IVOR NOVELLO, died on this date (b. 1893); a Welsh composer, singer, and who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the early 20th century. Novello was well-known for some of his more glamorous affairs. For thirty-five years, he was the lover of the British actor Bobbie Andrews and he had an affair with the British poet and writer Siegfried Sassoon. It was widely rumored and reported that he had slept with none other than Winston Churchill. When Churchill was asked to describe how was it? He was said to have told the reporter, “Musical!”
Only a few weeks before Novello’s death, Noel Coward had written of him: “Theatre – good, bad and indifferent – is the love of his life. For him, other human endeavors are mere shadows. … The reward of his work lies in the indisputable fact that whenever and wherever he appears the vast majority of the British public flock to see him.” Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians writes of Novello that he was “until the advent of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the 20th-century’s most consistently successful composer of British musicals.