Music Hall duo Scott & Whaley

From the private collection of Terry Hardy
From the private collection of Terry Hardy

Eddie Whaley and his partner Harry Scott were African-American music hall and radio comedians who came to England in 1909 and settled here.  They were the first black performers to star in a British film, Kentucky Minstrels (John Baxter, 1934). In the film they recreated the roles they had popularised in their long running BBC radio series.

Lived next door to Max Miller
Eddie Whaley moved to Brighton in the late 1930s and bought 124 Marine Parade, Brighton next door to a house Max Miller owned.  In the 1950s the house was named in large black letters WHALEY HOUSE.  Eddie Whaley lived there until his death in 1960. He was cremated in the Woodvale Crematorium.

Following in father’s footsteps
Eddie Whaley had a son born in Brighton in 1939 who became a performer in his own right.  He appeared on stage with his father as Little Whaley (see copy of a Grand Variety Concert, Town Hall, Lewes advert attached). Eddie Whaley Jr. had a good role in the classic film Black Narcissus (1947) at the age of 7.  In 1959 Eddie Whaley Jr. left Brighton for the USA and within a month was inducted into the US army.  After three years of military service he took up a showbiz career and worked with some of the greats including Tommy Trinder, Tommy Cooper, Max Wall, Dave King and Yana. He joined the Deep River Boys where he remained three years. He now lives with his family in Florida and occasionally visits Brighton.

Comments about this page

  • I remember Eddie Whaley Junior in the fifties, I believe he lived in Manton Close, off The Avenue, Bevendean. Toppings the paper shop was near by. He was a terrific dancer and had a pretty girl friend called Moneen, who had a sister called Mary.

    By Jacquie (24/10/2008)
  • I met Eddie Whaley Jr in Feb 1970, when he was touring in Scandinavia with my friends the Deep River Boys. The group returned to Sweden and Norway in Aug-Sep the same year. Then my husband and I invited Harry Douglass (leader of the Deeps) and Eddie Whaley to a fishing trip in our boat. Eddie is a very nice and gentle guy. After 33 years (!) I got in touch with him again in 2003 on email.

    By Lillemor Lewander (in Sweden) (08/12/2008)
  • He also had an elder son Duncan who was also an entertainer with ‘Holiday on ice’ as a comedian for many years. He lived in Hove and then Lancing where he passed on; a very nice and funny guy.

    By Ray Barontini (28/03/2009)
  • I remember Duncan Whaley. We went to the same school. He used to come to play with me and my sister in Norton Road. My father’s father, David Hart, was a variety and music hall booking agent, he managed some music halls in the early 1920s. He was manager of many famous artistes who visited us at 3 Norton Road. Max Miller and Bud Flanagan were often there. Maurice Chevalier accused my father of cheating at rummy and walked out of the house! I recall my dad doing a soft-shoe dance in his bedroom slippers with anyone who would join him.

    By June (09/04/2009)
  • There is a chapter about Scott and Whaley in my book Black in the British Frame – The Black Experience in British Film and Television (Continuum, 2001), which is still in print (second hand copies can still be found) or you can borrow the book from your local library. They were the first Black stars to play leading roles in a British film (Kentucky Minstrels, 1934).

    By Stephen Bourne (05/09/2009)
  • Eddie Whaley was my great uncle. The family is from Harrington Delaware. My Great-grand mother (Lizzie Whaley) is Eddie Whaley’s sister. According to my mother “Uncle Eddie” was her favorite uncle and was a gifted entertainer. I have a picture of “Uncle Eddie” that he gave to my mother in 1934 when she was 12 years old.

    By Charlie Coleman II (03/11/2009)
  • Eddie Whaley was my Grandfather, but I was never able to meet him as he passed before I was born (my Dad is Eddie Whaley Jr). Thank you for posting these comments, it’s great to learn more about my family.

    By Michelle (26/12/2009)
  • I was at school with Eddie Whaley Jr at Hove College in about 1948, although I was senior to him, I remember him as a nice guy.

    By Colin Jones (01/08/2010)
  • I remember Eddie Whaley jnr. from around 1950. He had visited where we lived in Saltdean Mount, between Rottingdean and Peacehaven. There was a whole bunch of us local kids romping around in a haystack on local farmland and he joined in. He was instantly popular as he bought us all fizzy drinks. He had something we saw only rarely, money! So he immediately became one of the gang. I am pleased to have found this site as I often wondered what had become of him. The two of us stood out as we were the only coloured kids ever seen in the district.

    By Warwick Onyeama (15/08/2010)
  • I first met Eddie at Hove College, where he was very popular, not so much with Mr Gubert (I Varn you my boy!),and then again at Clarks College in Brighton. He had a fabulous party at an hotel in The Steine, a very funny guy.

