Hullo, Tango! and Popular Music of 1914

Costume design for Ethel Levy in Hello Tango by L. Bakst

Costume design for Ethel Levy in Hello Tango by L. Bakst

Perhaps the theatre community of 1914 possessed a bit of clairvoyance, for the rise of musical revues over the past two years was a harbinger for the type of glittering, American-style entertainment the Edwardians would seek during the darkest days of WWI. Hullo, Tango! followed the popular revue Hello, Ragtime! in late 1913, and broke box office records. These revues were very popular because of their large casts, glamorous sets, fantastic costumes (the costumes for Hullo, Tango! were designed by Leon Bakst), and the latest ragtime music and dances.

The revue devised by Max Pemberton and Albert de Courville. Music by Louis Hirsch; Lyrics by George Arthurs. Additional songs by Maurice Abrahams, Grant Clarke and Edgar Leslie

Cast included: Frank Carter, Isabell d’Armond, Teddie Gerard, Morris Harvey, Shirley Kellogg, Gerald Kirby, Ethel Levey, Violet Loraine, Eric Roper, Harry Tate [SOURCE]

Below is a sample of some of the songs of the revue, which also became smash records (this was, after all, the age of the gramophone too!).

Preparing for Travel to 1900s Europe

Cie. Gle. Transatlantique, C.1910, Ernest Louis Lessieux

In going from America to Europe, the first and most costly step is always the ocean journey. A note to the different steamship companies, whose boats sail from all the great Atlantic seaports, will bring by return mail an immense amount of literature, wherein the advantages of each particular route are fully set forth, with accommodations and rates suited to all tastes and purses. The second class in some ships is fully equal to the first of others, and there are a few lines which carry only one or two classes.

For “tramp tourists” of the male sex, steerage may be possible at a pinch, but where ladies are concerned, the first or second class cabins alone can enter into consideration. In choosing a cabin, individual idiosyncrasies and tastes must be studied to insure as much comfort as possible. Midship there is the least pitching motion; aft the tremor from the screws is greatest, but usually the odours from the machinery and kitchen are more remote. Outside cabins are more desirable only if the portholes can be opened, height above the water and weather permitting, otherwise the ventilation is exactly the same as for all other cabins, namely, through the ventilating funnels on deck.

The wash of the sea against the hull, the scrubbing of decks at dawn, and the endless tramping of promenaders immediately overhead, prove disturbing to many. Cabins adjoining corridors where there is much passage to and fro are noisy. Therefore they are undesirable to some, while others object to those that are difficult of access from the deck or saloon.

It is always well, if there is any prospect of your crossing during the “rush season” (i. e. outward bound May 1 to July 15, homeward bound August 15 to October 15), to secure the refusal of your cabin by a deposit which will be returned to you, under certain stipulated conditions, in case you find you cannot sail. These conditions are set forth in the steamship companies’ prospectuses, with brief, useful directions about luggage, etc., which it is always well to follow carefully. However, in case the information you desire is not forthcoming, inquiry at the nearest steamship office or through some tourist agency will be sure to elicit all you wish to know.

It is always prudent to secure a round trip ticket in advance, for then you are certain of your return passage, of a cabin or berth when you want it, and you save a trifle besides.

General Tips

(1) Decide your route in such a way that your visit to any district may not be during the close season, and, at the same time, avoid the high season, unless you like crowds and are prepared to pay high-season prices.

Among districts most frequented between April and October are 7: Switzerland, north-west coast of France, Inland France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark. Between September and June: The French and Italian Rivieras, Algiers, Egypt, Sicily, Spain, North Italy, Greece, Palestine, Canaries and Madeira, and the following parts of Switzerland: Swiss-Italian lakes (spring and autumn), the Lake Léman Riviera (almost all the year), and the high mountain resorts, which have their season in mid-winter and mid-summer.

(2) Carefully select hotels at each place you intend to visit, and communicate with the manager, stating approximately the length of stay and the number of party, and asking for terms.

(3) Arrange your luggage in such a way that on arrival everything is suitable for the climate of the country. At table d’hote in Continental hotels men chiefly wear dinner jackets, and ladies high-necked bodices. For dances dress is the same as at home.

(4) Through tickets (single and return, available for a limited period) can be obtained from London to the principal continental resorts by various routes, and in some countries special facilities are offered in the way of season tickets (as in Switzerland and parts of Italy). Reliable tourist agents, like Messrs Thos. Cook and Son, Ludgate-circus, E.C., and Dr Lunn, Endsleigh-gardens, N.W., also supply tickets to and from almost any station. Sleeping car tickets should be ordered well in advance at the Sleeping Car Company’s offices, or at the offices of a reliable tourist agent.

