Thursday, 31 August 2017

Roy Castle born 31 August 1932

Roy Castle, OBE (31 August 1932– 2 September 1994) was an English dancer, singer, comedian, actor, television presenter and musician. In addition to being an accomplished jazz trumpet player, he could play many other instruments. Following a versatile career as a performer on stage, television and film, he became best known to British television viewers as the long-running presenter of the children's series Record Breakers.

Castle was born in Scholes, near Holmfirth, West Riding of Yorkshire. The son of a railwayman, he was a tap dancer from an early age and trained at Nora Bray's school of dance with Audrey Spencer who later turned out to have a big dance school, and after leaving Holme Valley Grammar School (now Honley High School) he started his career as an entertainer in an amateur concert party. As a young performer in the 1950s, he lived in Cleveleys near Blackpool and appeared there at the local Queen's Theatre, turning professional in 1953 as a stooge for Jimmy Clitheroe and Jimmy James. By 1958 he was appearing at the Royal Variety Show. As a singer, he released one charting single in 1960, the Christmas song "Little White Berry".
In 1965, Castle starred with Peter Cushing in the film Dr. Who and the Daleks, the first of two cinematic spin-offs from the popular BBC television series. He also appeared in Dr. Terror's House of Horrors as a jazz musician suffering a curse after copying voodoo tunes. He also appeared in Carry On Up the Khyber in 1968, and in the TV musical Pickwick for the BBC in 1969.

In the 70s he appeared again in Pickwick, touring the country, starring alongside Harry Secombe and the show was recorded again, which show Sir Harry had originally starred in the West End in 1963. In 1973, Castle teamed up with the actor and comedian Ronnie Barker in the original one-off called "Another Fine Mess."
Between 1958 and 1969, Castle recorded three LPs. One of these, Songs For A Rainy Day was recorded in 1966 for Columbia and was reissued in the UK on CD by EMI Gold, re-titled Isn't This A Lovely Day. The record features twelve songs with rain as the theme. British jazz players of the day played on the record and it features jazz arrangements by Victor Graham covering a variety of styles such as big band. Roy also recorded many singles from 1958 until 1993. He recorded for Pye, Philips, Columbia, MGM, United Artists and a few independent labels.

Between 1967 and 1968 Castle co-starred with Jimmy Edwards in the London West End run of the comedy farce show Big Bad Mouse when Eric Sykes had to withdraw because of illness. The show was resident at the Shaftesbury Theatre and, being loosely scripted, it offered both Edwards and Castle the chance to freely ad-lib and generally break the fourth wall with the audience, Castle breaking into trumpet performances while Edwards walked into a front stall seat to read a newspaper, tap dancing and firing ping-
Roy with Cilla Black
pong balls into the stalls. He also once stood in for Bruce Forsyth hosting The Generation Game in 1975 while Forsyth was ill. He made many appearances on BBC TV's long running variety show The Good Old Days, making huge use of his multi instrumental and performing skills.
In 1972, he first presented Record Breakers, a children's show, and he remained host for over 20 years. He recorded the theme song for the show himself. While presenting the show he broke nine world records himself, including Fastest tap-dance 1,440 taps per minute – 24 taps per second, set on 14 January 1973, a record that has never been bettered. / Longest wing walk – 3 hours, 23 minutes. / Playing the same tune on 43 different instruments in four minutes.
He was a host of the show up until a few months before his death in 1994, alongside Norris and Ross McWhirter, Fiona Kennedy and Cheryl Baker. From then on, hosting was taken over by Baker and former athlete Kriss Akabusi. It continued for 29 years until 2001, one of Britain's longest-running shows.
Castle was found to have lung cancer in January 1992. He was predicted to live only another 6 months. He underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and went into remission later that year. A non-smoker, he blamed his illness on passive smoking during his years of playing the trumpet in smoky jazz clubs. On 26 November 1993, Castle announced that his illness had returned, and once again underwent treatment in the hope of overcoming it.
Several months later, he carried out the high-profile Tour of Hope to raise funds for the erection of the building that would become the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, which is the only British charity dedicated solely to defeating lung cancer. By this stage, however, his condition was deteriorating and recovery was looking highly unlikely.
He died in Buckinghamshire on 2 September 1994, two days after his 62nd birthday.
(Info edited from Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For “Roy Castle ‎– Songs For A Rainy Day” (1966) go here:

1) Soon It's Gonna Rain
2) The Gentle Rain
3) February Brings The Rain
4) Stormy Weather
5) Here's That Rainy Day
6) Rain, Rain (Don't Go Away)
7) Everytime It Rains
8) April Showers
9) Isn't This A Lovely Day
10) Pennies From Heaven
11) Singin' In The Rain
12) Where Do You Go

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