"Crooning Is Tough Work" featured image


Elsie Carlisle recorded “Joseph, Joseph” and “Change Partners” in November, 1938, and then had to stop work entirely for many weeks due to ill health. While her malady is unknown, her absence was noticed, with the Daily Mail describing her has having been “seriously ill”:

Elsie Carlisle Out of Danger
Elsie Carlisle Out of Danger

A week earlier, the Gloucestershire Echo had described her condition as “critical.” Whatever the affliction, Elsie did recover, and she went back to recording, broadcasting, and performing publicly in February. In an interview with a reporter, she attributed the causes of her illness to the stress of her professional obligations.

From the Newcastle [New South Wales, Australia] Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Tuesday, February 21, 1939:


Elsie Carlisle Tells of Trials

LONDON, February 5.

Elsie Carlisle, most famous crooner in Britain, told the “Sunday Chronicle” yesterday how the strenuous life of a singer had brought about her critical illness. Before she gives a 12-minute broadcast, it has to be rehearsed for 12 hours.

A crooner’s life is spent rushing from place to place, from publishers to agents, from agents to the B.B.C., and then back again. Not long ago Miss Carlisle appeared in a nightly show in Hull, after which she caught the train back to London to give a commercial broadcast in the morning. She travelled back to Hull on the same day for her performance at night.

“To find programmes for the broadcast,” Miss Carlisle said, “I first have to go to publishers and song writers to pick out the songs. Having made the final selection, I rehearse first with my pianist, and then with the band. Then we are all set for the broadcast.

“Knowing that you are broadcasting to millions of people makes you very nervous. It’s tough work, and the tension is terrific, but I love it. I am off for a holiday now, but I shall be working again in a month.”

"'CROONING IS TOUGH WORK' - Elsie Carlisle Tells of Trials"
“‘CROONING IS TOUGH WORK’ – Elsie Carlisle Tells of Trials”

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"The Idol of the Radio." British dance band singer of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.