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Thursday, 11 February 2016

John Mills Sr. born 11 Febriary 1882

The Mills Brothers, sometimes billed as The Four Mills Brothers, and originally known as The Four Kings of Harmony, were an African-American jazz and pop vocal quartet of the 20th century who made more than 2,000 recordings that combined sold more than 50 million copies, and garnered at least three dozen gold records. The Mills Brothers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.
Born in Piqua, Ohio, Herbert (1912), Donald (1915), Harry (1913), and John Mills, Jr. (1911) began practicing in their father’s barbershop.  John, Sr. himself was and excellent light-opera stylist and sang with a group called the Four Kings of Harmony.  Barbershop harmony was the Mills boys’ forte, and they never did bring much spiritual or gospel flavor into their sound (although they did ultimately do a few sides for Decca’s Faith series).
The brothers began performing at the local opera house (and even on street corners) while imitating instruments with kazoos.  In one performance during the 1920s the teens forgot their kazoos and began improvising the sound of musical instruments with their voices while cupping their hands over their mouths.  (This became a musical breakthrough for them.)  John mastered the bass trumpet and tuba; Harry mimicked trumpet and sang baritone; Herbert did sax, trombone, and trumpet; and Donald was the tenor lead vocal.  John, Jr. played the guitar-the only actual instrument the group used.
In the late ‘20s the quartet was signed to perform in a variety of shows, on WLW-Cincinnati.  In order to make it seem as if more than one group was doing all that singing, each sponsor of each show gave the act a different name.  Hence they sang as the Steamboat Four, the Tasty East Jesters, and Will, Willie, Wilbur and William, among other names.  They finally worked on a show (ironically unsponsored) under the name the Mills Brothers.
The group’s fame spread to New York.  Agent Tommy Rockwell got the drift and brought the brothers east, where they wound up on the CBS radio network.
By 1931 they were recording for Brunswick Records.  The brothers would go on to have five number on records of which the first was “Tiger Rag,” issued in December of 1931.  The amazing brothers were still youngsters when they sat atop the musical world in 1931, ranging in age from 16 to 20.  Brunswick then released their “Gems from George White’s Scandals” with Bing Crosby and the Boswell Sisters.  It reached number three while “Tiger Rag’s” flip side, “Nobody’s Sweetheart,” held the number four spot.  Their second chart topper came shortly after their first: “Dinah,” again with Bing Crosby, charted on January 9, 1932, and spent two weeks at number one.
Perhaps trying to draw attention to the Brothers’ talent, Brunswick had its labels all read, “No musical instruments or mechanical devices used on this recording other that one guitar.”
Film now became a big part of the group’s across-the-board exposure, as they performed in The Big Broadcast (1932), operator 133 (1933), and Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934).

Jimmy Durante Lupe Velez Mills Brothers Strictly Dynamite 1934.

Not only were the Mills Brothers destined to be emulated by hundreds of vocal groups, but many of their recordings would later be covered by other groups in the style that came to be called rhythm and blues.  “Rockin’ Chair” (#4), issued in May of 1932, had what some historians consider to be the first talking-bass part in a black group record.
 In 1934 the group went to Decca Records and to England.  While Decca released new sides, Brunswick recordings were being reissued on the Melotone and Perfect labels as budget line issues.  Since British tastes differed, Mills Brothers releases on British Decca (not all of which made it to the States) were generally more jazz and blues oriented than their domestic product.
After a royal command performance at the London Palladium in 1935, John, Jr. became ill.  He died in January of 1936 at the age of 25.  John, Sr. then took over for his son.
Hits like “Chinatown, My Chinatown” (#10, 1932), “Sweet Sue” (#8, 1938) kept the group touring the world from Europe to Australia.

