[ Frank E. Tours, Hollywood composer and musical director. ] Typed Letter Signed ('Frank Tours') to the theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, containing reminiscences of his London theatre days (George Dance, Marie Lloyd, Stanley Logan).

Frank E. Tours [ Frank Tours; Frank Edward Tours ] (1877-1963), English-born Hollywood composer and musical director (Marx Brothers; Citizen Kane; The Emperor Jones) [ W. J. Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
Publication details: 
South Laguna. 20 January 1951.
SKU: 18987

3pp., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged, with slight staining to one corner from paper clip. A good letter, filled with detail. Apart from brief opening and closing paragraphs the whole of the letter is devoted to reminiscences of his life before leaving England for America. At one point he comments: 'it is only when one is thinking back, as I am now, that one realizes the speed with which time fugits; it is now 21 years since I have been home, and 30 years since Bob and I were in "Irene" at the Empire.' The reminiscences begin: 'Barring a trip to U. S. and Australia with G. P. Huntley, Farkoa, etc. Co. in 1903-4, we were covering much the same territory during those Edwardian days, and a bit before that too! While you were spending those years with George Dance I was giving my all to Morell & Mouillot's Geisha, and Greek Slave – Marie Lloyd in “The A. B. C. Girl” - Leedham Bantock's “Sweet Brier”, music by brother Granville (unknighted at the time) who, being rather ashamed of the whole proceeding insisted on being billed only as Graban – a company run by Frank Wheeler in “The Prince of Borneo – Hart & Malone's No. 3 “San Toy”, then on to George Edwardes' No. 1 “Country Girl” and “Three Little Maids”, - so it would seem that between 1897 and 1903 we must have spent many Sunday hours on all the Railway Stations in the British Isles, and met on most of them.' He continues with reference to Bobby Hale, Tom Reynolds, 'Zena and Phyllis', Gladys Cooper, Bill Berry. Two paragraphs concern 'Stanley' – the English-born actor Stanley Logan (1885-1853), with whom Tours has spent some time in Hollywood: 'I took your letter in with me - “Of course I remember him, bustling in the service of Alfred during Vanity Fair”, and so on. When talking of the “steak and kidney pudden” there was some reference to Arthur Wimperis [ (1874-1953), screenwriter ] who, by the way, is very much in evidence these days, attached to M. G. M. studios – he is very fit too – I have watched him (in his 74th. Year), and Stanley (in his 63rd.) playing tennis – both in excellent form.' Logan discusses the London production of 'The Boomerang', 'written down in his memory as his first meeting with Fay Compton, his first starring part, his first real salary, etc. etc.' He ends in anticipation of a meeting, either in London or America, and of receipt of Pope's book 'Ghosts and Greasepaint'. Tours father was the Dutch-born English violinist and composer Berthold Tours (1838-1897).