Letter dated 23 November 1909
from Fred Godfrey assigning the
rights of My Girl From London
Town to Billy Williams.
had already recorded the song for several labels when this letter was written..
Fred Godfrey & Billy Williams — London: Francis, Day &
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Evidently, the Swanee was a well-known body of exotica years before Irving Caesar and George Gershwin paddled its waters.
Billy Williams recorded at least four versions of this popular number:
4 March 1909 for Homophon, ca. August 1909 for Edison Bell Winner,
ca. October 1909 for Edison Amberol, and ca. March 1910
for Pathé. Reissues appeared on a large number
of other labels.1
Charles Denton (John Bull B31, ca. 1913)
1 For comprehensive discographies of recordings by Billy Williams, see Brian Rust, British Music Hall on Record (Harrow, UK:
Gramophone, 1979); and Frank Andrews and Ernie Bayly, Billy Williams’ Records: A Study in Discography (Bournemouth, UK:
Talking Machine Review, 1982).