The Brothers’ biggest hit came smack in the middle of World War II.  Recorded February 18, 1942, and released in May, “Paper Doll” took more than a year to chart.  When it did so on July 17, 1943, it reached number one and stayed there for a full 12 weeks, ultimately selling more than six million copies.  Their fourth number one came in the summer of 1944 with “You Always Hurt the One You Love,” and its flip, “Till Then,” made it to number eight.  “Till Then” was also their biggest R&B charter, going to number one.  As the available listings only started in the early ‘40s, the Mills Brothers racked up only 11 recordings on the R&B hit lists between 1943 and 1949, indicating they may have been going over better with whites than blacks.
By 1950 the quartet had 50 chart hits.  Their last number one was 1952’s “Glow Worm,” adapted from the German operetta Lysistrata.  It also became their only hit in England, ranking number 10 at the beginning of 1953.
Up to 1950 almost every Mills Brothers recording featured only a guitar behind their voices in harmony and/or imitating instruments.  It was a gutsy move to imitate trumpets behind Louis Armstrong and his real trumpet (“Marie” and “The Old Folks at Home,” among others), and on one cut, “Caravan” (1938), they didn’t sing at all, just parodied their instruments.  The group dropped their
instrumental mimicking in the early ‘50s, opting instead for backing bands and orchestras.  To keep in step with the time the Brothers occasionally found themselves doing renditions of songs by groups who had learned from Mills Brothers’ own records of the ‘30s and ‘40s.  They covered THE CHARMS’ “Gumdrop” in 1955, THE CLOVERS’ “Smack Dab in the Middle,” and a cover of THE SILHOUETTES’ rocker “Get a Job” in early 1958, though by now their pop barbershop sound was becoming passé.

John, Sr. retired in the mid-‘50s, but the brothers stayed on the performing scene as a trio and continued to record for Dot.  In 1959 “Yellow Bird” peaked at number 70, and it looked like the record buyers had moved on to other sounds.  But nine years later the group, now in their mid-to late 50s, hit the charts three times in the midst of the soul and psychedelic era.  “Cab Driver” (#23, 1968) was followed by “My Shy Violet” (#73) and “The Ol’ Race Track” (#83), their last charter ever.
Unfortunately, John, Sr. never go to see the comeback: he died in 1967.  Harry died in 1982 at the age of 68 while Herbert passed away in 1989 at the age of 77.  In the early ‘90s, Donald and his son John III continued on as a duo. In 1999, Donald Mills, the last remaining original Mills brother passed away.
A 1950's session with Peggy Lee
Today, John Mills is currently touring under the name "The Mills Brothers" with onetime Platters lead vocalist Elmer Hopper.
The Mills Brothers’ influence was pervasive: they made black music acceptable to a wide audience and encouraged other black vocalists to carry on what they had started.  And lest we forget, they did it with dignity and grace in difficult racial times, carried forward by their warmth of character and mellow sound. (info mainly from

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Joyce Grenfell born 10 February 1910

Joyce Irene Grenfell, OBE (née Phipps; 10 February 1910 – 30 November 1979) was a British comedienne, who was the Queen of the comic monologue, and was an acclaimed comedy performer on stage, radio and television. She started her training at RADA in 1927, but left after six months, claiming "I think I lost interest in acting in plays because I found it too restrictive".
The daughter of a madcap socialite American mother, Nora Langhorne, and architect Paul Phipps, she was born Joyce Phipps in 1910. The niece of Nancy Astor, she spent a lot of her younger years at the Astor family home, Cliveden, and despite being born three quarters American, she is quintessentially English in character.
Joyce met her husband Reggie Grenfell, in 1927 and two years later they were married, living in a cottage on the Cliveden Estate lent by Aunt Nancy. It was whilst at a luncheon party at Cliveden that she met the editor of the Observer and told of how she listened to the radio during the day and was given the job of writing the first radio critic column in the paper, something she enjoyed for the next two years.
It was in 1939 when her performance debut took place. After meeting radio producer Stephen Potter at a party and amusing him with an impersonation of the speaker she had seen at a local Women's Institute meeting, she was persuaded to take part in a revue, The Little Revue, and it was a huge success.
She performed in a number of other revues in the West End before joining ENSA. Like many entertainers, she worked for ENSA during the war, performing in military hospitals and in 1942 toured the UK, with later tours of India and the Middle East. Her spot-on impersonations, characterizations and satirical songs became a big hit. One song "I'm Going to See You Today", which she herself wrote in 1942, became her signature song.
For over thirty years she appeared in revues, on radio and in films, and it was with Stephen Potter (of Gamesmanship fame) that she wrote and performed in the How To Series for the launch of the Third Programme in 1946.
She was finally sought after for films, finding an opening playing gawky matrons in rollicking comedies. The best of the lot would include The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950), Laughter in Paradise (1951). Her most famous film role was as Sergeant Gates in the St Trinian's films in the 1950's. She continued to star in revues working with celebrities such as Noel Coward and Max Adrian. Her first solo act was called Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure (1954) at the Fortune and St Martin's Theatre, which she eventually took to the USA.

