b
    You are here: The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive > British Musical Theatre > Composers > Frank E. Tours

   
British Musical Theatre   Bantok

Frank Edward Tours was born in London, 1 September 1877. He died in Los Angeles, 2 February 1963. He was a conductor, arranger, orchestrator and sometime composer to the musical stage on both sides of the Atlantic.

The son of the well-known conductor, composer and arranger Berthold Tours, Frank Tours studied music at the Royal College of Music in London and was employed thereafter, for many years, as a theatre conductor. At the age of 21 he was musical director for Marie Lloyd's tour of Granville Bantock's musical comedy The ABC, and over the next 20 years he conducted shows in a series of London theatres (Lady Madcap, The Little Cherub, The Gay Cordons, The Dashing Little Duke, Captain Kidd, Irene et al) and, latterly and increasingly, in American houses (The Kiss Waltz, Tonight's the Night, Follow Me, Irene, Love o' Mike, Rock-a-Bye Baby, The Lady in Red, Mecca, several editions of the Ziegfeld Follies, Smiles, Face the Music, As Thousands Cheer, Jubilee, the Music Box Revues, Red, Hot and Blue etc). He was also, for a period, musical director at the Plaza picture theatre in London.

As a composer, he made an early attempt at comic opera with a musical version of The Lady of Lyons, but he was best known as an adept at the additional number, composing songs or part-scores for such pieces as Mr Wix of Wickham, The Dairymaids, The Little Cherub, See See, The New Aladdin, Broadway's semi-British The Hoyden, and The Gay Gordons. He turned down the opportunity to write the full score for the last-named piece, but he did write the whole music for Seymour Hicks's subsequent The Dashing Little Duke, only to find it perforated with Jerome Kern numbers in the course of the run. After the limited success of this piece, he returned to composing piece-work and wrote individual songs for a number of further shows, including Mr. Manhattan (1916), Follow Me (1916), Mayflowers (1925) and Blue Eyes (1928) as well as for the music halls (Beyond the Sunset', 'Red Rose', 'In Flanders Fields'). His only other full score was that for the musical comedy Girl o' Aline (including a song 'Silver Lining'), produced by Elisabeth Marbury and the Shuberts for 48 performances in 1918 and then taken around America as The Victory Girl. He later adapted the British adaptation of Walzer aus Men for Broadway and spent six years working for Paramount Pictures in Britain and in America.

In spite of his long period as a contributor to the musical stage, Tours's most successful single song was not a show number but his setting of Rudyard Kipling's 'Mother o' Mine' as performed by Richard Crooks et al.

1901 Melnotte, or The Gardener's Bride (Arthur Anderson/ Herbert Shelley) Coronet Theater 30 September

1902 Mr Wix of Wickham (w Frank Seddon, George Everard, Herbert Darnley/Darnley) Borough Theatre, Stratford East 21 July

1906 The Dairymaids (w Paul Rubens/Rubens, Arthur Wimperis/Alexander M Thompson, Robert Courtneidge) Apollo Theatre 14 April

1907 The Hoyden (w Rubens/Tristan Bernard ad Cosmo Hamilton) Knickerbocker Theater, New York 19 October

1909 The Dashing Little Duke (Adrian Ross/Seymour Hicks) Hicks Theatre 17 February

1910 Little Johnnie Jones (Preston Wayne/H M Vernon) 1 act Tottenham Palace 9 May

1911 La Belle Paree (w Jerome Kern/Edward Madden/Edgar Smith) Winter Garden, New York 20 March

1912 O-Mi-Iy (w Herman Finck/Hicks) 1 act London Hippodrome 25 March

1918 Girl o' Mine (aka Oh Mama!) (w Augustus Barrett/Philip Bartholomae) Bijou Theater, New York 28 January

1918 The Victory Girl revised Girl o' Mine (ad Alex Sullivan, Lynn Cowan) Syracuse, 16 November

1920 Mimi (w Adolf Philipp/Edward Paulton/Paulton, Philipp) Shubert Belasco Theater, Washington 14 March



British Musical Theatre | Composers

   Page created 4 June 2017 Copyright © 2017 Paul Howarth All Rights Reserved