Sunday 13 March 2016

Tessie O'Shea born 13 March 1913

Teresa Mary "Tessie" O'Shea (13 March 1913 – 21 April 1995) was a Welsh entertainer and actress.

Born in Cardiff to James Peter O'Shea, a soldier who was the son of Irish emigrants and his wife Nellie Theresa Carr, Tessie O'Shea was reared in the British music hall tradition. She performed on stage as early as age six, billed "The Wonder of Wales". As a youngster she captured prizes for the talent contests she entered with her singing and dancing. The once-slim performer made her solo debut at the age of 12 at the Bristol Hippodrome and never stopped working. She was known for her popular BBC Radio broadcasts and appeared on stages in Britain and South Africa.  

She buried her burgeoning weight under loads of comic clothing -- complete with over-sized hats, striped stockings and elastic boots. She frequently finished her act by singing and playing a banjolele in the style of George Formby, belting out such bawdy favourites as "Don't Have Any More, Missus Moore" and "Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy.”  

While appearing in Blackpool in the 1930s, she capitalised on her size by adopting "Two Ton Tessie from Tennessee" as her theme song. By the late 30s Tessie had become a major star on radio and
stage and won the hearts and respect of soldiers everywhere touring with ENSA during World War II.
She also composed an epic song entitled "International Rhythm", which was unfortunately too long for the 10-inch recordings of the day. A pity, for it embraced her personal philosophy: "Every man that you meet he's your musical brother. Be mad about music and not at each other."

She later went out on the road with band-leader Billy Cotton in a highly successful musical revue called "Tess and Bill." In the 1940s, she was a frequent headliner at the London Palladium, and established herself as a hit recording artist in the 1950s.

During one show at the London Palladium, she made her entrance on top of an elephant. During one of her performances, the elephant, which was pregnant and quite moody at the time, threw her off. She was laid up for over three months.

During the 50s, as the advent of television gradually closed most of the variety theatres, O’Shea continued to work in summer shows and cabaret, and on radio, as well as appearing in provincial productions of plays such as Sailor Beware, and Peter Ustinov’s Romanoff And Juliet.

In the 60s she had U.S. audiences eating out of the palm of her hand. In 1963, Noël Coward created the part of the fish and chips peddler "Ada Cockle" specifically for O'Shea in his Broadway musical, The Girl Who Came to Supper. Her performance of traditional Cockney tunes charmed the critics and helped win her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She returned to Gotham three years later with the musical "A Time for Singing" which was based on Richard Llewellyn's "How Green Was My Valley."  

In 1963, O'Shea was a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show. She was popular enough that she came back in 1964 and shared the billing with The Beatles. Their joint appearance drew what was then the largest audience in the history of American television, helping bring her to American audiences.

She was a member of the repertory company on the short-lived CBS variety show The Entertainers (1964–65). In 1968, O'Shea was cast in the television movie The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama. She starred in a short-lived British sitcom As Good Cooks Go, which ran from 1969 and 1970. 

Film appearances were extremely rare, however, appearing in The Blue Lamp (1950), The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966), and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

She also regularly appeared on BBC TV's long running variety show, The Good Old Days. 

Back in Britain in the 70s she appeared to great advantage on TV and, of course, always seemed at home on the bawdy stage. Tessie died 21 April 1995, at her nursing home in Leesburg, Florida, USA of congestive heart failure at age 82, having lived quite the happy, hearty life, and allowing audiences everywhere in on much of it. (Info edited from Wikipedia & IMDB)


boppinbob said...

For “Tessie O’Shea – I’m Ready, I’m Willing” go here:

1. Two Ton Tessie (From Tennessee)
2. Nobody Loves A Fairy When She's Forty
3. We've Now't Like Them In London
4. It All Belongs To Me
5. That 'Kruschen' Feeling
6. Live And Let Live
7. I Go Twice A Week To The Pictures
8. You're Getting Older Every Day
9. I'm Worth My Weight In Gold
10. I'm In Love With The Girl I Left Behind Me
11. Thirsty Thirsty Throats
12. No Wonder She's A Bluching Bride
13. The Day I Rode To Brighton On My Bike
14. Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh Oh What A Silly Place To Kiss A Girl
15. A: Hymie And Amie/B: Sing, Sing, Sing
16. He Never Slept A Wink All Night
17. He Said Kiss Me
18. You're At Blackpool By The Sea
19. Georgie, What Do You Want To Be So Slow For?
20. A Little Bit Of Something That The Others Haven't Got
21. I'm Ready, I'm Willing
22. International Rhythm

Recordings from 1933 – 1942

Bakeliedjes said...

Thank you Bob. Nice upload.
Regards Theo

Bree Daniels said...

Wonderful share! Many thanks, Bob!

Yodeller said...

the link doesn't work. please fix it. thank you in advance

boppinbob said...

Hello Yodeller, Here's Tessie

Yodeller said...

Bob! Thank you very much!!!

Yodeller said...
more Tessie

boppinbob said...

Hi Yodeller, Zippyshare ceased operation on March 31, 2023, and now displays a message directing users to alternative services.
Please can you repost "more Tessie" using another file sharer.
Regards, Bob