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Pearly kings and queens--a bit off topic
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Author:  jboger [ Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Pearly kings and queens--a bit off topic

I'm hoping to snare someone's attention with that subject line. I don't really have a 78 record or cylinder question, just trying to find an answer to a question I've had for sometime. I just spent the better part of an hour trying to answer it without luck. The closest I came to finding what I'm looking for were pictures of pearly kings and queens, who were /are generally not musicians.

So let me back up. I have occasionally seen in older British films (1930-40s, say) street musicians dressed a distinctive way, with studs that outline their lapels and pockets and so forth--something like the pearly kings. But the pearly kings and queens are way over the top compared to what I've seen in the pictures. The Disney film Mary Poppins has a scene in which Julie Andrews sings with animated musicians dressed in this manner. So they seem to be an identifiable group, musicians who dressed a certain way.

Who are these musicians? Where did they come from? And when were they active? I would genuinely appreciate any help with this, just not sure where or whom to ask. Perhaps someone in the UK might know what I refer to.

I would supply a picture had I one, but had I one I probably would have my answer and not make this post. Given the broad experience to found in the Forum, I am hopeful for an answer.


Author:  OrthoFan [ Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pearly kings and queens--a bit off topic

This specifically mentions the band in "Mary Poppins" -- ... /pearlies/

From what I can tell, the pearly bands were all a part of the overall Pearlies movement/culture "founded" by Henry Croft --

Here's one group performing today:

Capture.JPG [ 104.64 KiB | Viewed 430 times ]



Author:  De Soto Frank [ Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pearly kings and queens--a bit off topic

"Pearlies" are also mentioned in the British musical-comedy, "Me and My Girl", originally staged in the late 1930's, a starring vehicle for the English Music Hall performer, Lupino Lane (believe there was a film too?), and it had a revival in the late 1980's.

British actor / comedian Steven Fry worked on the book revisions for the revival.

A major element of the plot conceit is that the lead character, a "pearly" from Lambeth, is heir to a minor title and land in the country. The starchy relations and hangers-on are appalled. Hilarity ensues.

Usual "Fish-out-of water / topsy-turvy" sort of show.

A hit song came out of the show ( or was incorporated into it), "the Lambeth Walk".


Author:  jboger [ Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pearly kings and queens--a bit off topic

Thank you very much, both of you. I

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