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Tommy Steele - A Handful Of Songs
Tommy Steele - A Handful Of Songs
Published: 2015/06/30
Channel: wasaexpress
Tommy Steele - Flash Bang Wallop (Taken from Half a Sixpence DVD)
Tommy Steele - Flash Bang Wallop (Taken from Half a Sixpence DVD)
Published: 2014/08/09
Channel: Tim Barker
Tommy Steele: The Alan Titchmarsh Show: 01/11/12
Tommy Steele: The Alan Titchmarsh Show: 01/11/12
Published: 2012/11/02
Channel: operathephantom
Finian
Finian's Rainbow - Fred Astair & Tommy Steele
Published: 2013/03/13
Channel: Btybooo
TOMMY STEELE       Singing The Blues
TOMMY STEELE Singing The Blues
Published: 2009/12/28
Channel: imanuglyfrog
Tommy Steele - Little White Bull  (1959)
Tommy Steele - Little White Bull (1959)
Published: 2010/08/04
Channel: YCSMusic2
Tommy Steele Band - How The Hell Did I Get Here (Official Video)
Tommy Steele Band - How The Hell Did I Get Here (Official Video)
Published: 2017/08/07
Channel: TommySteeleBand
Tommy Steele -
Tommy Steele -'Bridge Over Troubled Water' -1979
Published: 2012/08/05
Channel: operathephantom
Tommy Steele - Doomsday Rock. 1956.
Tommy Steele - Doomsday Rock. 1956.
Published: 2012/10/26
Channel: phil burnitt
Tommy Steele -Rock and Roll Medley - 2004 Royal Variety Performance
Tommy Steele -Rock and Roll Medley - 2004 Royal Variety Performance
Published: 2011/12/30
Channel: operathephantom
Tommy Steele - Singing the Blues
Tommy Steele - Singing the Blues
Published: 2012/09/07
Channel: NM Catalogue
Tommy Steele - Princess - (Re-Mastered) - 1958 -From The Movie - The Juke Wore Jeans.
Tommy Steele - Princess - (Re-Mastered) - 1958 -From The Movie - The Juke Wore Jeans.
Published: 2017/06/24
Channel: John David Allen
Tommy Steele
Tommy Steele 'Singing The Blues' 1956 78 rpm
Published: 2016/06/15
Channel: OldiesAl
'I Have A Song to Sing, O!' -Tommy Steele. 'Yeomen of the Guard', 1978
Published: 2014/07/17
Channel: operathephantom
A Handful Of Songs - Tommy Steele
A Handful Of Songs - Tommy Steele
Published: 2008/09/28
Channel: empireken
TOMMY STEELE ROCK WITH THE CAVEMAN
TOMMY STEELE ROCK WITH THE CAVEMAN
Published: 2013/09/05
Channel: Ricko chico
Tommy Steele - Money To Burn - Banjo Song (Taken from Half a Sixpence DVD)
Tommy Steele - Money To Burn - Banjo Song (Taken from Half a Sixpence DVD)
Published: 2015/11/18
Channel: Tim Barker
Tommy Steele Wedding (1960)
Tommy Steele Wedding (1960)
Published: 2014/04/13
Channel: British Pathé
Tommy Steele Rebel rock
Tommy Steele Rebel rock
Published: 2009/02/13
Channel: rockin lolo
Tommy Steele - The Ugly Duckling
Tommy Steele - The Ugly Duckling
Published: 2017/02/14
Channel: Michael Lund Olsen
Tommy Steele - I Like Do You Like  (Re-Mastered) - (HD)
Tommy Steele - I Like Do You Like (Re-Mastered) - (HD)
Published: 2017/06/23
Channel: John David Allen
Tommy Steele and Gene Kelly:
Tommy Steele and Gene Kelly: 'Two of a Kind' -1966
Published: 2011/12/28
Channel: operathephantom
Tommy Steele - Beautiful Noise
Tommy Steele - Beautiful Noise
Published: 2017/02/05
Channel: Michael Lund Olsen
Tommy Steele
Tommy Steele
Published: 2007/04/14
Channel: aap257
Tommy Steele- Elevator Rock
Tommy Steele- Elevator Rock
Published: 2007/06/23
Channel: elrebeldon
Tommy Steele - Elevator Rock (Re-Mastered) -1957 - (HD)
Tommy Steele - Elevator Rock (Re-Mastered) -1957 - (HD)
Published: 2017/06/23
