Maureen Englin

Biographical Information.

Maureen Englin was born on August 18, 1891 in Rock Island, IL, and died in January, 1979 in Moline, IL.

In 1927 Maureen Englin went to England. She returned to New York on Sep 5, 1927 aboard the S.S. Hamburg. The "Hamburg" sailed from Southampton on Aug 27, 1927. The ship manifest shows that Maureen Englin was a United States Citizen, age 36, divorced, residing at the N. V. A. Club. The National Variety Artists Club was located at 222 West 46th Street, New York, NY. 

Discographical Information.

From "Moanin' Low: A Discography of Female Popular Vocal Recordings, 1920-1933" by Ross Laird (Greenwood Press, 1996).

Labels of Gennett 5397.

Streaming Real Audio files of Gennett 5397.

The Circumstances Surrounding the Recording of "Foolin' Me."

"Foolin' Me," recorded c. May 30, 1924 according to Brian Rust, "Jazz and Ragtime Records (1897-1942), "Mainspring Press, 2002. Matrix number and record number are the same as in Ross Laird's discography, but Laird has a June 1924 date. According to the listings in the CD Clarence Williams - Clarence Williams, Vol. 2: 1923-1925,  Jazz Archives, No. 171) Miss Englin is accompanied by Clarence Williams on piano. However, according to the Sidney Bechet discography, the pianist is Art Sorenson.

From "Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz" by John Chilton, Oxford University Press, USA
(February 1, 1988).
"In 1924 there was a gap in Bechet's recording activities, and for a period of ten months he made no recordings at all with Clarence Williams. His only session during this hiatus produced a curio. It is a recording of one of his compositions sung by a white vaudeville artiste, Maureen Englin, who reminisced about the session in 1962. Whilst visiting a New York publisher, she heard "soft beautiful saxophone music." She asked who was playing and was told Sidney Bechet. After the two had been introduced, Maureen Englin said: "That was a beautiful tune you were playing. Is it new? I am looking for new songs for my act." Bechet told her it was his own composition 'Foolin' Me.' Englin took a copy of the song away so she could use it for a recording date she was contracted to do the next day.
She asked Bechet if he would join pianist Art Sorenson in accompanying her for the recording and he readily agreed. Next day Bechet turned up at the studio on east 52nd Street and played some unobtrusive, mellow phrases behind the singer; the results were first issued on the Pathe label.
The publishing house referred to by Maureen Englin belonged to Fred Fisher who issued several songs of Sidney Bechet in 1924 including 'Foolin' Me,' 'Do That Thing' (which was recorded by Fletcher Henderson), and 'Pleasure Mad', a big early hit for Sidney which was recorded in the mid-1920s by Charlie Creath, Ethel Waters, Benny Krueger, Whitey Kaufman, and others."

To listen to a clip of "Foolin' Me,"  go to and click on the link.

Bix Remembered by Maureen Englin. From the June 1974 issue of Music Journal.

The cover of the sheet music of "That Old Gang of Mine."


Mentions of Maureen Englin in Newspapers. (Courtesy of Terry Moore)

Davenport Democrat and Leader for 20 November 1927.
"Comedy is the keynote at the Fort Armstrong Theatre today when Casey Jones and the Jazz Jesters will present comedy capers. Featured in the new show is Maureen Englin, former Rock Island girl who has just returned from a very successful tour of Europe. "
Here is some information about the Fort Armstrong Theater.

Opened in 1921, the Fort Armstrong Theater was designed by architect Benjimin Horn of the Cervin & Horn practice, associate architect was W.T. Braun. The architectural style is Native Indian and it had a seating capacity of 1623.

The Fort, also known as the Fort Armstrong, is another classic theater that started off with silent pictures/vaudeville and then switched exclusively to movies.

The theater was decorated with a Western theme that was in keeping with its pioneer past, including teepee chandeliers.

In the late 70's, Dennis Hitchcock purchased the theatre, terraced the main floor, installed tables, and renamed it the 'Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse'. Mr. Hitchcock otherwise left the theater's color and style as they were

From Terry Moore. "Maureen Englin performed in London, at least, as the following confirms:

Variety bill at the Palladium Theatre for week commencing 6 June 1927 - Nellie Wallace, Little Tich, Maureen Englin, Dollie and Billie, Nixon Grey, Ambrose and his Mayfair Orchestra. Englin appeared for the whole week.

She also appeared on radio on the BBC London 2LO service, at 9.35 on 2 July 1927 in the variety hour, with Clapham and Dwyer, Sydney Nesbit and Kel Keech, Ivan Firth and Phyliss Scott, billed as, 'light ballads at the piano by Maureen Englin'."