Joyce wrote monologues, songs, and poems, working alongside Richard Addinsell for the musical accompaniment to her songs. She also put out highly popular comedy albums over the years. She continued to perform her monologues and songs until the late 1960's. Joyce's last performance was in 1973 before Queen Elizabeth and her guests at Windsor Castle.
Grenfell was also an avid letter writer and her friendship with Virginia Graham lasted for 62 years until her death.. The two were inseparable, and when they were apart, wrote daily. The letters were undiscovered until 1995, and give a whole social narrative as they discuss everything from war to politics, as well as the more private and emotional lives behind the comic performances.
Her health began to fail soon after. An eye infection resulted in a loss of sight in one eye and she was forced to retire. Six years later the eye was diagnosed as cancerous and, though it was removed, she continued to decline, dying on November 30, 1979 at home.
(Info edited from Wikipedia, IMDB, &

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Stompin' Tom Connors born 9 February 1936

Charles Thomas "Stompin' Tom" Connors, OC (February 9, 1936 – March 6, 2013) was a Canadian country and folk singer-songwriter. Focusing his career exclusively on his native Canada, Connors is credited with writing more than 300 songs and has released four dozen albums, with total sales of nearly 4 million copies,
He was born to the teenaged Isabel Connors and her boyfriend Thomas Sullivan. Upon the deaths of Isabel’s mother and
stepfather, the young family were left homeless and by the time Connors was three they were hitchhiking around the Maritime Provinces in the east of the country.
Thomas was soon skilled as a street beggar, then lived with his mother and baby sister in jail for a short while before, at the age of eight, being taken into the care of Children’s Aid. Placed with a foster family in Skinner’s Pond, Prince Edward Island, he made numerous escape attempts. “It’s damn hard to run away when you live on an island,” he once told Country Music News. “All the Mounties had to do was wait at the boat for me to arrive in someone’s car, on the back of a pickup or even walking.” He was 13 years old when he finally succeeded in leaving care for good.
There followed a long period of travel and odd jobs: gravedigger, tobacco picker, short-order cook. He bought his first guitar at the age of 14, writing lyrics and picking up new songs, and falling in love with the sights and peoples of Canada.
“I learned that there are people from one end of the country to the other with grassroots history that they think can never be taken away from them,” he recalled. “I’d go to radio stations, and sometimes they’d let me play a song or two on the air.”
His break came in 1964, when he was five cents short on a 40-cent order at a hotel bar. The bartender eyed his guitar. “Do you sing with that thing, or do you just use it to carry your clothes?” Connors replied that he knew a few songs; in fact, he had about 2,300 committed to memory. His performance so impressed the owner, Pete Kotze,  that he booked Connors for 14 months of performances. As word spread the hotel was soon packed with his followers, who hailed him “Stompin’ Tom” for his habit of pounding the floor with his boots as he sang.
Connors’s first single, Carolyne, was recorded in 1965, and his first album followed two years later. In 1970 he had a hit with Bud the Spud, peaking at No 26 in the country charts. From the beginning his work was charged with patriotic feeling, including titles such as The Canadian Lumberjack and The Old Atlantic Shore.