Channel: John David Allen
Tommy Steele
Tommy Steele
Published: 2010/08/17
Channel: George Pollen
Half a sixpence mp4
Half a sixpence mp4
Published: 2012/07/04
Channel: grovesey69
Jubilee 2012 - Wednesday Morning - Tommy Steele - "God Didn
Jubilee 2012 - Wednesday Morning - Tommy Steele - "God Didn't Bring You This Far To Leave You"
Published: 2012/07/02
Channel: TeaysValleyBaptist
Tommy Steele - Nairobi
Tommy Steele - Nairobi
Published: 2016/08/14
Channel: Elmar Naumann
Tommy Steele - Flash Bang Wallop  (1963)
Tommy Steele - Flash Bang Wallop (1963)
Published: 2010/06/01
Channel: YCSMusic2
Tommy Steele
Tommy Steele
Published: 2014/01/07
Channel: vintagemusictv
Tommy Steele Live 1966 - Little White Bull
Tommy Steele Live 1966 - Little White Bull
Published: 2012/06/21
Channel: presotopi
Tommy Steele -Fascinating Rhythm -1995
Tommy Steele -Fascinating Rhythm -1995
Published: 2014/06/21
Channel: operathephantom
Tommy Steele - Come On Let
Tommy Steele - Come On Let's Go
Published: 2009/02/16
Channel: ukbarton
Tommy Steele - Butterfingers
Tommy Steele - Butterfingers
Published: 2008/10/13
Channel: empireken
Tommy Steele - Tallahassee Lassie
Tommy Steele - Tallahassee Lassie
Published: 2012/08/21
Channel: Bonneville66
TOMMY STEELE :::  WHAT A MOUTH (WHAT A NORTH AND SOUTH) (with lyrics)
TOMMY STEELE ::: WHAT A MOUTH (WHAT A NORTH AND SOUTH) (with lyrics)
Published: 2009/03/27
Channel: Rikkyhardo
Tommy Steele - It
Tommy Steele - It's All Happening (1958)
Published: 2016/12/16
Channel: John David Allen
Tommy Steele - Water, Water
Tommy Steele - Water, Water
Published: 2016/06/14
Channel: Let's Rock!
Tommy Steele - Two Eyes.
Tommy Steele - Two Eyes.
Published: 2011/04/15
Channel: Kevin Allen
Tommy Steele Band - Rockin
Tommy Steele Band - Rockin' Both Sides [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
Published: 2017/01/19
Channel: TommySteeleBand
Tommy Steele & Things (part 1)
Tommy Steele & Things (part 1)
Published: 2010/09/07
Channel: sjrpar
Tommy Steele:
Tommy Steele: 'Thank You Very Much' -Children in Need 2004
Published: 2011/12/27
Channel: operathephantom
Tommy Steele - Cannibal pot
Tommy Steele - Cannibal pot
Published: 2016/08/14
Channel: Elmar Naumann
Tommy Steele and Cast:
Tommy Steele and Cast: 'Happiness' -Scrooge, 10/11/12
Published: 2012/11/12
Channel: operathephantom
Neil Sean meets Tommy Steele on Talking Pictures TV
Neil Sean meets Tommy Steele on Talking Pictures TV
Published: 2016/09/08
Channel: NEIL SEAN'S SHOWBIZ
An Evening With Tommy Steele - Applause Applause
An Evening With Tommy Steele - Applause Applause
Published: 2012/12/26
Channel: Emily Colclough
TOMMY STEELE The Tommy Steele story n°1 ep DECCA DFE 6398..GB 1957
TOMMY STEELE The Tommy Steele story n°1 ep DECCA DFE 6398..GB 1957
Published: 2011/07/11
Channel: bebopcapitol
Tommy Steele -Singing the Blues -Sweden, 2000
Tommy Steele -Singing the Blues -Sweden, 2000
Published: 2012/05/21
Channel: operathephantom
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Thomas Steele
OBE
Tommy Steel 1957.jpg
Tommy Steele performing in Stockholm in 1957
Background information
Birth name Thomas William Hicks
Born (1936-12-17) 17 December 1936 (age 80)
Bermondsey, London, England
Genres Rock and roll, skiffle
Occupation(s) Singer, actor
Instruments Guitar, banjo
Years active 1956–present
Labels Decca, Columbia, RCA Victor
Associated acts The Steelmen

