Barlow, W.R.(1818--)

Biographical Overview

Birth Date: exactly 1818 (Lancashire, U.K.)
Death Date: exactly

Notes

Troupe(s): Soloist, Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)



Instrument: violin, banjo, vocals



Info: Despite his moniker, ‘The American Barlow’ was in fact born in the United Kingdom, immigrating to the United States in approximately 1821 at the age of three. Barlow’s father died several years after settling in New York, leaving his twelve year old son in the care of his brother, a wealthy planter. Throughout his youth Barlow displayed considerable musical ability, playing the violin, the banjo, and composing minstrel songs. Following the completion of his education, the young Barlow was invited to join his acquaintance the celebrated banjo player Mr. Sweeney on a trip to England where both men found theatrical engagements as musicians. Following his start in Liverpool he toured successfully throughout England and, upon his arrival in London, secured extended engagements at Cremorne Gardens and The Casino, Adelaide Gallery. In 1848 Bell’s Life in London granted him the distinguished title “Prince of Negro Melodists and Banjoists”.



Although Barlow was noted for composing and publishing his own songs (comic and serious), for building his own instruments (both banjo and violin) and for teaching music lessons, he was perhaps best known for his musical impression of a locomotive engine at work. The following description of that act is excerpted from Theatrical Journal, Nov. 20, 1847:

First, we have the bell ringing, and preparing to start: - then the whistle- then the engine in motion, increasing in speed till it got to a certain pitch, and gradually diminishes till it arrives at its destination. All this is really so admirably managed, that to have a just idea of the effect must be heard to appreciate the ability of accomplishing it.



Alexis Butler

Participation details

  • Vocalist
  • Minstrel

Troupe Affiliation

Troupe Name Event # of events
Barlow, W.R. Minstrel 54
Ethiopian Serenaders (1851) Minstrel 23

Events Naming Person

Event Date Location Troupe
Dramatic 1844-1844 Royal Amphitheatre/Royal Adelphi Theatre, Sheffield Yorkshire: West Riding Barlow, W.R.
Concert 1846-1846 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Concert 1846-1846 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Minstrel Show 1847-1847 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Minstrel Show 1847-1847 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Concert 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Concert 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1847-1847 Adelaide Gallery, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Concert 1847-1848 Cider Cellars, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1848-1848 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1848-1848 Casino de Venise, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1848-1848 Casino de Venise, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1848-1848 Casino de Venise, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1848-1848 Bristol and Clifton Zoological Gardens, Bristol Bristol (city-county) in Gloucestershire Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1848-1848 Bristol and Clifton Zoological Gardens, Bristol Bristol (city-county) in Gloucestershire Barlow, W.R.
Dramatic 1848-1848 Queen's Theatre, Manchester Lancashire Barlow, W.R.
Circus 1848-1848 William Cooke's Royal Equestrian Tent, Various Various Barlow, W.R.
Circus 1848-1848 William Cooke's Royal Equestrian Tent, Various Various Barlow, W.R.
Circus 1848-1848 William Cooke's Royal Equestrian Tent, Various Various Barlow, W.R.
Circus 1848-1848 William Cooke's Royal Equestrian Tent, Various Various Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1849-1849 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1849-1849 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1850-1850 Royal Casino/Surrey Music Hall, Sheffield Yorkshire: West Riding Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1850-1850 Royal Casino/Surrey Music Hall, Sheffield Yorkshire: West Riding Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1850-1850 Royal Casino/Surrey Music Hall, Sheffield Yorkshire: West Riding Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1850-1850 Royal Casino/Surrey Music Hall, Sheffield Yorkshire: West Riding Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1850-1850 Holder's Concert Room, Coleshill Street, Birmingham Warwickshire Barlow, W.R.
Minstrel Show 1850-1850 Holder's Concert Room, Coleshill Street, Birmingham Warwickshire Barlow, W.R.
Minstrel Show 1850-1850 Grand Harmonic Hall, Grapes Tavern/Surrey Music Hall, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1850-1850 Holder's Concert Room, Coleshill Street, Birmingham Warwickshire Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1851-1851 Cider Cellars, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1851-1851 Commercial Hall, Chelsea, London London (city-county) Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1851-1851 Liffen's Saloon, Aberdeen Aberdeen Barlow, W.R.
Circus 1852-1852 Circus Royal, Bristol Bristol (city-county) in Gloucestershire Barlow, W.R.
Variety 1851-1851 Royal Standard Theatre, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Garrick's Head, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Garrick's Head, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Garrick's Head, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Garrick's Head, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)
Variety 1851-1851 Cremorne Gardens, London London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders (1851)

Songs & Acts

Number of songs and acts found: 6
Title Type Number of Events Found
1 Overture Song 1 event(s)
2 Solo Song 1 event(s)
3 Fly with the Humming, The Song 1 event(s)
4 Imitation of a Railway Steam Engine Sketch 2 event(s)
5 Marratan the Slave Sketch 1 event(s)
6 Blue Bottle Fly, The Song 1 event(s)

Bibliographic Sources

  • Bell's Life in London March 26, 1848: 2:1.
  • Bell's Life in London February 4, 1849: 2:1.
  • Era (London) June 23, 1850: 12: 1.
    Info in Record:
    • T.B.A.
  • Era (London) September 15, 1850: 11:3.
  • Lambeth Public Archives, Clippings Albums W. Cooke's Papers Concerning Astley's Amphitheatre: Printed Verses, c.1850-58, advertising Cooke's tour.
  • Theatrical Journal (London) August 21, 1847: 237:2.
  • Theatrical Journal (London) November 20, 1847: 371:1-372:1.
  • Theatrical Journal (London) November 20, 1847: 371:1-372:1.
  • Theatrical Journal (London) April 17, 1847: 121:1-2.
  • Theatrical Journal (London) May 8, 1851: 149:2, 150:1.
  • Theatrical Journal (London) May 8, 1851: 149:2, 150:1.