Pseudonyms Used As a Singer
“Maurice Elwin” was only Norman MacPhail Blair’s most common pseudonym. In his role as a dance band singer, he was seldom credited. In his solo work, he occasionally used variations on his real name:
|MacPhail Blair||Zonophone||CH, JW|
|Norman Blair||Zonophone, Panachord, May-Fair||CH, JW, MGT|
More frequently, he used the name Maurice Elwin or one of more than sixty other pseudonyms; he also recorded under group names that obscured his identity. Note that while Elwin used the following names, he was not necessarily the only person to use them:
|Bert and Bob||Decca||with Cavan O’Connor||CH, JRR, JW|
|Walter (“W.”) Brooks||Grafton||MGT|
|Spencer Carlton||Homochord, Sterno||ADM-Hom|
|Creighton and Laughton||Decca||with Cavan O’Connor||JRR|
|John Curtis||Parlophone, Ariel||CH, JRR, JW, MGT|
|Curtis and Mac||Parlophone||with Ronnie Munro?||CH, JW|
|Jack Dale||Piccadilly||CH, JW, MGT|
|Dale and Gale||Piccadilly||unknown duettist||CH, JW, MGT|
|Roy Daniels||Phonycord||possibly Maurice Elwin||CH, JW|
|Peter Darrell||Eclipse||CH, JW, MGT|
|Cecil Dean||Aerona (AU)||MGT|
|Frank Denes (and Partner)||Decca||with an anonymous yodeling partner (George van Dusen?)||CH, JW|
|The Dixie Quartet/The Dixie Cotton Picker’s Quartette||Parlophone||unknown partners||CH, JW, ML|
|Charley Domino||Decca||CH, JRR, JW|
|Don and Ken||Parlophone||Maurice Elwin and Eddie Collis||MGT|
|Ronnie Donaldson||Filmophone||FD, MGT|
|R. Durant||Grafton, Scala Ideal||MGT|
|The Five and John Curtis||CH|
|Geoffrey and George||Ariel||Maurice and Sydney (see below)||MGT|
|Jack Hanes||Parlophone, Ariel||CH, JW, MGT|
|Hampton and Smart||Ariel||Maurice Elwin and Eddie Collis||MGT|
|Jack and Jill||Zonophone||with Eve Becke (or Billie Lockwood?)||CH, JRR, JW|
|Fred (“F.”) Jackson||Curry’s||MGT|
|Maurice Kelvin||Parlophone, Ariel||CH, JRR, JW, MGT|
|Lane and Sloan||Grafton||with Hardy Williamson (“SIMS AND WRIGHT”; see below)|
|Roy Laroche||Crown||CH, JW, MGT|
|Joseph (“J.”) Lee||Kiddyphone||MGT|
|Julian Lester||Sterno, Homochord||CH, JW, MGT|
|Mac and Bob||may have included Elwin||CH, JW|
|Paul Manning||Imperial Junior (AU)||IR, MGT|
|Matthews and Hale||Columbia||CH|
|Maurice and Sydney||Zonophone||with Sydney Nesbitt (occasionally with Sydney Wilson)||CH, JW|
|Cecil and Vivian Maurice||Parlophone||with Vivien Lambelet||CH, JW|
|Mellow and Rich||Broadcast||with Cavan O’Connor||CH, JW|
|The Melody Boys||Homochord||unknown duettist||CH, JW|
|The Melody Makers||Vocalion||unknown partners||CH, JW|
|Mick and Mack||Sterno||with Cavan O’Connor||CH, JW, MGT|
|Leonard Neame||Trusound||possibly Maurice Elwin||MGT|
|Leslie Newton||Pathé Actuelle||CH, JW|
|Cecil Park||Aerona (AU)||MGT|
|Ronald Peel||Imperial, Imperial Junior||IR, MGT|
|The Ramblers||Columbia||with Sydney Wilson, Bert D’Arcy, and Hal Vidler (a.k.a. the Syncopated Four; see below)||CH, JW|
|L. Rothery 1||Imperial||IR|
|Percy Scott||Aerona (AU)||MGT|
|Frank Shaw||Grand Pree||MGT|
|L. Silberman’s Trio||Parlophone||unknown partners||CH, JW|
|Al Sims||Homochord||CH, JW|
|Eric Sims||Dominion, Pathé Actuelle||CH, JW, MGT|
|Sims/Simms and Wallace||Homochord||unknown duettist||JW|
|Sims and Wright||Pathé Actuelle||with Hardy Williamson||CH, JW|
|The Singing Rovers||Metropole, Picadilly||unknown partner or partners||CH, JW, MGT|
|The Singing Serenaders||Parlophone, Ariel||with Jack Plant (and others?)||CH, JW|
|Solemn and Gay||Zonophone||with Cavan O’Connor||CH, JRR, JW|
|Murray Stewart||Parlophone||CH, JW|
|Sweet and Low||Regal, Regal Zonophone, Sterno||sometimes Maurice Elwin with Cavan O’Connor||CH, JW|
|The Syncopated Four||Regal||with Sydney Wilson, Bert D’Arcy, and Hal Vidler (a.k.a the Ramblers; see above)||CH, JW|
|Mick Tabon/Tabor and Mack Taylor||Sterno||Cavan O’Connor and Maurice Elwin||MGT|
|Topham and Turner||Ariel||Maurice Elwin and Sydney Wilson||MGT|
|Hugh Turner||Perfect||CH, JW, MGT|
|Guy Victor||Piccadilly, Curry’s, Imperial,|
|CH, IR, JW, MGT|
|Wilson and Waller||Parlophone||MGT|
|Max Wynn/Winn||Decca||CH, JW|
|Max Wynn and Jean Glyn||Decca||Elwin was “Max Wynn”; his duettist has not been identified (Olive Groves?)||CH, JW|
