Light baritone Hamilton Hill (1869–1910) was a prominent early Australian music hall, vaudeville and recording artist born in Gordons (near Ballarat, Victoria).
Hill began his stage career in Perth in the early 1890s with Charles Godfrey, before joining Henry Bracy’s opera company, and later touring with Harry Rickards.
In 1899 he left Australia for San Francisco where he opened at the Orpheum, then toured America for three years.
Hill subsequently made his mark in England, performing at the Empire Theatre in London, before touring and recording many of his popular songs for The Gramophone Co., Edison, Nicole, Odeon, Columbia, Lambert, Sterling, Favourite, Beka, Jumbo, Clarion and Pathé.
‘Starlight’, recorded on wax cylinder by Sterling, was a newly published march song for piano and vocals by Tin Pan Alley duo Theodore Morse (composer) and Edward Madden (lyricist), and is notable for highlighting the relationship between the music publishers and performers of the time and the emerging recording industry.
Hill died at the age of 40 in Los Angeles in 1910.
Image: Hamilton Hill. Courtesy J. Albert and Son, c1906.