(5) Luggage is registered from London to the principal Continental towns. It should be locked in such a way that at the request of the Customs officer it can be opened without delay. Only light articles should be carried in the railway carriage, and they should in all cases be limited to a portmanteau and travelling bag. Where possible send heavy luggage out ten days or so in advance by petite vitesse or (if wanted soon) by grande vitesse.

(6) English sovereigns and notes pass everywhere, but as Cook’s have banking departments at all their offices abroad, travellers should arrange matters with them before leaving England.

(7) Always tip before leaving hotels—not lavishly or stingily: the former injures fellow travellers, and the latter yourself.

On how to apply for rooms at Continental Hotels

(1) Always write, if possible, in French or German, or the language of the country, whatever it may be. If unable to do so, write a letter in the clearest possible English, couched in very polite terms. The curt, businesslike letter, suitable to a correspondence with an English hotel-keeper, is likely to be resented by the foreign one.

(2) Do not imagine that when you ask for rooms at a fashionable resort in the height of the season, at the lowest imaginable figure, you are conferring an inestimable favour on the hotel you propose to honour, and demand rooms to be reserved accordingly. (Hotel-keepers have shown me such letters from Englishmen.) It is better to ask the proprietor to be good enough to let you know whether he has room, and can see his way to accept the terms you propose, in consideration of length of stay, number of guests, &c.

(3) It is also as well, if he does accept your terms, to ask him to kindly state the position of the rooms he proposes to give you, the aspect, which floor, and whether they are quiet, &c. You will not then be disappointed by finding that you are given a top-floor room looking on to a stable or a blank wall, when you have arrived in the full confidence of finding your rooms on the first floor, with a. view of the sea, or the Alps, at a cost of l0 fr. a day tout compris (when other people are hopelessly offering 25 fr. a day for permission to sleep in a bathroom).

(4) Keep a small supply of unused foreign stamps, and inclose one for reply to your letters.

(5) It is as well to remember that the foreign hotel-keeper takes a somewhat higher position socially than his counterpart in England, who is usually the servant of a company, and that the lady in the bureau is often his wife or daughter, and expects you to take your hat off to her when you say good morning. It is a mistake to resent as familiarity what is merely meant as friendliness and hospitality.

(6) Don’t tell the proprietor to carry your luggage up to your room. He will probably be quite willing to do it, if the porter is not there, but he has a dislike to being taken for the latter.

(7) Do not, if you have any complaint to make, march into his private office with your hat on. as if it were the smoking-room, and expect him to be delighted to see you, and eager to hear what you have to say, when he is possibly getting the weekly accounts made up. Speak to him quietly. when you see he is at liberty—an hotel-keeper has a good deal to see to—and, whatever is wrong, assume that the matter has only to be mentioned to him for him to do his best to put things right. It probably is not his personal fault if there is no water in your water jug, or if your boots have not been taken away to be cleaned, and he may even know nothing of the occurrence.

(8) If you do not like the performance of melodious musicians, who are permitted to come and play outside the dining-room during dinner, try to refrain from giving orders to the head waiter that he is to drive them away. Other guests may not find them disagreeable.

(9) If the windows require opening or closing during table d’h6te, it is thought more considerate by your “foreign ” neighbours (who are possibly natives) if you consult them first as to what they think of the state of the atmosphere, before commanding alterations. It confuses the waiters if‘ they get contradictory orders in divers tongues, and delays the dinner.

(10) Bow to your foreign neighbours on taking your seat next them, and on leaving the table, however much you dislike the look of them. They are scarcely ever as bad as they look (even Germans), and if they are it is, after all, the usual thing to do.

How to Prepare for Europe by Hélène Adeline Guerber & The “Queen” Newspaper Book of Travel: A Guide to Home and Foreign Resorts

Viscount Hayashi at the Japanese Legation in London

Count Hayashi

Count Hayashi

Prior to the Entente Cordiale, which formally ended the traditional hostility between the English and the French, the first move towards ending Britain’s “splendid isolation” was the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902, which was promoted by Viscount Hayashi, the resident minister at the Japanese legation. Eventually, this alliance proved to be another tangle in the multiple tangled alliances that exploded into WWI, but for much of the 1900s and 1910s, the British and the Japanese engaged in a firm (diplomatic) friendship that brought the Japanese residing in England to the fore. The Japan-British Exhibition of 1910 was another attempt to form an even stronger bond with Japan and showcase Japanese culture to Britons. In December 1905, Viscount Hayashi became the first Japanese ambassador to St. James’s when the legation was upgraded to an embassy. The following article was published when he was still resident minister (a post he held from 1900-1905; he was ambassador from 1905-1906).

