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Gertie Gitana

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Category: Music Hall
Reference No: 10564
Status: Available
Price: £30.00
  Gertie Gitana

click on the small image to see a larger version


Great British music hall star; real name Gertrude Astbury.

Gitana was a member of Tomlinson's 'Royal Gipsy Children' at the age of four (she took the name of “Gitana” because it is Spanish for “Gipsy”). After making her solo professional debut in 1896 at the age of eight on the stage of The Tivoli in Barrow-in-Furness, she made her first London appearance was in 1900.

At the age of 17, she topped the bill for the first time at The Ardwick Empire at Manchester and Gertie Gitana had arrived. In her prime she was reputed to have earned in excess of £100 per week and her name was always sufficient to ensure a full house.

Her music hall repertoire was huge but she was most famous for the song “Nellie Dean”, which an audience first heard her sing in 1907. "Nellie Dean" was an instant success and became her signature tune. During the 1914–18 war she was the Forces' sweetheart and often entertained the war-wounded in hospitals.

After the war, she appeared in pantomime, notably as Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. She also appeared in a Royal Command Performance.

Gitana retired in 1938 but made a very successful comeback ten years later with other 'old timers' in the show Thanks for the Memory produced by her husband, Don Ross. Her final appearance was on 2 December 1950 at The Empress Theatre, Brixton.

This is a very pretty vintage glossy black and photograph (9.5" x 7.25") by the great Murray Korman of New York. There's a very fine signature in blue fountain pen ink across a clear area of the image.The borders have been trimmed, but the job has been neatly done and overall condition is very good indeed. SCARCE in this size.