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
Peter Dawson - My Life Of Song album art Peter Dawson My Life Of Song (Album) His Master's Voice UK 1958 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - Songs Of The Open Road And Songs Of The Orient album art Peter Dawson Songs Of The Open Road And Songs Of The Orient (Album) Columbia New Zealand 1970 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - The Boys Of The Old Brigade album art Peter Dawson The Boys Of The Old Brigade (Album) World Record Club Australia 1970 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - A Peter Dawson Recital album art Peter Dawson A Peter Dawson Recital World Record Club Australia 1970 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - The Floral Dance album art Peter Dawson The Floral Dance (Album, Comp) EMI, EMI UK 1978 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - The Golden Age Of Peter Dawson album art Peter Dawson The Golden Age Of Peter Dawson (Album) The Golden Age UK 1983 Sell This Version
SH 1078231 Peter Dawson - The Golden Album album art Peter Dawson The Golden Album(LP, Album) Retrospect Series SH 1078231 UK 1984 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - A Peter Dawson Recital album art Peter Dawson A Peter Dawson Recital His Master's Voice Australia Unknown Sell This Version
SH 135 Peter Dawson - Songs Of The Sea album art Peter Dawson Songs Of The Sea(LP, Album) World Record Club SH 135 UK Unknown Sell This Version
OCLP 7619 Peter Dawson - The Art Of Peter Dawson album art Peter Dawson The Art Of Peter Dawson(LP, Mono) His Master's Voice OCLP 7619 Australia Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Z-042048, Z-042049 Peter Dawson - The Bell Ringer / The Village Blacksmith album art Peter Dawson The Bell Ringer / The Village Blacksmith(Shellac, 12") Zonophone Record, Zonophone Record Z-042048, Z-042049 UK 1913 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(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1794 UK 1917 Sell This Version
B777 Peter Dawson - The Blind Ploughman / The Call album art Peter Dawson The Blind Ploughman / The Call(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B777 UK 1917 Sell This Version
1901 Peter Dawson - Lighterman Tom / The Glory Of The Sea album art Mr. Peter Dawson* Lighterman Tom / The Glory Of The Sea(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1901 UK 1918 Sell This Version
1841 Peter Dawson - Cruiskeen Lawn / D'ye Ken John Peel album art Mr. Peter Dawson* Cruiskeen Lawn / D'ye Ken John Peel(Shellac, 10") Zonophone Record 1841 UK 1918 Sell This Version
D 513 Peter Dawson - A Rollicking Band Of Pirates We / With Cat-like Tread / Hush, Hush! Not A Word / Softly Sighing To The River album art Peter Dawson, Edward Halland, George Baker (3), Derek Oldham, Rupert D'Oyly Carte Peter Dawson, Edward Halland, George Baker (3), Derek Oldham, Rupert D'Oyly Carte - A Rollicking Band Of Pirates We / With Cat-like Tread / Hush, Hush! Not A Word / Softly Sighing To The River(Shellac, 12") His Master's Voice D 513 UK 1921 Sell This Version
B 1380 Peter Dawson - The Moon Hath Raised Her Lamp Above / On To The Field Of Glory  album art Sydney Coltham And Peter Dawson Sydney Coltham And Peter Dawson - The Moon Hath Raised Her Lamp Above / On To The Field Of Glory (Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B 1380 UK 1923 Sell This Version
B 1686 Peter Dawson - Kashmiri Love Song (Pale Hands I Loved) / Till I Wake album art Peter Dawson Kashmiri Love Song (Pale Hands I Loved) / Till I Wake(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B 1686 UK 1923 Sell This Version
C 1125 Peter Dawson - Six Australian Bush Songs album art Peter Dawson Six Australian Bush Songs(Shellac, 12") His Master's Voice C 1125 UK 1923 Sell This Version
B 1750 Peter Dawson - Lovely Kind And Kindly Loving / The Arrow And The Song album art Peter Dawson Lovely Kind And Kindly Loving / The Arrow And The Song(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B 1750 UK 1924 Sell This Version
B 1815 Peter Dawson - Sons Of The Sea / The Pirate Song album art Peter Dawson Sons Of The Sea / The Pirate Song(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B 1815 UK 1924 Sell This Version
B 2139 Peter Dawson - The Fiddler Of Dooney / Molly Of Donegal album art Peter Dawson The Fiddler Of Dooney / Molly Of Donegal(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B 2139 UK 1925 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - The Gay Highway / The Vagabond album art Peter Dawson The Gay Highway / The Vagabond His Master's Voice UK 1926 Sell This Version
Peter Dawson - Kashmiri Love Song / Till I Wake album art Peter Dawson Kashmiri Love Song / Till I Wake His Master's Voice UK 1926 Sell This Version

Videos (26) Edit