One artist that was bigger than most was Coventry’s first musical mega star T.E. Dunville. Born Thomas Edward Wallen in Coventry 29th July1867 at 32 New St. Educated at Bablake School. He was the son of a tailor and his father had plans for him to enter into the silk trade. Teddie had other ideas after being exposed to the theatre whilst attending ‘The Coventry Fair’.
T.E. Dunville was born. Billed as an Eccentric Comedian, his bizarre hairstyles, red nose and long skinny tight clad legs worked perfectly with his physical humour. He was also one of the first ‘Alternative Comedians’, always ready to joke about the news of the day, when he wasn’t singing his nonsensical song of course.
He became one of Coventry’s biggest stars earning over £100 a week, and to use one of his most popular songs, “It Was Packed Every Night”. America wanted him, but he was always too busy to travel. By 1924 as Music Hall gave way to the ‘Movies’, and work dried up, he happened to over hear someone call him a ‘has been’. He took his life and his body was found in Thames.