Odeon’s halycon days

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I AM that old I saw Gene Autry ride into the Paramount Odeon on his fair horse Champion (we hadn’t the cash to see him on stage). It’s still a nice memory.

Also appearing on stage in his first starring role in the 1950s was no other than Charlton Heston. It was a premiere and he also signed his name for the ladies on the perfume stalls at Lewis’. The film was The Greatest Show on Earth.

I also saw Nat ‘King’ Cole and Sammy Davis Jr in 1963.

Before Sammy started his first class performance, he asked for all the lights to go on, which showed him the great Wurlitzer Organ. He trundled down the steps and said: “I hope they don’t want me to play for the same money!” What a star turn he was.

At the Empire in the 1950s I saw Red Ingle and his Frantic Five. I think Spike Milligan would have enjoyed them; also Al Martino, the first singer to be No.1 in the 1950s. Guy Mitchell, Peter Sellers, Shirley Bassey, Max Bygraves, Frankie Vaughan and the very smart Billy Eckstine and Bruce Forsyth – can’t beat live shows. Halcyon days and nights.

G Alder, Horsforth

YEP Letters: September 19