Thomas Steele OBE (born Thomas William Hicks, 17 December 1936) and better known as Tommy Steele is an English entertainer, regarded as Britain's first teen idol and rock and roll star.[1][2] He reached number one with "Singing the Blues" in 1957, and The Tommy Steele Story was the first album by a UK act to reach number one.

Steele's film credits include Half a Sixpence, The Happiest Millionaire and Finian's Rainbow, and he has made many stage tours in the UK. He is also a songwriter, author and sculptor. His claim to have shown Elvis Presley around London has been challenged by more than one source.

In 2012, Steele was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of the last six decades.[3]

Biography[edit]

Singer[edit]

Steele worked in various jobs, including a brief period as a merchant seaman. He was not eligible for national service because, at eighteen years old, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.[4] In his autobiography, Bermondsey Boy: Memories of a Forgotten World, he reports that he failed the medical because he had flat feet. Whenever not working, he played guitar and banjo and sang in two coffee houses in Soho, the 2i's Coffee Bar and the Cat's Whisker, both as a solo performer and with Wally Whyton's Vipers Skiffle Group.

When a ship Steele was serving on docked in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, he heard Buddy Holly and fell in love with rock and roll, turning his back on the British skiffle craze. He was discovered by freelance photographer John Kennedy, who believed Steele could be Britain's answer to Elvis Presley. Later co-manager Larry Parnes was incorrectly credited with creating the stage name 'Tommy Steele'. It was Steele who adapted the surname of his Scandinavian paternal grandfather, Thomas Stil-Hicks (pronounced Steel-Hicks), adding another E to the spelling.[5]

Steele became famous in the UK as the frontman for a rock and roll band, the Steelmen, after their first single, "Rock With the Caveman", reached number 13 in the UK Singles Chart in 1956. Steele and other British singers would pick known hit records from the United States, record their cover versions of these songs, and release them in the UK before the American versions could enter the charts. Most of Steele's 1950s recordings were covers of American hits, such as "Singing the Blues" and "Knee Deep in the Blues". Although Steele never proved a serious threat to Presley's popularity in the UK, he did well on the 1950s UK chart and "Singing the Blues" got to Number 1 in the UK before Presley did so.[1] Guy Mitchell was number 1 with "Singing the Blues" on 4 January 1957 and Tommy Steele on 11 January 1957. Steele's 1957 album, The Tommy Steele Story, was the first by a UK-based act to reach No. 1 in the UK.[1]

Only four months after his first chart presence, he was filming his life story.[1] To do so, Steele and his songwriting collaborators, Lionel Bart and Mike Pratt, wrote twelve songs in seven days.[6] His first three single releases were issued at a rate of one every three weeks.[7] In 1957 Steele bought a four-bedroomed house in South London for his parents.[8] In August 1959, Steele undertook a three-day concert visit to Moscow.[9]

In late 2009 his greatest hits collection, The Very Best of Tommy Steele, reached the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart. This was the first UK chart entry, of any kind, that Steele had enjoyed for over 48 years.[10]

Actor[edit]

The increase in home-grown musical talent during the 1950s and 60s allowed Steele to progress to a career in stage and film musicals, leaving behind his pop idol identity. In 1957 he was voted the seventh most popular actor at the British box office.[11]

In 1960, a tour of Australia had not been particularly successful and on his return to England he received two offers, one to star in the play Billy Liar, the other to join the Old Vic Company. He chose the latter.[12]

In the West End he appeared in She Stoops to Conquer[13] and played the title role of Hans Christian Andersen. On film, he recreated his London and Broadway stage role in Half a Sixpence, and played character roles in The Happiest Millionaire and Finian's Rainbow, although many critics[who?] found his personality to be somewhat overwhelming on screen. In this latter film, probably his best known appearance in the films, he played Og, the leprechaun turning human, and co-starred with Petula Clark and Fred Astaire. In 1968 British exhibitors voted him the fourth most popular star at the local box office.[14]

In April 1971, Steele starred in his own show Meet Me in London at London's Adelphi Theatre.[15]

In 1978, Steele performed in a TV movie version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard (misspelled as "The Yeoman..."), singing the role of the hapless jester Jack Point.[16]

In 1983, Steele directed and starred in the West End stage production of Singin' in the Rain at the London Palladium. In 1991 he toured with Some Like It Hot the stage version of the Jack Lemmon/Tony Curtis/Marilyn Monroe film. In 2003, after a decade-long hiatus, save his one-man shows An Evening With Tommy Steele and What A Show!, he toured as Ebenezer Scrooge in a production of Scrooge: The Musical, an adaptation of Scrooge. Following this return, he reprised his role at the Palace Theatre, Manchester over Christmas 2004, and brought the production to the London Palladium for Christmas 2005. In 2008, at the age of 71, Steele toured in the lead role of the stage musical Doctor Dolittle, and has reprised his role as Scrooge every Christmas season since 2009.

