Billy Dainty  -  dancer and comedian
He was born in Dudley and started with his sister, dancing. The name of his sister just fails me, but he was born in Southhalls Lane, they had a flower shop. He was very underrated. As you know he made it in London, he was brilliant, he did the funny dance, very underrated.

Dante  -  magician
The Great Dante was a very highly rated magician from America who did some brilliant tricks. He wore top hat and tails and had a magic wand, and would wave it and produce a bunch of flowers and things like that. He was marvellous. It was not just the tricks, it’s how you perform them. He used to fill the house when he came in the 1930s and 1940s. If people saw his name on the bill boards they would be there to see him.

Reg Dixon  -  comedian
He was a comedian who was born in Coventry. He came on with a very loud black and yellow striped blazer and a little hat. He used to say “I’ve been proper poorly, I had to go to the doctor’s the other day and the doctor said “it’s me clack”. You know what your clack is, it’s that little bit of skin at the back of your throat. He said mine was too long, two inches too long. The doctor said if I’d had a big meal I’d have flogged myself to death". His signature tune was “Confidentially”.

Jimmy Edwards  -  comedian
I saw Jimmy Edwards at Dudley. He used to be “Professor Edwards” like in the TV series “Wacko” and used to play an RAF pilot. He used to play his tuba on the stage.
G.H. Elliot  -  singer
He was the “chocolate coloured coon” and I was on the stage with him doing my impressions, such as Old Mother Riley. This was in 1956, a couple of months before the Hippodrome burned down. He was on the side of the stage. This was during a birthday week, which celebrated the opening of the theatre. The first half was amateurs and you went there the previous week and had an audition. If they didn’t like you they just said “Thank you, thank you” at the end. Six acts were chosen to fill-up the first half and I was one of the six chosen. G.H. Elliot was 82 at the time and when he was standing in the wings I said “I bet it’s a doddle for you after all of these years” and he replied “No Barry. I’m more nervous now than the first time I came here”. I said “What year was that?” and he said ”It was 1912”. He used to sing “Lilly of Laguna”. He used to have a white suit with a cravat or white tie, and used to skip across the stage while singing. He was marvellous. I heard this on “WM”. A woman phoned up to Ed Doolan and said “Do you ever remember G.H. Elliot?” He said “Well I have heard the name”. She replied “When I was a young girl, all the artists in the theatres in Birmingham came into our office and every time G.H. Elliot saw me he would always bring me a big box of chocolates”. Isn’t that nice, she had a personal friendship with him She is now well into her 80s.
George Formby  -  comedian and singer
I saw George Formby at least twice in Wolverhampton and about 4 times in Dudley. Here’s a story which is perfectly true. He would have five or six ukuleles and a grand piano on the stage with him and a pianist, and George’s ukuleles would be on the piano. For every song he sang he changed the ukulele. He hadn’t got a clue about music, they were all tuned up for each song. They were all numbered so as not to mix them up. “Cleaning Windows” number 1, “Leaning on a Lampost” number 2, “Mr. Woo” number 3 etc. He was a very good player but not good enough to play in different keys. Beryl his wife was also his manager. She was very tight and would only give him pocket money, he didn’t have the happiest of marriages. He was staying at the Station Hotel in Dudley one night and he got out through the window and went up into the town to play darts with the lads, unknown to Beryl.

Will Fyffe  -  comedian
Very old one, I didn’t see him but my mother did. He was Scottish and he was often on the radio.

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