Harry Roy, born Harry Lipman (January 12, 1900, in Stamford Hill, London –February 1, 1971, in London) was a British dance band leader and clarinetist from the 1920s until the 1960s.
Harry and his brother Syd formed a band which they called The Darnswells. When the Original Dixieland Jazz Band left the Hammersmith Palais, they were replaced by the Roy Brothers Original Lyrical Five. They again changed name, becoming the Original Crichton Lyricals. At times, the band recorded as “The Lyricals”, “Sid Roy’s Crichton Lyricals”, and just “The Crichton Lyricals”. Harry Roy later said that his idol was the clarinetist for the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Larry Shields. The Roy’s band was very popular in London where they played all the better spots including the Alhambra; the London Coliseum; Rector’s Club; Oddenino’s; and the Cavour Restaurant.
In February 1927, they were booked into the Café de Paris. During 1928, they toured to South Africa and to Australia. In 1930 they made some recordings in Germany. In 1931, Harry Roy left to form his own band, with Syd becoming manager of the Harry Roy band. In 1932, the Harry Roy band was at the London Pavilion; in January 1933 they were at the Café Anglais, where they began remote BBC broadcasts. From July 1933 through June 1936, the band was resident in the May Fair Hotel. In 1935, Roy received publicity when he married H.H. Dayang Elizabet of Sarawak, the second daughter of Charles Vyner Brooke, the then Rajah of Sarawak. In 1935, the band was in the film Everything Is Rhythm and again in the 1936 film Rhythm Racketeer.
In 1938, Roy took his band on a three-month tour of South America. On October 16, 1939, the band was booked into the Café Anglais for a month. They then continued touring and theatre performances, going into the Embassy Club in October 1940. During the war years, Harry toured around. He was in the Embassy Club in 1942, and a little later, toured the Middle East. In 1948 Harry went to the U.S., but was unable to get a work permit. Returning to England, he formed a new band for the Café Anglais in 1949. By the early 1950s the big band era had come to an end. The band split up, but Roy still drifted in and out of the music scene. In the ’50s, he was running his own restaurant. In 1969, he led a quartet in the London Lyric Theatre’s show Oh Clarence. He was 69 years of age then, and in failing health. In February, 1971, he died in London.
He wrote and sang a Song in 1931 called My Girl’s Pussy. It has been the subject of many covers and remakes along with being featured in Hollywood films, radio programs and blogs.
Edited by liftarn on 27 Jan 2011, 12:12
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