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Lottie Collins
Lottie Collins 8bgs.jpg
Born Charlotte Louisa Collins
(1865-08-16)16 August 1865
East End, London
Died 1 May 1910(1910-05-01) (aged 44)
St Pancras, London
Cause of death
Heart disease and bronchitis
Resting place
Saint Pancras and Islington Cemetery, East Finchley, London
Occupation Singer and dancer
Spouse(s) Samuel Patrick Cooney
James W. Tate
Children Jose Collins (1887-1958)

Lottie Collins (16 August 1865 – 1 May 1910) was an English singer and dancer, most famous for introducing the song "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!" in England.


She was born Charlotte Louisa Collins in the East End of London in 1865.[1] Her father was a woodworker and music hall entertainer.[2] She started out in music hall at the age of 11 or 12 in 1877 in a skipping rope dance act with her younger sisters, Eliza (Lizzie) and Mary Ann (Marie) as The Three Sisters Collins.[3][4]

In 1886, Collins became a solo act in music hall. She also played in theatre, appearing the same year as Mariette in the Gaiety Theatre's burlesque, Monte Cristo Jr.[5] She first toured America in 1889[6][7] with the Howard Atheneum Company, during which she accepted the proposal of Samuel P. Cooney[8] whom she married in St. Louis.[9] According to her obituary in the New York Times she and Cooney had three children.[10]

While touring in vaudeville in the United States she heard the song "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!"[11] After she sang it at the Tivoli Music Hall in London in November 1891, it became her signature piece. She would sing the first verse demurely and then launch into the chorus and an uninhibited and exhausting skirt dance with high kicks (especially on the word "BOOM") that exposed her stockings held up by sparkling garters, and bare thighs. She sang the song at performances of the Gaiety Theatre's burlesque Cinder Ellen up-too-late beginning on 14 March 1892[12] and according to her obituary, at the height of the craze was performing it five times nightly at different venues in London.[13] She returned to America in September 1892 to perform "Ta-ra-ra-Boom-de-ay" as an entr'acte at the Standard Theatre, New York, but received a bad review from the critic of the New York Times, who described her as 'a mature woman', referred to her as 'Charlotte Collins' and mentioned she had been detained in quarantine when arriving 'on an infected ship'.[14] Another of Collins's dance sketches in the 1890s was The Little Widow, and she also had a hit with the song Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me A Bow-wow.[15] On 29 November 1897 she opened in New York again at the Garden Theatre, part of a triple bill with two short plays.[16] She became an icon of the "Naughty Nineties" and her risqué style led to some criticism, against which she defended herself.[17] A century later, her garters were sold by auction at Sotheby's.[3]

In 1898 she apparently attempted suicide by cutting her wrists and neck with a penknife,[9] but her wounds were minor and she was discharged from hospital the same day.[18]

Her daughter by her first husband was the musical comedy star Jose Collins.[2] In 1902 she married her second husband, the composer-producer James W. Tate.[19]

She died on 1 May 1910[20] at St Pancras of heart disease[10] and is buried at St Pancras and Islington Cemetery, East Finchley, London.[21]