If there is one figure that is in the public eye of London Society at present, it is that of Viscount Hayashi, the Minister of Japan to the Court of St. James. For many months past, ever since the first rumour of impending war between Japan and Russia startled the Western world, the Japanese Legation at No. 4, Grosvenor Gardens, has been thronged by visitors, and all the signs of a Society siege have been here daily visible. But only a few of the many people who have desired an audience of the Viscount have succeeded in obtaining one. Soldiers and sailors, diplomats and politicians have elbowed one another in the waiting-room of the Legation. But no one who does not come on pressing business connected with the war can gain admittance to the sanctuary of the Minister, who has been working day and night deciphering telegrams, writing despatches, and interviewing those who guide the diplomacy of the British Empire.

The furniture of the reception-room consists of a Chesterfield sofa, settees, stand-lamps, and the ordinary ornaments of an English drawing-room. There are not wanting the inevitable photographs in silver frames, and two of these contain portraits of King Edward and Queen Alexandra. Some of the photographs have been taken by Viscount Hayashi himself, for he is an enthusiastic and excellent photographer. In addition to the comfortable modern furniture, there are several kinds of Japanese cabinets filled with carved Nutsukes and objets d’art of all kinds, and fine specimens of Japanese embroidery, carving, and lacquer – work. A striking feature in the room is a wonderfully realistic picture of Fuji, Japan’s famous mountain, which, upon close inspection, is discerned to be not a painting at all, but an exquisite production of needlework on velvet, a masterpiece of industry and artistic feeling.

The Viscount belongs to the Samurai class, with whom we are familiar in the play of The Darling of the Gods at His Majesty’s Theatre. The Samurai were the old feudal nobility, who carried two-handed swords and revolted against the new regime instituted by the present Mikado. When the Civil War broke out the present Japanese Minister was a schoolboy at King’s College, London, and was recalled to fight for the Shogun against the Mikado. The Mikado, being a wise man, made friends with those of his subjects who had taken up arms against him when the Civil War came to an end. And the Viscount, now a young man, entered the diplomatic service, and shortly afterwards was appointed to the Governorship of Kobe, and from that day his rise was rapid.

The Viscount’s favourite recreation, after official day’s work is over, is to stroll through Kensington Gardens, where he usually chooses the less-frequented paths, and to sit for an hour or two under the trees. A keen student, he is never so happy as when he has mastered the contents of some new work, and it is probably due to his omnivorous reading that he has acquired such a wide knowledge of men and things—a quality which has had a notable influence on the success of his career.

In spite, however, of their devotion to English customs, both the Viscount and Viscountess have a Japanese corner in their lives. One evening in the week the Minister entertains his staff and a few Japanese friends to a genuine Japanese dinner, cooked and served as it would be in the land of the chrysanthemum. To this native banquet no English guests are ever invited. Viscountess Hayashi (née Misao Gamo) has her native entertainment, which takes the form of a tea-party given at stated intervals to the limited circle of Japanese ladies living in London. Indian tea, taken in the barbarous fashion, as they consider it, with milk and sugar, is tabooed, and real Japanese tea, in tiny porcelain cups, pale and fragrant, and without milk or sugar, is served to the guests, supplemented by dainty Japanese sweetmeats and dishes. To this party come the wives of the members of the Legation and their daughters and one or two others, but there are rarely more than a dozen Japanese ladies living in London—so that her ladyship’s native entertainment can only be done on a small scale; yet it is much appreciated, all the same.

Countess Hayashi and granddaughter

Countess Hayashi and granddaughter

Like most Japanese ladies of the upper class, Viscountess Hayashi is a most expert needlewoman, and can show some most beautiful specimens of her handiwork to anyone interested in the fascinating art. She finds English difficult to speak, but converses fluently in French, which is, of course, sufficient to carry her through the social campaign of any European capital, allied as her linguistic talent is to a charming manner and a natural gift for entertaining her friends. She is a typical Japanese mother, very kind but rather strict. Her son is now twenty-five years old, and has spent most of his life in England. At present he is studying electricity at University College. The Viscountess is not only a great reader, but also a close student of current events.

Viscount Hayashi and his accomplished wife, who is, by the way, a member of one of the most aristocratic families in Japan, were often to be met in great London houses, and frequently gave dinner parties. They are both fond of the theatre, and were much interested in Mr. Beerbohm Tree’s Japanese play, The Darling of the Gods. The Viscount is also a most skilful draughtsman and artist, and, among his other accomplishments, possesses more than an amateur’s knowledge of science and the technicalities of engineering. If it had not been for the war he would doubtless have been a listener at the fiscal debates in the House of Commons, for he is a serious student of political economy, and has translated several important works on this subject into his own tongue.

Under these grey leaden skies, with the ceaseless rain beating against his windowpanes, the Viscount sometimes confesses to a slight feeling of home-sickness. But he cheerfully adds that, in spite of our climate, there is no other city in the world in which he would rather live after Tokio. He likes to talk of Japan as the England of the East, carrying the banner of civilisation hand in hand with the England of the West; and nothing pleases him so much as to know that his English friends regard Japan as “the light of Asia.”

The Lady’s Realm

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