ANNIE ADAMS was one of the very first female music hall performers, often billed as The Queen of serio-comic vocalists.
She was born on 16th November 1843 at The Green Dragon Hotel, Newport on the Isle of Wight to Innkeeper and hotel manager Thomas Adams and his wife Harriet. She had two brothers: John and Walter.
Annie grew up in Southampton and it was whilst she was working as a bar maid in one of her father’s pubs that Annie began singing songs. Annie sang various songs including ballads and it was said that her voice was so strong that glasses trembled across tables.
It wasn't long until Annie started performing at other local establishments that included The Royal Hartley Institute, Carlton Rooms and others.
In 1862 Annie made her first professional performance at Barnard’s Music Hall in Chatham, Kent and after being spotted and subsequently signed up by Ambrose Maynard, she went on to make her London debut at Weston’s Music Hall, Turnham’s Music Hall and the London Pavilion and it was this same year that Annie married Henry Whiting otherwise known as the comic singer Harry Wall on 22nd May 1862.
From here on Annie became a huge success and by 1871 had set off for a tour of America.
Annie’s musical repertoire extended to over thirty songs, the most popular being ‘When The Band Played On’ which was composed by G. W. Hunt.
By 1881 Annie had retired from the music hall stage and husband Harry had become a Dramatic and Musical Agent.
Annie and Harry had one son called Harry and he married Louie Wilmot who was associated with the Grand, Islington.
Annie died following an operation on 12th May 1905 aged 61. She was laid to rest at Highgate Cemetery.
The songs that Annie Adams sang:
APPLES OR ORANGES
DO YOU WANT APARTMENTS?
FAREWELL MARY JANE
GOODBYE, I’M GOING TO MARCH AWAY
HAMPSTEAD IS THE PLACE TO RURALIZE
HE PLAYED ON THE INDIAN DRUM
HE WAS AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN
I KNEW THAT I WAS DREAMING
IT’S ENOUGH TO MAKE A GIRL GO MAD
JESSIE THE BELLE AT THE BAR
JOHNNY CAME A-COURTING ME
JOHNNY THE ENGINE DRIVER
LET’S ENJOY LIFE WHILE WE CAN
LOOK AT THE CLOCK
THE MAN WITH THE INDIAN DRUM
THE MERRIEST GIRL THAT’S OUT
MONA FROM BARCELONA
OH1 VOULEZ VOUS
OH, WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW
ONCE HE WAS A GAY SAILOR
PRETTY CAROLINA or CHOW CHOW CHOPSTICK
SPEAK UP LIKE A MAN
SUSAN, SUSAN, PITY MY CONFUSION
THREE TO ONE – BAR ONE
UP IN A BALLOON
UPON THE GRAND PARADE
WHEN THE BAND BEGINS TO PLAY
WHY AM I LEFT SINGLE?