George Connell Elrick

#34571, b. 29 December 1903, d. 15 December 1999

Individual's Timeline

Birth29 December 1903George Connell Elrick1
Marr RegJune 1933George Connell Elrick2
19391939George Connell Elrick
Death RegAugust 1992Alice Catherine Elrick3
Death RegDecember 1999George Connell Elrick4
Death15 December 1999George Connell Elrick

Primary events

  • Birth: George Connell Elrick was born on 29 December 1903 in Urquhart Road, Aberdeen, St Nicholas, Aberdeen, Scotland.1
  • Marr Reg: The marriage of George and Alice Catherine Edwards was registered in the quarter ended June 1933 in the Fulham registration district.2
  • (Widow) Death Reg: By the death of Alice Catherine Elrick, George Connell became a widower in the quarter ended August 1992. He was 88 years and 7 months at the time.3
  • Death Reg: George's death was registered in the quarter ended in December 1999 in the Merton registration district, aged 96. (His age calculates to 95 years and 11 months).4
  • Death: George died on 15 December 1999 in A Nursing Home, London, Greater London, England, (Aged 95 years, 11 months and 16 days, worked back from recorded birth date).

Census details

Commemoration

His death was commemorated by an obituary in the Glasgow newspapers in 1999 in The Guardian, Lanarkshire, Scotland, George Elrick

Show-business all-rounder who launched the role of disc jockey

by Glenn Mitchell - The Guardian, Friday 17 December 1999 00.52 GMT

In a long and varied showbusiness career, George Elrick, who has died aged 95, was an early disc jockey, and from 1946-67 a presenter of Housewives' Choice, BBC radio's legendary morning record request programme. In many ways, he set the pattern for today's generation of chatty, middle-of-the-road DJs; he would introduce himself with the words "This is Mrs Elrick's wee son, Georgie," and pioneered a technique of humming to the programme's signature tune (In Party Mood). He would invent lyrics for this otherwise instrumental piece, and sign off with his customary "I'll be with you all again tomorrow morning."

In his earlier career as vocalist, Elrick was associated with such popular songs as A Nice Cup of Tea In The Morning and, particularly, When You're Smiling, which earned him the soubriquet "the smiling voice of radio", and in 1948 became the title of a touring variety show based on his fame as a BBC presenter.

One of 11 children, Elrick was born in Aberdeen. His early ambitions to become a doctor were not fulfilled and his first job was at a chemical factory. He played drums in a jazz trio in the evenings, turning professional after receiving encouragement at a Melody Maker contest. He and his band won an award in the All-Scottish Dance Band Championship and became resident at the Beach ballroom, Aberdeen.

In January 1931, Elrick arrived in London to work in club venues, prior to becoming one of the Three Rhythm Brothers with the Bert Ambrose band. It was at this time that he met his future wife, Alice, then a successful model. Elrick joined Henry Hall and the BBC Dance Orchestra in 1935 as drummer and vocalist and appeared on some of Hall's commercial recordings.

During one broadcast he was twice required to sing The Music Goes Round And Round in response to a telephone request from the Prince of Wales, who had several times asked to sit in on Elrick's drum-kit during cabaret engagements. He appeared alongside the American bandleaders Louis Armstrong, Joe Venuti, Benny Carter and many others. He also recorded with the black woman trumpeter Valaida Snow, on tour from America in the Black Birds shows in the mid-1930s.

At the end of Hall's BBC contract, Elrick established his own band, under the managership of Jack Hylton. From 1937-39, they toured the variety theatres in the show Youth Must Have Its Fling. He spent the second world war touring with the forces entertainment group ENSA and, apart from his tenure on Housewives' Choice, his subsequent show-business roles included pantomime and - more famously - as manager and record producer for various artists. His most notable association was with the orchestra leader Mantovani, for whom he arranged three world and 15 American tours.

Elrick was also a prolific composer of songs - among them Everybody Wants To Be Loved, I Wouldn't Be Blue and Montego Bay - sometimes under pseudonyms. He earned a number of gold and platinum discs, was president of the Entertainment Agents' Association and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

A member of the Grand Order of Water Rats (King Rat for 1954 and 1973), he was also an honorary life member of the Variety Club of Great Britain, for whom he co-produced and narrated the music-hall compilation LP Hail Variety.

