Mark Sheridan (1867–1918)
A legend of the British Music Hall, comic singer Mark Sheridan, whose real name was Fred Shaw, was born in County Durham, although everyone thought he was a Cockney.1 His trademark silly costume featured bell-bottom trousers, pot hat, and umbrella. Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope describes Sheridan as “true music hall, gusto, vim and vigour personified.”2 Peter Gammond says: “He had a line in coy humour, some excellent songs..., and a good, resounding voice to sing them with. He was a great one for having a go at the audience, getting them to insult him and then giving them twice as good as he got. Perhaps the ridiculous garb...was subconsciously intended to invite comment. It did the trick.”3
Sheridan is associated particularly with the great hits I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside (1909); One Of The B’hoys (a catchphrase of 1910); By The Sea (By The Side Of The Silvery Sea) (1910); Who Were You With Last Night? (Regal G-6506, Columbia-Rena 2066), which Fred Godfrey managed to sell to him in 1912; Belgium Put The Kibosh On The Kaiser, a prematurely hopeful sentiment of 1914; and Here We Are! Here We Are! Here We Are Again! (1914). He suffered a nervous breakdown, supposedly brought on by declining popularity, and shot himself in a Glasgow park.
In addition to Who Were You With Last Night?, Mark Sheridan also recorded the following Fred Godfrey songs:
In The Days That Are Coming By-And-By (The Budget Song) (Jumbo 430, Coliseum 504, 1909)
Colonel K-Nut (Jumbo 598, 1913; Marathon 407, The Winner 2487, Pathé 8878, Diamond 077, 1913)
The World Turned Upside Down (Columbia-Rena 2110, 1913)
1 G.J. Mellor, The Northern Music Hall (Newcastle-upon-Tyne:
Frank Graham, 1970), p. 89.