Tommy Steele, November 1999.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1958 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC Television Theatre.

Sculptor[edit]

Steele is a respected sculptor and three of his major works have been on public display: Bermondsey Boy at the Rotherhithe Town Hall in London (stolen in 1998, current whereabouts unknown)[17] and Eleanor Rigby which he sculpted and donated to the City of Liverpool as a tribute to the Beatles. The statue stands in Stanley Street, Liverpool, not far from the Cavern Club.[18] Steele has another sculpture featuring two rugby players on display at Twickenham Stadium. He is also an artist of some note and has exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Personal life and other talents[edit]

Steele was born in Bermondsey, London. He married Ann Donoghue at St. Patrick's Church, Soho Square, London, in 1960.[19] They have one daughter, Emma.

In the early 1980s, Steele wrote and published a novel titled The Final Run about World War II and the evacuation of Dunkirk.

He also wrote a children's novel, entitled Quincy, about a reject toy trying to save himself and his fellow rejects in the basement of a toy store from the furnace the day after Christmas. This was turned into the television film, Quincy's Quest, in 1979, in which Steele played Quincy and Mel Martin played Quincy's girlfriend doll, Rebecca.

Steele is mentioned briefly in Ian Fleming's James Bond novel Thunderball.

Steele's autobiography was published in September 2006 and is entitled Bermondsey Boy: Memories of a Forgotten World (London: Joseph) ISBN 0-7181-4972-6.

Steele co-wrote many of his early songs with Lionel Bart and Mike Pratt, but he used the pseudonym of Jimmy Bennett from 1958 onwards.[20]

Claimed meeting with Elvis Presley in Britain[edit]

For many years it was thought that Elvis Presley had never set foot in Britain, apart from spending a few minutes on the tarmac at Prestwick Airport in Scotland where his military plane, en route to the United States after completing his army service in West Germany, stopped to refuel. However, on 21 April 2008, in a BBC Radio 2 interview with theatre impresario Bill Kenwright, it was claimed that Presley, then 23, had visited Britain for a day, after a phone conversation with Steele in London in 1958.

According to Kenwright: "Elvis flew in for a day and Tommy showed him round London. He showed him the Houses of Parliament and spent the day with him". Kenwright admitted on 22 April 2008 that he was not sure whether he should have told the story. Steele said: "It was two young men sharing the same love of their music. I swore never to divulge publicly what took place and I regret that it has found some way of getting into the light. I only hope he can forgive me."

Press officers employed by Stagecoach, the company that owns Prestwick Airport, rapidly issued a statement requesting proof, photographic or otherwise, of the said meeting. Until such proof is provided, they will continue to describe their property, Prestwick Airport, as being the only place in Britain where Elvis Presley ever set foot and will not be removing the marker, photographs and special lounge at their airport which relate to their claim.[21][22]

Lamar Fike, a former member of the Memphis Mafia, who lived with Presley at the time, has posted a claim that it was he, not Presley, who visited London and Steele for a day in 1958.[23]

Discography[edit]

Partial discography:[24]

Singles[edit]

With the Steelmen

  • "Rock With the Caveman" / "Rock Around the Town" – UK No. 13 (Decca 1956)
  • "Doomsday Rock" / "Elevator Rock" – (Decca 1956)
  • "Singing the Blues" / "Rebel Rock" – UK No. 1 (Decca 1956)
  • "Knee Deep in the Blues" / "Teenage Party" – UK No. 15 (Decca 1957)
  • "Butterfingers" / "Cannibal Pot" – UK No. 8 (Decca 1957)
  • "Water, Water" / "A Handful of Songs" – UK No. 5 (Decca 1957) with lyrics partially based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • "Shiralee" / "Grandad's Rock" – UK No. 11 (Decca 1957)
  • "Hey You!" / "Plant a Kiss" – UK No. 28 (Decca 1957)
  • "Happy Guitar" / "Princess" – UK No. 20 (Decca 1958)
  • "Nairobi" / "Neon Sign" – UK No. 3 (Decca 1958)
  • "The Only Man on the Island" / "I Puts the Lightie On" – UK No. 16 (Decca 1958)[1]