His 1973 track, The Hockey Song, became an anthem for sporting fans across the nation: “Oh! The good old hockey game/Is the best game you can name/And the best game you can name/Is the good old Hockey game!”
He averaged an album a year until 1978, when he retired for a decade. In all he produced four dozen albums and more than 300 songs, selling nearly four million records. His autobiography, Stompin’ Tom: Before the Fame (1995) became a bestseller.
Connors was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996. His second autobiography, The Connors Tone, followed four years later. Several of his trademark “Stompin’ boards” — pieces of plywood which he placed beneath his left foot while playing – have been auctioned off for charity, with one selling for $11, 000 in 2011.
Connors died of kidney failure on March 6, 2013 at his home in Ballinafad. He refused to seek medical treatment, as he was skeptical of the benefits of medical technology. On March 7, flags were lowered to half-mast at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and also in Tillsonburg, in order to mark his death. On March 9, that following Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada broadcast a special tribute to Connors at the opening of its broadcast.     (Info Wikipedia, mainly

Stompin' Tom Connors - Bud The Spud Live From Hamilton Ontario Concert 2005.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Greta Keller born 8 February 1903

Greta Keller-Bacon (February 8, 1903 – November 11, 1977) was a cabaret singer and actress.
Born Margaretha Keller in Vienna, Austria, she studied dance from the age of eight, followed by acting. Her début was in Pavillon, in Vienna. She also appeared on stage with Marlene Dietrich in Broadway, in which she sang and danced. A recording contract with Ultraphon in 1929 took her from Vienna to Prague and Berlin, where she enjoyed great success with Peter Igelhoff and Peter Kreuder.
Because of her low voice, her repertoire began with Robert-Stolz-Melodie "Adieu, mein kleiner Gardeoffizier" ("Adieu, mon petit officier"). Then she sang songs by Benatzky, Nelson, Kreuder and Igelhoff till Kästner and Tucholsky, as well as American songs.
She was forbidden to perform in Germany in 1937, when she could not furnish proof to Nazi officials that she was of Aryan descent; she left Austria with her piano accompanist, composer Peter Kreuder, for the United States in 1938.
For over 45 years her voice was familiar worldwide, in radio shows, films, revues, concerts and musicals, but above all in recordings. First called The Great Lady Of Chanson in her native Vienna, the nickname followed her to London and America.
In Hollywood she met and married Gaspar Griswold Bacon, Jr. son of Gaspar G. Bacon from a prominent "Boston Brahmin" family. The elder Bacon was a member of the board of Harvard University, and had been a close associate of J.P. Morgan, and later served as Secretary of State under Theodore Roosevelt and ambassador to France under William Howard Taft.
Her husband, known in film and theater as David Bacon, was murdered in 1943, two weeks after finishing a major role in the Republic serial The Masked Marvel. Speculation involved affairs with Howard Hughes and another actor, but the murder was never solved. Not long after that, their child was stillborn. It took some time for her to recover from these events, but she restarted her career in Switzerland, then on to Vienna, Berlin and back to New York City.
Her lieder voice carried the charm of the Parisian women but never lost the heart of the girl from Vienna. Greta's singing in what some call "a style reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich" comes from the fact she was the model for how Marlene Dietrich developed her own voice. Greta Keller made recordings throughout the world from the 1920s into the 1970s.

She spent many years in the United States, notably in hotel club rooms at the Waldorf and (later) the Stanhope in New York, where her show always included "My Way", with lyrics composed by Paul Anka, and a number of Noël Coward numbers.
 A "singer's singer," Keller often drew other performers to the room, including the Nordstrom Sisters, Beverly Sills and Hildegarde. Other regulars would book the same tables most nights that she was performing, including photographer Edgar de Evia. Favorites of the Stanhope crowd were the songs of Cole Porter and Noël Coward, for their sexual innuendo and double entendres. These included "Miss Otis Regrets" and "I'm the Other Woman in His Life" by her close friend Elisse Boyd. She regularly returned to Vienna. The poet and singer Rod McKuen was introduced by her to an audience in Vienna. McKuen, in turn, hosted a concert presenting her at Lincoln Center in the 1970s, and wrote the English lyric "If You Go Away" to Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas," which she always sang.

