She had tremendous stage presence. About thirty years ago I was at a show of music hall films at London's National Film Theatre: one of the clips was a sequence of songs by Florrie Forde. She not only got the audience singing along, but also stopped them easily when she wanted to change numbers - not bad for someone on film who had been dead for forty years (she died in 1940).
I've chosen her recording of what is perhaps, with hindsight, the most successful song of the Edwardian era - 'I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside' - everyone still knows the tune, even though few nowadays have ever heard the verses. It was originally sung by Mark Sheridan (1876-1918) (picture, below right): he was much more of a comic performer, complete with eccentric dress, than Forde.
So here is Florrie Forde: and do sing along with the chorus!
I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside (Zonophone 223) rec. London, 29 November 1909.
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