  1. ^ GRO Register of Births: September 1865 1c 424 St GEO East - Charlotte Louisa Collins
  2. ^ a b Jewish Virtual Library
  3. ^ a b Lottie Collins profile, PeoplePlayUK Theatre website
  4. ^ 1881 census: RG11/1003 f.11 p. 16, at 29 York Street, Dover, Kent - Charlotte Collins aged 15 singer and dancer, with sisters Eliza (11) and Mary A. (9)
  5. ^ The Times, Wednesday, 29 Dec 1886; pg. 6
  6. ^ New York Times, 20 September 1892: '...she made her first appearance here at the Bijou Opera House 7 October 1889, as a member of the Howard Athenæum Company.'
  7. ^ A theatre column in the New York paper The Evening World, 5 October 1889, p.3 refers to her forthcoming appearance at the Bijou with the Boston Howard Star Specialty Company. She is described as a "skirt dancer". George Thatcher, whose minstrel company later appeared in Tuxedo, is a member of the same company.
  8. ^ "S.P. Cooney" is named as manager of the Howard Athenæum Company in the New York paper The Sun, 23 January 1890.
  9. ^ a b New York Times, 10 November 1898: "Lottie Collins Tries Suicide"
  10. ^ a b New York Times, 3 May 1910:'Lottie Collins Dead'
  11. ^ According to a report in The New York Times, the song was given to her husband and manager Samuel P. Cooney by theatrical impresario William Harris when Cooney arrived in America to manage a play for him. See The New York Times, 10 November 1898: 'Lottie Collins Tries Suicide'
  12. ^ The Times, Saturday, 12 Mar 1892:'SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT of Miss LOTTIE COLLINS, the originator of the celebrated song Ta-ra-ra-Boom-de-ay, which she will sing nightly on and after Monday next - GAIETY THEATRE'
  13. ^ New York Times, 3 May 1910:'Lottie Collins Dead:...Lottie Collins found herself driving round to four music halls a night at a salary of $100 for each hall just to sing "Ta-ra-ra-Boom-de-ay" with her rhythmic dance. In addition George Edwardes engaged her at $300 a week to give the song in one of the scenes of a musical comedy he was running at the Gaiety Theatre in the Strand. That made five performances nightly.'
  14. ^ New York Times, 20 September 1892: 'More London Gayety'
  15. ^ New York Times, 3 May 1910:'Lottie Collins Dead'
  16. ^ New York Times, 28 November 1897:'...She has some new songs, including "The Little Widow", "The Girl on the Ran Dan Dan" and "A Leader of Society".'
  17. ^ New York Times, 17 July 1897:'Lottie Collins Gets £25 Damages'. The report, from London, refers to a successful legal action against the newspaper Society which 'had published an article accusing her of singing vulgar songs'.
  18. ^ The Times, 10 November 1898, p.9
  19. ^ GRO Register of Marriages: September 1902 7b 538 Nottingham - James William Tate = Charlotte Louise Cooney
  20. ^ Headstone, St Pancras and Islington Cemetery
  21. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: June 1910 1b 7 PANCRAS - Charlotte Louisa Tate aged 43

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lottie_Collins — Please support Wikipedia.
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77 news items


Thu, 05 Feb 2015 08:51:44 -0800

Han blandar sina alster med dikt, fantasi och verklig historia. Mycket nöje med din läsning och stort tack till Leif Thomas för hans underhållande alster från West Ham Redaktionen. 156 Lagkaptener. 157 Jimmy "Lottie" Collins. 158 Phil Brignull. 159 ...
Osceola Sentinel Tribune
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:33:45 -0800

... other relatives and many friends. Avis was preceded in death by her parents; husband; daughter Shirley Jones; brother Kenneth Claypool; father- and mother-in-law, Cager and Lottie Collins; brother-in-law Mardis Collins; and sister-in-law Leona Collins.
West Sussex Gazette
Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:56:48 -0700

Lottie Collins, 11, said: “My friends were in tears. The rest of my class were trying to calm them down because they were in hysterics. “One of my friends had a sister and she didn't know where she was. “There was genuine concern throughout the school ...
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 19:54:01 -0700

A decade later, in 1895, Review contributor George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), the irascible playwright, used it as a verb to denigrate the popularity of Lottie Collins. A popular dancer and singer in her day, Collins (1865-1910), or said Shaw, would ...


Wed, 14 Jan 2015 01:38:25 -0800

Vilken kväll det kom att bli på Upton Park! Efter att ha kastats mellan hopp och förtvivlan hemma i TV-soffan kunde West Ham tillslut efter en nagelbitare till straffläggning säkra biljetten till Bristol och fjärde omgången av årets FA-cup.


Sun, 18 Jan 2015 10:26:29 -0800

West Ham har just besegrat Hull med 3-0. West Ham har åter slagit in på det vinnande spåret. Härnäst väntar Bristol City borta i FA-Cupens fjärde omgång. Vi supportrar till laget i Claret and Blue vill till Wembley. Vi vill se vår kapten Kevin Nolan ...
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 04:35:23 -0800

157 Jimmy "Lottie" Collins. 158 Phil Brignull. 159 Kalabalik i hattfabriken. 2015-02-23 10:53:00. Skador och avstängningar. West Ham Här kan du läsa om vilka spelare som är skadade och avstängda i West Ham. 2015-02-23 09:19:00. Se West Ham-Crystal ...


Sat, 24 Jan 2015 05:23:41 -0800

Då var det dags för FA-Cupen igen, efter den minnesvärda och gastkramande avslutningen i omspelet mot Everton i tredje omgången åker nu West Ham västerut till Bristol för möte med stadens rödvita stolthet Bristol City på Ashton Gate. Fjärde omgången ...

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