Ronald Murgatroyd

Murgatroyd used to be a mystery for collectors; his (few) records didn't correspond to any known career. In fact, he seems to have made but two records: one private Columbia ROX103, recorded 16 July 1934, with "Heavenly Aida" (mx. CAX 7223) and "Passing by" (mx. CAX 7224); and HMV DB 1456 ("In your arms tonight"/"Love, forever I adore you") from 1935, quickly deleted from their catalogue.
Actually, the Murgatroyd text that was published on this website for many, many years was not as much a text on Murgatroyd but a text detailing the difficulties in finding any information on him.
Thanks to the wealth of what is meanwhile available on the internet, it's possible to shed some light on our mystery tenor. He was obviously from Yorkshire, where his career centered, in places like Keighley or Otley, and where he enjoyed considerable reputation and popularity; but he sang beyond Yorkshire, as well, e.g. in Portsmouth on 11 November 1933. He had a long career; references available online range from 1925, when he was already broadcast on BBC Radio (on July 10th), to 1952 (a "Messiah" in Aberdeen on December 23rd). It wouldn't seem that he ever sang in a theater; all traceable appearances took place in concert halls or churches ("Messiah" being a mainstay of his repertory), and in one case in a Masonic lodge in Baildon (Yorkshire) on the occasion of the installation of a music teacher (and tenor) as lodge master on 28 September 1935. The 1925 broadcast was also not a single event; he must have sung quite regularly on the radio in the 1930s.
References: Corinthian Lodge
Peter Murray Scott's autobiography, part 1

Ronald Murgatroyd sings Passing by

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