Greta's greatest strength was in her adaptability. She sang each song in a unique way. Her repertoire included songs from the 1930s through the war years as well as popular songs of the day. A few years before her death, her voice was heard in the Academy Award-winning movie, Cabaret (1972), for which she sang the song, "Heirat" (Married). The last years of her life, from 1973 until her death in November 1977 Greta lived, worked, and traveled with her last partner, Wolfgang Nebmaier, who now lives in Southern Oregon. (Info mainly Wikipedia)

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Fabian born 6 February 1943

Fabiano Anthony Forte (born February 6, 1943), better known as Fabian, is a former American teen idol of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He rose to national prominence after performing several times on American Bandstand. In total, he charted 11 hit singles in the Billboard Hot 100.
Fabian was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Josephine and Domenic Forte. His father was a policeman and had ill health. Fabian was discovered in 1957 by Bob Marcucci and Peter DeAngelis, owners of Chancellor Records. At the time, record producers were looking to the South Philadelphia neighbourhoods in search of teenage talents with good looks, and Frankie Avalon, also of South Philly, suggested Fabian as a possibility.
Fabian's father could not work any longer and since Fabian was the oldest of three brothers, he took a chance at making some money in the music business to help his family out. He never thought of singing and recording as a career, only as a way of stepping in for his father at the time. And yet, before he knew it, Fabian's popularity soared, and soon thousands rushed to his concerts. At fifteen, Fabian won the Silver Award as "The Promising Male Vocalist of 1958".
With songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Fabian released a series of hit singles for Chancellor Records including "I'm a Man", "Hound Dog Man", "Turn Me Loose", and his biggest hit, "Tiger". His career in music basically ended with the payola scandal of the 1960s, when it was alleged that his records were doctored significantly to improve his voice.

Fabian went on to appear in more than 30 films, including Five Weeks in a Balloon, High Time, North to Alaska, The Longest Day and Ride the Wild Surf (1964) (with Tab Hunter). Most of his early films were comedies, and cast him as a restless teenager with a penchant for singing. After 1965, his film and singing career began to fade, along with his popularity as a teen idol. He was one of the few celebrities to pose with semi-frontal nudity during the late 1970s, posing for Playgirl magazine in its September 1973 issue.
He never regained his former stature, but has continued performing for more than 40 years. Since 1985 he has been appearing with Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell to perform concerts as The Golden Boys. Countless television appearances, a special performance for the President of United States and a Golden Boys PBS special have brought in a vast audience of fans,  and not only from the “ Bandstand” generation, but all generations.
In 1998, Fabian married model Andrea Patrick, a former Miss Pennsylvania-USA and Miss West Virginia, who is the owner/CEO of Patrick Talent Agency. He is also a proud father of a son, Christian Forte, and his wife, and their daughter, Fabian's granddaughter, Ava Josephine, and a daughter, Julie Forte. Fabian and Andrea are actively involved in the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Assocation and Fabian has helped raise money for veterans with his Celebrity Golf Tournament in North Carolina. Andrea and Fabian live on 20 acres in South-western Pennsylvania with their dog, Max, in a home that Andrea designed.
An overnight singing sensation, a film star with over 30 films to his credit, and the producer of his own concert series, Fabian continues to expand his ever-growing career. This pop music and motion picture icon, received one of show business' highest honours when he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 8, 2002. Fabian's 40+ years performing for his loyal fans at packed concerts, stadiums, casinos, festivals and theater productions garnered him the 2188th star and Fabian honoured his fans by dedicating his star to them on this memorable day.  (Info mainly edited from Wikipedia)

Fabian performs two songs on the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. March 07, 1959.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Neil Christian born 4 February 1943

Neil Christian, (4 February 1943* – 4 January 2010) was an English pop singer who greatly contributed to the formative days of British rock. He fronted his backing group the Crusaders from 1960 to 1967, before starting a solo career in Germany. He had a solo hit single in 1966, with "That's Nice."  He remains, however, a one-hit wonder. Follow-up singles "Oops" and "Two at a Time" never reached the charts..
Neil Christian (born Christopher Tidmarsh on 4 February 1940) grew up in Shoreditch, East London. He was infatuated by Rock & Roll, but with no desire to perform.By 1960 he was working as the driver for Red E Lewis & The Redcaps when he heard about a talented new guitarist and travelled to a hall Epsom to see him. It was the 15-year-old Jimmy Page, still at school, and – thanks to Mr Tidmarsh – about to join his first professional band.When Red E Lewis failed to turn up to a gig one night, Page suggested Neil front the band.

