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W. W. WHITLOCK  ("Billy")1874 - 1951 arrowarrow PIONEER    PARENTS    LIFE    NOTES    LABELS    PHOTOS    THANK YOU


W. W. WHITLOCK  ("Billy")1874 - 1951

remark real name: Frederick Gabriel PENNA
aka William W. Whitlock, Billy Whitlock, Frederick Gabriel Penna, Frederick G. Penna, Frederick Penna, F. G. Penna, F. Penna
occupation recording engineer, comedian, player of xylophone/bells etc., professional entertainer, actor
birth .. July/Aug/Sep 1874, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (between Gloucester & Cirencester), ENGLAND
death 26 Jan 1951, Birkenhead, Cheshire (or London?), ENGLAND (76y)
marriage married on ........., in Calcutta, India to:
Rosa C. .........

b. .... <1879/1880>, Liverpool, Lancashire
d. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1953, Wandsworth, London (83y)

  • Vera

    b. 25 Nov 1900, Lambeth, Greater London, London, Surrey, ENGLAND - baptized: 20 Feb 1901, Lambeth
    d. .. Oct 1994, Eastbourne, Sussex (93y)

  • Leonard Frederick

    b. 6 Mar 1904, Lambeth, London - baptized: 8 June 1904, Lambeth, London
    d. .. Apr 1987, Lewes, Sussex (83y)


father Frederick Henry PENNA

b. .... <1849/1850>, Brixton/Paddington, Surrey, ENGLAND
d. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1930, Paddington, London (81y)) musician (pianist)

mother Harriet(t) HAWKINS

b. .... <1855>, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
d. .. Apr/May/June 1940, Brighton, Sussex, ENGLAND (85y)

marriage they got married on 13 July 1873, Holy Trinity, Brompton Road, Kensington/Chelsea, Middlesex
  • Frederick Gabriel

    b. .. July/Aug/Sep 1874, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (between Gloucester & Cirencester), ENGLAND
    d. 26 Jan 1951, Birkenhead, Cheshire (or London?), ENGLAND (76y)


1861 CENSUS (
Catharine PENNA (28y; b. Paddington, Middlesex) wife of a commercial traveller
- Frederick [Henry] Penna (12y; b. Brixton/Paddington, Surrey, ENGLAND)
- William Penna (10y; b. Brixton, Surrey)
- Catharine M Penna (8y; b. Brixton, Surrey)

1891 CENSUS (Brighton, Sussex):
Harriet PENNA (36y; b. Cheltenham) boardinghouse keeper
- Frederick G. (16y) clerk

1901 CENSUS (
Frederick PENNA (26y) professional entertainer / Exhib.
Rosa PENNA (30y; b. Liverpool, Lancs.)
- Vera (4m; b. Lambeth, London))

sailed to Calcutta
Joined the Stanley Operatic Company touring through India and stayed with them for four years
in 1913 recorder FAVORITE (-/x/y)
ca. 1914 recording expert of Blum & Co. (TTMR 75, p. 2194)
composer / xylophone/bells player / comic
comic songs (laughing comedian)

acc. to THE TALKING MACHINE REVIEW No. 71, Nov 1986
pp 2050-2052 Billy Whitlock's real name was "William PENNA".
A picture of Whitlock can be found on p. 2050

Still recorded for DECCA in the early thirties
member of "The Favorite Minstrels" (FAVORITE/ARIEL)

also used pseudonyms: Madam Paula/Johnson Williams (on Pioneers)

to be consulted:

1891 CENSUS:
Frederick G. PENNA

1901 CENSUS:
Frederick PENNA

Divorce Court File: 8188. Appellant: Rosa Penna. Respondent: Frederick Gabriel Penna. Type: Wife's petition for judicial separation [wjs].
Covering dates: 1922
J 77/1863/8188 (The National Archives, Kew)


by Hugo Strötbaum


  • Favorite: the story of an independent German record company (1904-1914) by Hugo Strötbaum (in: The Lindström Project. Contributions to the history of the record industry / Beiträge zur Geschichte der Schallplattenindustrie. Vol. 2 (editors: Pekka Gronow & Christiane Hofer). Gesellschaft für Historische Tonträger, Wien 2010. ISBN 978-3-9500502-1-9
  • Two Merry Jesters - Chas. Penrose & Billy Whitlock (in: THE TALKING MACHINE REVIEW No. 71, Nov 1986, pp 2050-2052; originally from the Sound Wave of Feb 1915)
  • Favorite Revisited by Hugo Strötbaum (online)
  • Seventy-eight Revolutions Per Minute in the Levant. A Discography of Favorite's Oriental Recordings by Hugo Strötbaum (in: De Turcicis Aliisque Rebus, Commentarii Henry Hofman dedicati, M. Vandamme (ed.). Utrecht 1992, 227 pages (ISBN 90-393-0291-x))
  • Favorite: 1904-1914. Oftewel het relaas van de ongrijpbare q-serie. by Hugo Strötbaum (in: De Weergever, 17e jaargang No. 6 - november-december 1995, pp. 243-265
  • De Geschiedenis van Favorite: 1904-1914, deel 2. De opbouw van het katalogusnummer (=facenumber); achtergrondinformatie over de firma 'Favorite' by Hugo Strötbaum (in: De Weergever, 18e jaargang No. 1 - januari-februari 1996, pp. 2-22)
  • De Geschiedenis van Favorite: 1904-1914, deel 3 (slot). Voorlopig overzicht van de opnamesessies van Favorite, 1904-1914. by Hugo Strötbaum (in: De Weergever, 18e jaargang No. 2 - maart-april 1996, pp. 51-71)
  • Billy Whitlock and Vera: 90 Years of Entertaining by Dave Homewood (in: Hillandale News No. 190 of Feb 1993 (pp. 163-166) (picture of Whitlock and Penrose on front cover)
  • Favorite: Grammofoninnspillingene og artistene by Vidar Vanberg (Norsk grammofonplatehistorie 17. Eget forlag, Oslo 2007. ISBN 978-82-91962-03-0)
  • Favorite Records: A Discography by Frank Andrews and Bill Dean-Myatt (CLPGS Reference Series No. 8, 2010 with CD-ROM entitled Favorite Records in the United Kingdom: A history and catalogue reonstruction.
  • Als Linden noch Zentrum der Weltmusik war by Simon Benne (in: Hannoversche Allgemeine of 14 November 2015)