Elrick's wife died in 1992 and his son in 1954. He is survived by two sisters.

•: George Elrick, musician, disc jockey and singer, born December 29 1903; died December 15 1999.

Voter Enrolements

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: George Elrick - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    George Elrick (December 29, 1903 - December 15, 1999), was a British musician, impresario and radio presenter, known as 'The Smiling Voice of Radio' and probably best known for presenting the popular record request show Housewives' Choice during the 1950s and 1960s.

    George Elrick was born in Aberdeen in 1903. His first ambition was to be a doctor but financial constraints prevented this. Still in his teens, he began playing drums for local dance bands and by 1928 had formed his own band, the Embassy Band, which swept the prizes in the All-Scottish Dance Band Championship that year. Elrick turned professional and moved to London where he became friends with the crooner Al Bowlly, and began singing himself. He joined the Henry Hall Orchestra as a vocalist and drummer and their 1936 recording of The Music goes Round and Round made Elrick a star. In 1937, he left Hall to form his own band, and in 1939 began a solo career, which was moderately successful through the years of World War II.

    In 1948, he took a touring revue round Britain, and was asked by the BBC to stand in for two weeks as disc-jockey on the morning record request show Housewives' Choice. The 'temporary' job lasted almost twenty years, as Elrick's Scottish accent and liberal use of catchphrases became highly popular. Memorably, he would sign off each show by singing the words 'I'll be with you all again tomorrow morning' to the (wordless) theme tune, and noting 'This is Mrs Elrick's wee son George saying thanks for your company - and cheerio!'.

    In later years he became something of an impresario and acted as an agent for numerous musicians such as Mantovani.

    He was married with one son. He published an autoboigraphy, Housewives' Choice - The George Elrick Story.


    .
  • Research note 02: There is a Pathe news clip featuring George and his swing band from 1941 - http://www.britishpathe.com/video/george-elrick-1.

Child of George Connell Elrick and Alice Catherine Edwards

Citations

  1. Certificate or Original Parish Reg Entry, Extract from original records, Saved.
  2. Find my past web sites, online http://www.findmypast.com or http://www.findmypast.com.au, Civil Registration event: Marriage
    MarriageFinder™: George C Elrick married Alice C Edwards Help
    Name:      ELRICK, George C
    Registration District: Help      Fulham
    County:      London
    Year of Registration:      1933
    Quarter of Registration:      Apr-May-Jun
    Spouse's last name:      Edwards
    Volume No: Help      1A
    Page No: Help      812

    Name:      EDWARDS, Alice C
    Registration District:      Fulham
    County:      London
    Year of Registration:      1933
    Quarter of Registration:      Apr-May-Jun
    Spouse's last name:      Elrick
    Volume No:      1A
    Page No:      812.
  3. Website Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) "England & Wales, Death Index: 1916-2005 about Alice Catherine Elrick
    Name:      Alice Catherine Elrick
    Birth Date:      8 Oct 1910
    Date of Registration:      Aug 1992
    Age at Death:      81
    Registration district:      Surrey South-eastern
    Inferred County:      Surrey
    Volume:      17
    Page:      941."
  4. Website Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) "Name:      George Connell Elrick
    Birth Date:      29 Dec 1903
    Date of Registration:      Dec 1999
    Age at Death:      96
    Registration district:      Merton
    Inferred County:      Surrey
    Register number:      B42
    District and Subdistrict:      2441
    Entry number:      192."
  5. Website Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) "London, England, Electoral Registers, 1835-1965 about George Connell Elrick
    Name:      George Connell Elrick
    Electoral Year:      1937
    County or Borough:      Hounslow
    Parliamentary Division:      Brentford and Chiswick."
  6. Website Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) "London, England, Electoral Registers, 1835-1965 about George E Elrick
    Name:      George E Elrick
    Electoral Year:      1949
    County or Borough:      Kensington and Chelsea
    Parliamentary Division:      Kensington."
  7. Website Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) "London, England, Electoral Registers, 1835-1965 about George C Elrick
    Name:      George C Elrick
    Electoral Year:      1960
    County or Borough:      Kensington and Chelsea
    Parliamentary Division:      Kensington South."