Miss Amy Augarde* , Messrs. Ernest Pike, Peter Dawson And William Stewart (10) - I Surrender All / Christ Arose(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 535 UK 1911 Sell This Version
531 Peter Dawson - Hail ! Smiling Morn / Sweet And Low album art Madame Deering, Peter Dawson, Ernest Pike, William Stewart (10) / The Zonophone Glee Party Madame Deering, Peter Dawson, Ernest Pike, William Stewart (10) / The Zonophone Glee Party - Hail ! Smiling Morn / Sweet And Low(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 531 UK 1911 Sell This Version
526 Peter Dawson - The Lost Chord / Watchman, What Of The Night? album art Messr. Ernest Pike* And Messr. Peter Dawson* Messr. Ernest Pike* And Messr. Peter Dawson* - The Lost Chord / Watchman, What Of The Night? Zonophone Record 526 UK 1912 Sell This Version
743 Peter Dawson - Consider The Lilies / Song Of Angels album art Mr. Peter Dawson* / Mr. Harold Wilde* Mr. Peter Dawson* / Mr. Harold Wilde* - Consider The Lilies / Song Of Angels Zonophone Record 743 UK 1912 Sell This Version
B 318 Peter Dawson - The Blue Dragoons / Little Grey Home In The West album art Peter Dawson / Reinald Werrenrath Peter Dawson / Reinald Werrenrath - The Blue Dragoons / Little Grey Home In The West(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B 318 UK 1912 Sell This Version
1005 Peter Dawson - The Floral Dance / The Admiral's Yarn album art Mr. Peter Dawson* The Floral Dance / The Admiral's Yarn Zonophone Record 1005 UK 1913 Sell This Version
1047 Peter Dawson - Ben The Bo'sun / The Bo'sun's Lament album art Mr. Peter Dawson* Ben The Bo'sun / The Bo'sun's Lament(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1047 UK 1913 Sell This Version
1023 Peter Dawson - The Little Grey Home In The West / Sir Dare album art Peter Dawson The Little Grey Home In The West / Sir Dare(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1023 UK 1913 Sell This Version
A 107 Peter Dawson - The Bell Ringer / The Village Blacksmith album art Mr. Peter Dawson* The Bell Ringer / The Village Blacksmith(Shellac, 12") Zonophone Record A 107 UK 1913 Sell This Version
1283 Peter Dawson - Come, Sing To Me / I Want Some Loving album art Miss Bessie Jones*, Mr. Ernest Pike*, Mr. Peter Dawson* Miss Bessie Jones*, Mr. Ernest Pike*, Mr. Peter Dawson* - Come, Sing To Me / I Want Some Loving(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1283 UK 1914 Sell This Version
1794 Peter Dawson - God Send You Back To Me / A Perfect Day album art Ernest Pike And Peter Dawson Ernest Pike And Peter Dawson - God Send You Back To Me / A Perfect Day Zonophone Record 1794 UK 1917 Sell This Version
1760 Peter Dawson - Oh! Mother Asthore / There's A Big Lot Of Sunshine Coming Soon album art Mr. Peter Dawson* Oh! Mother Asthore / There's A Big Lot Of Sunshine Coming Soon(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1760 UK 1917 Sell This Version
1777 Peter Dawson - When Johnny Comes Marching Home / There's A Tavern In The Town album art Mr. Peter Dawson* When Johnny Comes Marching Home / There's A Tavern In The Town(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1777 UK 1917 Sell This Version
1791 Peter Dawson - The Blarney Roses / There's A Girl In Kildare album art Mr. Peter Dawson* The Blarney Roses / There's A Girl In Kildare(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1791 UK 1917 Sell This Version
1761 Peter Dawson - Let The Great Big World Keep Turning / That Dear Old Home Of Mine album art Mr. Ernest Pike* And Mr. Peter Dawson* Mr. Ernest Pike* And Mr. Peter Dawson* - Let The Great Big World Keep Turning / That Dear Old Home Of Mine(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1761 UK 1917 Sell This Version