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Leader :: Tom Field    Conductor :: Maurice Powell  Patron:: Charles Guard

Harry Wood, known as ‘Manxland’s King of Music’, was the most important musical director to have lived and worked on the Isle of Man and his career takes us through more than fifty years of the Island’s vibrant entertainment history. He was at the centre of Manx musical entertainment and conducted for many of the great variety artistes such as Marie Lloyd, Vesta Tilley, the young Harry Lauder, Little Tich, Wilkie Bard and the irrepressible Florrie Forde. He conducted for many of the great concert artistes as well such as Clara Butt, Emma Albani, John McCormack, Paul Robeson and Fritz Kreisler.

From the 1880s until the 1930s the Isle of Man was the premier holiday resort of choice for thousands of visitors from the northern industrial towns, the midlands and Scotland. In terms of the variety and excellence of the entertainments on offer, the Island consistently punched above its weight. Douglas became known as ‘the home of popular song’, and the latest dance crazes were introduced at the great entertainment venues of the Falcon Cliff, the Palace, the Derby Castle, the Marina Pavilion and the Villa Marina.

What emerges from this fascinating book is a detailed portrait of what it was like to be a holiday maker on the Island during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and those now distant, colourful and hectic summer seasons during the racy nineteen twenties and thirties, when even the increasing threat of war failed to diminish the holiday experience for thousands of visitors to ‘Pleasure Island’.

MANXLAND’S KING OF MUSIC The life of Harry Wood is available from available from all museum shops, plus Lexicon in Douglas and Bridge Book Shops in Port Erin and Ramsey.

Price £16.00

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The Life and times of

Harry Wood