    By Colin Hide (07/11/2010)
  • Eddie Whaley Jr. was my friend through the 50s – I lived at 127, Marine Parade. If he looks at this site, I would love to hear from him. 

    By Errol Keating (26/02/2011)
  • My mother, stage name Gwen Morton, worked with Scott and Whaley in the late 1920s/early 1930s. In fact Eddie Whaley was a witness when my mother got married in London in 1935. Would be interested if anybody has her name on a theatre bill.

    By Ann Dilley (08/09/2011)
  • I too was a boyhood friend of Eddie Whaley Jr. in Brighton Sussex England before moving to California. Eddie – if you read this, call me at (818) 903-4076.

    By Keith Swift (11/03/2012)
  • My wife Hanna Eigel Brown and myself know Eddie well. He lives in the USA and Duncan was our best friend for many many years. We were in touch until he sadly died in July 2000. Duncan was my partner in Holiday on Ice where we had lots of success. He was a very funny man. Hami and Hanna

    By Hamilton Brown (27/08/2012)
  • Has anybody heard of Gwen Morton who was in the Music Halls working with Eddie Whaley? She was my grandmother but have not been able to find anything of her Music Hall career.

    By Jane Lewis (06/11/2013)
  • If Eddie Whaley was the son of Charlotte, then he is a relative of mine also. The family is from Whaleyville, Maryland and eventually Slaughterneck Hundred, Kent County, Delaware. I would love to speak with someone to compare the family tree info.

    By Marie (26/02/2014)
  • There’s a curious film of Scott and Whaley 1933 performing on Pathe.

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (26/02/2014)
  • I have a signed photo of Scott and Whaley.

    By Carole (22/07/2016)
  • My great aunt had a musical career and knew Scott and Whaley. My sister still has a photo of her and our other relatives standing with Eddie and Eddie junior outside their 124 house. I would love to hear from Eddie junior or his relatives as we have discovered my great aunt was the first British female jazz musician to play with visiting USA jazz musicians in the early 1900’s.

    By John Brown (19/01/2017)
  • I am trying to make contact with relatives of Eddie Whaley senior who my aunt knew from the stage during their UK careers. We have a picture of them standing outside house 124 with Eddie’s son in school uniform and others.

    By John Brown (20/01/2017)
  • I’ve just found a signed photo of Scott and Whaley in a box of my grandmother’s stage photos. She was an operatic artist in the 1920s and 30s, Ethel Moon (also known as Ethel Fitzgerald). On the back of the photo she wrote that she worked with them both. So I googled them tonight and found this site.

    By Helena West (02/03/2020)
  • Well I’ll be darned Eddie Whaley Junior; I lived with you all in BEAR RD, BRIGHTON. And your mother Peggy and old Eddie before he passed on. We have many laughs it was a crazy household. I remember Donna and Michelle singing in a club to your guitar playing. Well I could fill a page with all that went on but just to say it’s great and if you’re still around email me.

    By Shirley Russell (15/03/2020)
  • Hi, I found this site after searching the Deep River Boys on the internet. My father purchased an old (very old) banjo – 4 string with the name of this band on it. It is super old and just wondering if it was a piece of the band. We would like to connect and send pictures.
    Thank you.

    By Jacqualynn Persona (12/06/2021)
  • Hi All .. Eddie Whaley Snr is my Grandfather. My Mother is Rita Mary. His 1st Born (1920) Rochford Essex England. She also became an entertainer (Dancer) and was on Stage from 14 years old, touring most of Europe until the outbreak of the 2nd World War. He used to visit my Mother, paid for her dancing tuition, and always saw her home safely. I would be happy for anyone to contact me. Happily Mum is still with us 101 this September.

    By Lawrence Browman (19/07/2021)
  • Hi, I hope that is ok to mention my great uncle Harry Scott of the famous duo, Scott and Whaley. So great to read about this wonderful history. My mother Mildred Scott never met him as he left for England before she was born. He was her dad’s, Carroll Scott’s brother. I do have a picture of him, and just wanted to know about his life in England. His son (Harry) Antony Scott was also an actor and starred in Superman, movie of 1978 as a reporter. Antony visited Cleveland, Ohio in the early 50’s. He saw his Aunt Stella Scott and also met my mother at that time. My mother would be 101 this past October and would have been thrilled to see this history by way of our present day technology.

    By Carolyn Yvonne (29/10/2021)
  • Eddie Whaley Sr was married to my Great Aunt Violet who was also in the theatre. Duncan married Melana and they worked together in Holiday on Ice for 40 years. I loved spending time with Duncan as a child; he had a pet monkey for a while. I have a signed photo of Duncan and “Hammy” skating together. He was my favourite uncle, such a great entertainer but sadly no longer with us. It is good to read all the fond comments from people who knew them.

    By Rachael Saunders (10/01/2024)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.