After a name change to Neil Christian & The Crusaders they recorded their first single – November 1962’s Joe Meek-produced The Road To Love. Neils group was a breeding ground for many great young musicians and included, at various times, among others guitarists Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Paul Brett (Arthur Brown), Albert Lee (Chris Farlowe), Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) and Mick Abrahams (Jethro Tull); bass players, Alex Dmchowski, Tony Dangerfield and Rick Brown; pianist Nicky Hopkins (Jeff Beck Group), and drummer Carlo Little (Rollingstones).
When most of the line-up left to join Lord Sutch's Savages in 1965, Christian took on members of Luton Band The Hustlers, including Mick Abrahams, although in 1966 a touring version of The Crusaders was put together to promote the hit single "That's Nice" which consisted of Tony Marsh piano (b. Anthony Marsh, 1946); Tornado Evans drums; Ritchie Blackmore guitar; and Bibi Blange bass. Further singles failed to reach the charts, however, and Christian moved to Germany, where he remained popular.

He had recorded Merseybeat-ish numbers, British R&B, and bloated MOR pop, but none of his 8 singles made a mark at home, except of "That's Nice" that reached #16 in 1966.
Christian released his final British 45 “You're All Things Bright And Beautiful” for Pye in 1967. He moved to Vogue for whom he recorded “My Baby's Left Me / Yakity Yak” with Richie Blackmore on guitar, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Rick Brown on bass and Carlo Little on drums, although it was not released until the following year.
In summer 1967, he began a solo career though he still released records as “Neil Christian & The Crusaders.” He released some additional tracks in Germany, in the late '60s where he did better.
 In 1971, Neil took over management of the band Crushed Butler when they changed their name to Tiger. Neil brought them into the recording studios in Wembley and Tooting, London where he produced them. However, the band was unable to secure a record deal and split in late 1971. A final single was recorded by Neil for a release on the Satril label with "She's Got the Power" b/w "Someone's Following Me Around" seeing a release in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Neil Christian passed away January 4 2010 following a long battle with cancer.
Everything Christian released between 1962 and 1968 has been reissued on the CD compilation, That's Nice, which also added several unreleased recordings from the same era.
(Info edited from various sources inc.Wikipedia & 45cat)
(* other sources give 14 Feb as birth date also some give 1940 as year) 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Reg Owen born 3 February 1921

Reg Owen (3 February 1921 – 23 May 1978) was an English conductor and arranger.
Although reference books wildly stab at Reg Owen's year of birth anywhere from 1900 to 1929, and the location as far north as Lancashire, he was in fact born George Owen Smith on 3 February 1921 at the Lower Clapton end of Hackney, east London.
His father Albert Edward Smith was a silk salesman, but young "Reg," as he liked to be called, preferred a musical career. He began playing the saxophone at the age of 15. He played in local groups such as Teddy Joyce's Juveniles and the Royal Kiltie Juniors, before founding his own ensemble whilst still in his teens. He studied with Benny Glassman and then attended the Royal College of Music.
Following RAF service, in which he played for the Bomber Command Band, he became arranger for the Ted Heath orchestra from 1945, then arranged for other conductors including Cyril Stapleton. When he joined the PRS in 1954 he decided to change his name legally to "Reginald Owen."
Regarded as one of England's leading orchestrators, Reg published his book "The Reg Owen Arranging Method" in 1956. His own film scores date from 1957, including the scores to Date with Disaster (1957), Payroll (1961) and Very Important Person (1961).

In 1959, he even scored a Top 40 hit in the U.S. with "Manhattan Spiritual". The song was issued on the small Palette label in the USA and began its climb in December 1958, ultimately reaching number 10 in February 1959. Meanwhile, the record was issued in the UK on Pye International, where it reached number 20. Owen placed one other single on the UK chart, ‘Obsession’, which peaked at #43 in the UK in October 1960 . None of his albums,
including those recorded for RCA Records prior to ‘Manhattan Spiritual’s success, charted in either country.
I He moved to Brussels in 1961, though he continued to arrange, compose and conduct albums all over Europe, including France, Germany and Italy. Moving finally to Spain, Reg's untimely death at 57 occurred at the Clinica Limonar, Malaga, on 23 May 1978, and was notified to the British Consul in Madrid by his widow Maria Luisa. (Info edited mainly from All Music Guide & IMDB)