Elsie Carlisle’s First Radio Broadcast (1926)

Eighty-eight years ago this very moment Elsie Carlisle made her first radio broadcast. Richard J. Johnson, in his biography in “Memory Lane” (Issue 175), relates

“[Elsie Carlisle’s] first ever broadcast on Radio was from 2.L.O on 1st March 1926 at 9:05pm to 10:00pm. With her on this auspicious day were the London Radio Dance Band conducted by Sidney Firman and Billy Mason (vocalist/piano). Elsie’s portion in the show started at 9:36pm with ‘Oh Boy! What A Girl,’ ‘I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight’ and ‘No Man’s Mama.’ The spot lasted six minutes but she returned later to sing ‘Then I’ll Be Happy’ and ‘Give Me Just A Little Bit Of Your Love.'”

Elsie Carlisle Postcard
The reverse of this postcard mentions Ambrose, so it can be no earlier than 1932, but the original photograph of which it is a tinted version was taken around 1926.

2 thoughts on “Elsie Carlisle’s First Radio Broadcast (1926)”

  1. I wonder about Elsie’s first radio broadcast being so precise. Was it recorded? If so, it could be wonderful to hear just how this great girl sounded, so early in her carreer! What a remarkable artist she is.

  2. Erik,

    Here I am relying on Richard Johnson’s research; I suspect that he is working from some sort of schedule in a newspaper. Actually, you’ve made me very curious, and I will look into confirming these details.

    Yes, I would give anything to hear that first broadcast! Of course, Elsie was just beginning her career as a “Radio Idol,” but she had been a fixture of the London stage for at least seven years and was very accomplished in musical comedy. She was always on and off the stage, even after she stopped making records in 1942; what’s more, she appeared frequently on television, even as early as 1930. If you’ve never seen what British television looked like in the early 1930s, take a look at this surviving broadcast of Betty Bolton (who had been on stage with Elsie): 30-line TV Video Recording of Betty Bolton in the 1930s. A bit frightening, really!


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