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October 27, 2004










































































































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Rowland Harrison


Rowland Harrison


Rowland Harrison was born in King William Street, Gateshead, on 23rd June 1841. From the age of 23 he found success as an author and comic singer, appearing at a number of music halls throughout the North East. Known for his talents at character portrayal, Harrison went on to manage the Geordy Black pub in Gateshead, the Commercial Hotel at Winlaton, and various music halls. It is not known when Rowland Harrison died but references in Allan's Tyneside songs indicate that he out-lived Joe Wilson, Ned Corvan and other contemporaries by a number of years before sadly taking his own life.

FARNE features a rare copy of the composer's 'Rowland Harrison's Tyneside Songs', a small song book issued by an unidentified publisher. It contains over 50 pages of local songs composed by Harrison, and contains an interesting illustration of the author as 'Geordy Black' in his famous song of the same name. The subject matter is varied, although it generally revolves around industry and domestic life. The latest reference in the book dates its publication to around 1871.
 
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