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W. B. Squire

revised by Nicholas Salwey

Abell, John (b. 1653, d. in or after 1716), singer and composer, was born in Aberdeenshire and was admitted as a 'gentleman of his majesty's chapel extraordinary' on 1 May 1679, about which time he is listed among the musicians of the king's private music, as singer, lutenist, and violinist. ...

Article

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Abrams, Harriett (c. 1758–1821), singer and composer, was, according to her niece's husband, Thomas Adolphus Trollope, the daughter of a man who came to England 'in the suite of some Hanoverian minister, in what capacity I never heard' (Trollope, 151). She was described by ...

Article

Aitken, Laurel [real name Oliver Anthony Stephens] (1925–2005), singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born on 22 April 1925, in Jamaica, one of six children of a Jamaican father and a Cuban mother. His early years were spent in Havana, Cuba, but the family moved to ...

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See Alcock, John

Article

Aldridge, Amanda Christina Elizabeth [pseud. Montague Ring] (1866–1956), singer and composer, was born on 10 March 1866 at Luranah Villa, Hamlet Road, Penge, Surrey, the second of three daughters and third of four children of Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807?–1867), the distinguished African-American tragedian, and his second wife, Swedish opera singer ...

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See Arne family

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Thomas Augustine Arne (1710–1778) by William Humphrey, pubd 1778 (after Robert Dunkarton, c. 1770) © Copyright The British Museum

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Arne, Thomas Augustine (1710–1778), composer and musical performer, was born in King Street, Covent Garden, London, on 12 March 1710, the son of Thomas Arne (bap. 1682, d. 1736) [see under Arne family], upholsterer and undertaker, and his second wife, Anne, ...

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Ayers, Kevin Cawley (1944–2013), singer, musician, and composer, was born on 16 August 1944 at St Edward's Nursing Home in Herne Bay, Kent, the son of Rowan Gordon Ayers (1922–2008), then a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, later a BBC executive, and his wife, ...

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Ayrton, Edmund (1734–1808), composer and musician, was born on 21 October 1734 at Ripon, Yorkshire, the third of the four surviving children of Edward Ayrton (1698–1774), alderman and later mayor and magistrate of the borough of Ripon, and his wife, Catherine (1701?–1781), daughter of ...

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Bevin, Elway (c. 1554–1638), composer and musician, was probably born in Wells, Somerset, though his family may have been Welsh; the claim for his Welsh origins is made by Anthony Wood (Bodl. Oxf., MS Wood D.19(4)). Nor is it known when or where ...

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Blow, John (1648?–1708), musician and composer, was baptized at St Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, on 23 February 1649. The record of his doctorate at Lambeth Palace confirms the identification; the age on his marriage allegation suggests that he was born in 1648. He was the second of three children of ...

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John Blow (1648?–1708) by Robert White, pubd 1700 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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See Bremner [Brymer], Robert

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Brown, Errol Ainsworth Glenstor (1943–2015), by Fin Costello, 1978

© Getty Images

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Brown, Errol Ainsworth Glenstor (1943–2015), singer and songwriter, was born on 12 November 1943 in Kingston, Jamaica. The result of a teenage pregnancy, he barely knew his police officer father, Ivan Brown, from whom his mother Edna (d. 1963), a secretary, had become estranged shortly after his birth. Desperate to rescue her son from a cultural backdrop of poverty and gang violence, ...

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Browne, George Edric (1920–2007), singer, songwriter, and actor, was born Edric Browne on 4 May 1920 in Corbeau Town, Port of Spain, Trinidad, the only son and youngest of three children of Ernest Browne, a government printer, and his wife, Frances, née Noriega...

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George Edric Browne (1920–2007) by V. Wilmer, 2005 © Val Wilmer

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Church, John (1674/5–1741), singer and composer, is said to have been born at Windsor, though this is unconfirmed. According to Thomas Ford he was a chorister at St John's College, Oxford, and by April 1695 he was in London, singing both tenor and countertenor roles at the ...

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Charles Coborn (1852–1945) by unknown photographer [in costume for the Monte Carlo song] Mander & Mitchenson Theatre Collection