Edmund 'Ted' Hockridge
Edmund "Ted" (James) Hockridge. Baritone, born Vancouver 9 Aug 1919; died Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England 15 Mar 2009. Ted Hockridge studied piano and voice in Vancouver and was encouraged by the visiting Metropolitan Opera baritone John Charles Thomas, who heard him sing a solo in church. In London during the Second World War, Hockridge studied with George Baker and won an amateur contest at the Canadian Forces' Beaver Club in 1941. This led to engagements on the CBC-BBC programs "Maple Leaf Matinee" in 1942 and "Johnny Canuck's Revue" 1942-5, which established his popularity. He also performed on the BBC with fellow Canadians Robert Farnon (the Canadian Army Orchestra) and organist Sandy Macpherson and with the Queen's Hall Light Orchestra and the Melachrino Strings. After his return to Canada in 1946 he had his own CBC radio shows (heard also in the USA on the MBS) and sang leading roles in CBC productions of 13 Gilbert & Sullivan operas 1948-9 and of Don Giovanni and Peter Grimes 1949-50. He also sang with the TSO several times 1946-50, at the Promenade Symphony Concerts in 1947, and in the title role of Don Giovanni with the Toronto Opera Festival in 1950.
Returning to London in 1950, Hockridge appeared in leading roles in West End productions of Carousel 1950-3, Guys and Dolls 1953-4, Can-Can in 1954, and the Pajama Game 1955-6, and on many BBC radio and TV series. As a cabaret performer Hockridge sang in European cities, Nairobi, and Hong Kong. In 1974 in England he devised and presented a one-man show, drawing on his wide repertoire of popular and concert songs, opera, musical comedy, and spirituals. In 1984 he appeared in a revival of The Sound of Music with Isla St Clair and in 1986 he partnered with rocker Suzi Quatro in a production of Annie Get Your Gun. In 1989, with his wife and two sons, he formed the Hockridge Family Singers, which presented over 50 concerts during the 1990-1 season.
During his 50-year career, Hockridge recorded over 15 LPs and some 20 singles for Decca, HMV, Marble Arch, Quality, and others, performed in seven musicals and appeared with an array of stars. Among his recordings, "Hey There," "Young and Foolish," and "Fountains of Rome" were especially successful.