Solo

  • "It's All Happening" / "What Do You Do?" – (Decca 1958 )
  • "Come On, Let's Go" / "Put a Ring on Her Finger" – UK No. 10 (Decca 1958)
  • "A Lovely Night" / "Marriage Type Love" – (Decca 1958)
  • "Hiawatha" / "The Trial" – (Decca 1959)
  • "Tallahassee Lassie" / "Give! Give! Give!" – UK No. 16 (Decca 1959)
  • "Give! Give! Give!" – UK No. 28 (Decca 1959)
  • "You Were Mine" / "Young Ideas" – (Decca 1959)
  • "Little White Bull" / "Singing Time" – UK No. 6 (Decca 1959)
  • "What a Mouth (What a North and South)" / "Kookaburra" – UK No. 5 (Decca 1960)
  • "Happy Go Lucky Blues" / "Girl with the Long Black Hair" – (Decca 1960)
  • "Must Be Santa" / "Boys and Girls" – UK No. 40 (Decca 1960)
  • "My Big Best Shoes" / "The Dit Dit Song" – (Decca 1961)
  • "The Writing on the Wall" / "Drunken Guitar" – UK No. 30 (Decca 1961)
  • "Hit Record" / "What a Little Darling" – (Decca 1962)
  • "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" / "Butter Wouldn’t Melt in Your Mouth" – (Decca 1963)
  • "He's Got Love" / "Green Eye" – (Decca 1963)
  • "Flash Bang Wallop" / "She's Too Far Above Me" – (Decca 1963)
  • "Egg and Chips" / "The Dream Maker" – (Columbia 1963)
  • "Half a Sixpence" / "If the Rain's Got to Fall" – (RCA 1965)
  • "Fortuosity" / "I’m a Brass Band" – (Vista 1967)
  • "King's New Clothes" / "Wonderful Copenhagen" – (Pye 1974)
  • "Half a Sixpence" / "If the Rain's Got to Fall" – (Safari 1984)
  • "Singing the Blues" / "Come On, Let's Go" – (Old Gold 1985)[1]

Albums[edit]

  • Tommy Steele Stage ShowUK No. 5 (Decca 1957)
  • The Tommy Steele Story – UK No. 1 (Decca 1957)
  • The Duke Wore Jeans (Soundtrack) – UK No. 1 (Decca 1958)[1]
  • Tommy Steele Everything's Coming Up BROADWAY – (Liberty 1965)
  • My Life, My Song - (Pye 1974)
  • Singin' in the Rain – Original London Cast 1984 (Cast Masters 1995)
  • Some Like It Hot – Original London Cast (First Night Records 1996)
  • Scrooge: The Musical – Original London Cast (BK Records)
  • Half a Sixpence – Original London Cast 1963 (Must Close Saturday 2006)
  • Cinderella – Original London Cast 1958 (Hallmark 2011)

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 527. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 8. CN 5585. 
  3. ^ "New faces on Sgt Pepper album cover for artist Peter Blake's 80th birthday". The Guardian. 2016. 
  4. ^ http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/13633907.Britain_s_first_pop_star_Tommy_Steele_on_six_decades_in_showbiz/
  5. ^ "Tommy Steele Biography". Tommy Steele International Fan Club. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  6. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 38. CN 5585. 
  7. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 32. CN 5585. 
  8. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 43. CN 5585. 
  9. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 71. CN 5585. 
  10. ^ Everyhit.com – accessed May 2010
  11. ^ Most Popular Film of the Year. The Times (London, England), Thursday, Dec 12, 1957; pg. 3; Issue 54022
  12. ^ "Tommy Steele Off On a Third Career" by Norman Mark Chicago Daily News Service. The Washington Post, 27 Feb 1968: C6.
  13. ^ "Tommy stoops to conquer.". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 21 December 1960. p. 76 Supplement: Teenagers' Weekly. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "News in Brief." Times [London, England] 31 Dec. 1968: 2. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 12 July 2012.
  15. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 225. CN 5585. 
  16. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185025/
  17. ^ "Bermondsey Boy". connection.ebscohost.com. Retrieved 6 August 2017. Abstract : Cavanagh, Terry, Public Sculpture of South London; 2007, p390 
  18. ^ Cavanagh, Terry (1997), Public Sculpture of Liverpool, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 213–214, ISBN 978-0-853-23711-2 
  19. ^ British Pathé. "Tommy Steele Marries Anne Donague". britishpathe.com. 
  20. ^ "Download Lionel Bart Digital Sheet Music and Tabs". free-scores.com. 
  21. ^ Moore, Charles. "News – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  22. ^ "Elvis's secret trip to England". The Sun. London. 22 April 2008. 
  23. ^ "Welcome to the Elvis Information Network...for the best news, reviews, interviews; articles about the King of Rock&Roll, Elvis Aaron Presley". Elvisinfonet.com. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  24. ^ Tommy Steele Discography Accessed February 2007.

External links[edit]

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