|May Wynn and John Curtis||Parlophone||with Olive Groves||CS|
|Lewis Young||Grand Pree||MGT|
|Zonophone Concert Quartette||Zonophone||unknown partners||CH, JW|
|ADM-Hom||HOMOPHONE & HOMOCHORD (British Records), by Frank Andrews & Bill Dean-Myatt|
|CS||Christopher Stone (in the Gramophone)|
|IR||The Imperial Records|
|JRR||Jazz and Ragtime Records|
|MGT||Michael G. Thomas|
|MS-F||Michael Smith. The Decca ‘F’ Series 10 Inch Records.|
Pseudonyms Used As a Composer
In addition to publishing music as Maurice Elwin, Norman MacPhail Blair used his real name (in the form “N. M. Blair,” occasionally misprinted on records as “M. M. Blair”), as well as the following pseudonyms:
|Donald O’Keefe||CH, JW|
|Al Sims||CH, JW|
|Max Wynn||CH, JW|
My thanks to John Wright, Terry Brown, and Steve Paget for sharing information that allowed me to compile this preliminary assessment of Elwin’s pseudonyms in days, not years.
- Andrews, Frank, and Bill Dean-Myatt. Homophon & Homochord Records in the United Kingdom. CLPGS Reference Series No. 27. Hailsham: City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society, 2013.
- Andrews, Frank, and Bill Dean-Myatt. The Imperial Records. CLPGS Reference Series No. 33. Hailsham: City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society, 2014.
- Hayes, Chris, in collaboration with George Carpenter. “Chris Hayes Remembers Maurice Elwin. Part One: The Singer-Composer with Sixty Names.” Memory Lane 48 (Autumn 1980): 24-27.
- Hayes, Chris, in collaboration with George Carpenter. “Chris Hayes Remembers Maurice Elwin. Part II: The Vocalist Who Made at Least 2,000 Recordings.” Memory Lane 49 (Winter 1980/1981): 30-33.
- Parlophone Records. Complete Catalogue 1930-1931, including all records issued up to 31st July, 1930. London: The Parlophone Company Ltd., 1931.
- Rust, Brian. Jazz and Ragtime Records 1897-1942. Sixth Edition. Free Personal-Use Edition. Littleton, Colorado: Mainspring Press. https://78records.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/rust_jazz-records_free-edition-6.pdf.
- Stone, Christopher. “Turn Table Talk,” Gramophone, June 1936, 14, Exact Editions.
- Thomas, Michael G. “Aerona.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified November 24, 2019.
- ⸻. “Ariel.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified January 25, 2021.
- ⸻. “Currys.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified October 26, 2020.
- ⸻. “Eclipse8.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified September 25, 2020.
- ⸻. “Filmophone.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified August 24, 2020.
- ⸻. “Grafton.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified February 27, 2020.
- ⸻. “Kiddyphone.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified August 28, 2020.
- ⸻. “Marspen.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified July 2, 2020.
- ⸻. “May-Fair.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified April 22, 2020.
- ⸻. “Metropole.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified August 18, 2020.
- ⸻. “Oliver.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified December 3, 2020.
- ⸻. “Peacock.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified July 29, 2020.
- ⸻. “Perfect.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified July 21, 2019.
- ⸻. “Piccadilly.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified May 18, 2020.
- ⸻. “Savana.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified July 1, 2020.
- ⸻. “Scala Ideal.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified April 9, 2020.
- ⸻. “Sterno.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified November 28, 2020.
- ⸻. “Trusound.” Mike Thomas’ Website. Last modified December 2, 2020.
- Wright, John A.B. “I was recently contacted by a grandson of Bobby Sanders,” Facebook, May 6, 2020, https://www.facebook.com/groups/282519584859/permalink/10158305870634860/.
- Wright, John A.B. Unpublished list of Elwin’s pseudonyms.
- Lionel Rothery was a real singer. On Imperial 1654, Rothery sings one side and Elwin the other, but Rothery’s name is on both sides of the record. ↩