The London Palladium was, according to
the place where "everyone who was anyone played there." It is a huge theater with a capacity for over 2000 patrons. And here is the link to Bix. Bing performed at the Palladium Sep 26 - Oct 8, 1977. The last performance was four days before he died.

Bismark Daily Tribune, (North Dakota), for 31 March 1911 - ' the Orpheum should be packed for the week......... Maureen Englin in her dramatic soprano and pianologue act is the best ever seen here and was well received'. 
La Crosse Tribune, (Wisconsin), for 20 October 1921 - Advertisement for the Majestic cinema then playing the film, 'A Kiss In Time', ad has at bottom, 'also, vaudeville, the Monroe Brothers in Bouncing Babies and Maureen Englin, the Scintilating Song Bird, tonight, friday and saturday'. Another ad for 22 October confirms her final appearance.
Appleton Post Crescent, (Wisconsin), for 18 November 1921 - 'Maureen Englin a 'songbird', headlines the vaudeville bill at Appleton Theatre, the last half of the week'.
Wisconsin State Journal for 16/17 November 1922 - Advertisement appears on each day for the Orpheum Theatre, (in Madison) with a bill including, 'Maureen Englin, Scintalating Songbird'. In the pit, Erny Holmgren and his Band. The Capital Times, (Wisconsin), also for 16 November, notes the bill at the Orpheum, including Englin, had appeared the week before at the State Lake Theatre in Chicago. It goes on to say, 'A dash of class will be added to the week-day bill, (at the Orphean), by the appearance of Maureen Englin, the scintilating songstress who has the exceptional ability to sing an aria from grand opera, as well as the jazziest of jazz songs'.
The Indianapolis Star (Indiana) for 26 June 1923 - Vaudeville at the Palace, 'Maureen Englin halted the show twice. She is billed as the Scintilating Songstress and for once the program has not exaggerated. Her repertory is composed for the most part of clever parodies on popular songs'.
The Bridgeport Telegram, (Bridgeport, Connecticut) for 17 October 1923 - Advertisement for Palace Theatre has Maureen Englin on bill.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader (Iowa) for 7 January 1924 - In the 'Social Happenings', column, 'Miss Maureen Englin weds well known hotel man of Philadelphia. 'Announcement has come to Tri-city friends of the marriage of  Miss Maureen Englin, formerly of Davenport and Rock Island, to Sidney Mitchell, a well known Philadelphia hotel man, the ceremony being a holiday affair in the east. Many frinds will recall the bride as the sweet voiced singer at the Harper Hotel, Rock island, in the days when cabaret singing was so much the rage. She was very popular with a host of friends for her sweet voice and personal charm, which later took her into the Orpheaum circuit, in which she made quite a success, returning here for a weeks showing at the Columbia Theatre. The new home will be in Philadelphia'.
The Indianapolis Star for 7 July 1924 - Advertisement, Englin appearing in vaudeville at the Lyric. Billed as the,'Scintilating Songbird'.
The Ogden Standard - Examiner (Utah) for 20 November 1924 - Advertisement, Englin appearing in Pantages Vaudeville at the Orpheum. 
The Mansfield News, Mansfield (Ohio) for 2 December 1925 - Advertisement, Englin appearing in vaudeville at the Opera House.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader for 2 May 1926 - Advertisement, Englin appearing in vaudeville at Fort Armstrong Theatre, 'the scintilating songstress in new songs'. A reviewer also notes, 'Rock Island's own vaudeville star, is the feature stage attraction for the first half. Miss Englin returns from a successful tour of Famous Players and public theatres with a brand new cycle of songs. Famous Players theatres were a cinema circuit in the US.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader for 20 November 1927 - 'Maureen Englin former Rock Island girl has just returned from a very successful tour of Europe'.
Olean Evening Times (New York) for 27 January 1928 - Advertisement for the Palace Theatre where Englin is appearing. 'The Scintilating Songstress. She'll tickle you pink with her deliciously delightful cycle of the latest and gayest song successes'.
The Appleton Post - Crescent, Appleton (Wisconsin) for 24 September 1932 - Notes her appearance at the Fox Theatre in vaudeville, ' Maureen Englin, nationally popular star of radio station WCFL Chicago is one of the many fine performers. Miss Englin has been thrilling radio audiences throughout the country with her beautiful voice and happens to be one of those lucky performers whose personality is just as pleasing as her voice'.

From the
Independent Press -Telegram, Long Beach, California,  20 December 1959.

This page was uploaded on March 23, 2007. Modified on April 6, 2007.

I am grateful to Rob Rothberg for the scans of the discography pages and of the record labels of Gennett 5397,  to Anthony Baldwin for calling my attention to the information about Maureen Englin in the biography of Sidney Bechet, 
to Terry Moore for the information about Maureen Englin in newpapers articles, and to Han Endeman for the scan of the label of "Foolin' Me."