Charles Coborn

Comedian, Musical Artist

1852 – 1945


Who was Charles Coborn?

Charles Coborn was a British music hall singer and comedian born in Stepney, east London.

He was born Charles Whitton McCallum, and adopted his stage name from Coborn Road, near Mile End. In a long career, Coborn was known largely for two comic songs: Two Lovely Black Eyes and The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Fred Gilbert, in 1892. The song was bought for £10, but the rights were finally sold for £600.

Coborn estimated that he had sung the latter song 250,000 times in the course of his career, and could sing it in 14 languages. Described as a 'literate man of high principles', he was never fully accepted by the music hall establishment, but continued to work until the end of his long life. Tracks that he recorded in his 80s can be found on Chairman's Choice - Music Hall Greats CD.

In other songs such as "Should husbands work?" he took up the music hall tradition of social comment.

He appeared in the film Variety Jubilee, at the age of 91, and continued to make occasional appearances, until his death in London in 1945. He is buried with his wife in Brompton Cemetery, London.

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Aug 4, 1852
Also known as
  • Coborn, Charles
  • United Kingdom
Nov 23, 1945
Resting place
Brompton Cemetery

on July 23, 2013


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