Harry Roy
Harry Roy was a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 dance band
Dance band
Dance band can be one of several kinds of musical ensemble:* British dance band* Dansband, a Swedish pop genre* A Eurodance band...

 leader and clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name derives from adding the suffix -et to the Italian word clarino , as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed...

 player from the 1920s until the 1960s.

Life and career

He was born Harry Lipman in Stamford Hill
Stamford Hill
Stamford Hill is a place in the north of the London Borough of Hackney, England, near the border with Haringey. It is home to Europe's largest Hasidic Jewish and Adeni Jewish community.Stamford Hill is NNE of Charing Cross.-History:...

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, and began to study clarinet and alto saxophone at the age of 16. He and his brother Sidney formed a band which they called The Darnswells, with Harry playing saxophone and clarinet and Sidney on piano. During the 1920s they performed in several prestige venues such as the Alhambra
The Alhambra , the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra , is a palace and fortress complex located in the Granada, Andalusia, Spain...

 and the London Coliseum, under names such as the Original Lyrical Five and the Original Crichton Lyricals. They spent three years at the Café de Paris
Café de Paris (London)
Café de Paris is a London nightclub, located in the West End, beside Leicester Square on Coventry Street, Piccadilly.It opened in 1924 and subsequently featured such performers as Dorothy Dandridge, Marlene Dietrich, Harry Gold, Harry Roy, Ken Snakehips Johnson and Maxine Cooper Gomberg...

, and toured South Africa, Australia, and Germany. By the early '30s Harry was fronting the band under his own name, and broadcasting from the Café Anglais and the Mayfair Hotel. In 1931 he wrote and sang "My Girl's Pussy
My Girl's Pussy
"My Girl's Pussy" is a song by the British bandleader and clarinetist Harry Roy. The song was recorded in 1931 by Harry Roy and His Bat Club Boys.-Lyrics:"My Girl's Pussy" is a song by the British bandleader and clarinetist Harry Roy...

", which has since been the subject of many covers and remakes. In 1935 he married Elizabeth Brooke, daughter of the white Rajah of Sarawak
Charles Vyner Brooke
Vyner, Rajah of Sarawak, GCMG was the third and final White Rajah of Sarawak.-Early life:...

, with whom he appeared in two musical films, Rhythm Racketeer (1937) and Everything Is Rhythm (1940).

During the war years, Harry toured around with his band, Harry Roy's Tiger Ragamuffins. He was at the Embassy Club in 1942, and a little later, toured the Middle East, entertaining troops. In 1948 Harry went to the U.S., but was refused a work permit. Returning to England, he reformed his band and scored a big hit with his recording of "Leicester Square Rag".

By the early 1950s the big band
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

 era had come to an end. The band split up, but Harry still drifted in and out of the music scene. In the 1950s, he ran his own restaurant, the Diners' Club, but it was destroyed by fire. In 1969, Harry returned to music, leading a quartet in the London Lyric Theatre's show Oh Clarence, but he was by then in failing health and died in London in February 1971.

External links

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