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Thread: British Tour 1953 

  1. #1

    British Tour 1953

    I am looking for information on Sinatra's 1953 concerts in Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool. I have heard that Frank was not keen on the north of England and he makes a dig on the BBC Band show to Rikki Fulton that it is always raining in Manchester. I know Billy Ternent was the Band Leader in Manchester and I also heard that Derek Nimmo was the tour manager. I would like to know where Frank Sinatra stayed when he came to the North West, how long for, which clubs he visited etc
    I also have a programme of when he performed in Blackpool in 1950 with the Skyrockets Orchestra and a photograph of him getting off a plane in Blackpool in either 50 or 53.

  2. #2

    Welcome Stephen!

    Hi Stephen,

    I'm sorry I can't be of much help to you on the concerts, but I want to welcome you to the Sinatra Family Forum. We have a wonderful group of people! I hope you will enjoy yourself here!

  3. #3
    When Rikki Fulton died several months ago, there was a TV programme shown celebrating his life. On this show we saw some archive footage of the show when he appeared on stage with FAS. There was also a clip from te early 90s where Rikki Fulton stated that meeting Frank Sinatra was one of his most treasured memories, and what a wonderful man Frank was.

    "How did all these people get in my room?"

  4. #4

    A Piece Of Liverpool Memorabilia

    Billposter from the early 50s shows.

    I remember talking to a chap in Ma Egertons one night (thats the pub behind the Empire Theatre, where all the turns and stage hands would go between shows, there is a signed FS photo in the bar there btw) who went to see FS on the first show of the first night and told me that there was only about 150 people in the audience on that occasion.

    sooner or later we all make the little flowers grow

  5. #5
    Hello Stephen,

    just came across this thread. Having been doing some research on Sinatra's 1953 European Tour in the past, here is what so far has been ascertained as to the British dates, summing it up from my "working print".

    Sinatra arrived in London on June 3, 1953, from Sweden, having cancelled the remaining dates of the Scandinavian part of his tour (which should have continued through June 7).

    For all the British dates, his accompaniment was the Bill Ternent Orchestra.

    Throughout his stay in Britain, he appeared twice on "BBC Showband Show", once on June 11, and again on July 16. On June 25, he was interviewed on the BBC by Joan Gilbert.

    The live dates are as follows (there might be some more, I'm only listing those that have been ascertained):

    June 14
    London/England, Tooting, The Granada Cinema (two shows)

    June 15/16/17/18/19/20
    Bristol/England, The Hippodrome Theatre

    June 21
    London/England, Kilburn, Gaumont State Cinema (two shows - 6 and 8.30 pm)

    June 28
    London/England, Edmonton Regal (two shows - 6 and 8.30 pm)

    June 29/30 & July 1/2/3/4
    Birmingham/England, The Hippodrome

    July 5
    London/England, Elephant & Castle, Trocadero

    July 6/7/8/9/10/11
    Glasgow/Scotland, The Empire Theatre

    July 12
    Dundee/Scotland, Caird Hall (two shows) - FS stayed at The Queens Hotel

    July 13
    Edinburgh/Scotland -- location yet to be determined --

    July ?? (date not yet ascertained)
    Ayr/Scotland, Green's Playhouse

    July 19
    Leceister/England, De Montfort Hall (two shows - 3 and 6.30 pm)

    July 20/21/22/23/24/25
    Manchester/England, The Palace

    July 26
    Blackpool/England, The Opera House (two shows)

    July 27/28/29/30, August 1 (also on August 2??)
    Liverpool/England, The Empire

    August 9
    London/England, Hammersmith, The Hammersmith Commodore

    On August 11, Sinatra flew back to the US from London.

    I would be much interested to discuss some of the still remaining date problems.

    Best wishes from Germany,

  6. #6

    The Liverpool Shows

    were also two evening shows, and from what I can gather from my friend Alec, who's a local historian with a keen interest in the history of The Liverpool Empire, there was no show at all on August 2nd, whether there should have been, and it was cancelled , (audience numbers on that leg of the tour were pretty dire), is another matter as records from the Empire back then are quite vague, if you have any further information Bernhard i'd appreciate it.

    sooner or later we all make the little flowers grow

  7. #7
    Hi Marty,

    so far I have only come up with newspaper clips (mostly located at the British Library in London) regarding the Liverpool shows. I have had a letter exchange with the present Liverpool Empire people in 2001, while they said they had no information on those dates (and funnily enough, in their first response even denied FS ever appeared at the theatre).

    There will be a new book out on Sinatra this fall (scheduled for September) in the UK by reknowned author/researcher Richard Havers, who has done a lot of additional research on the British tour dates. I have discussed my findings with him and the conglomerate is included in the above list.

    Please give my regards to your friend Alec and maybe it would be fine to discuss the Liverpool "matters" with him. Please feel free to pass along to him my e-mail-address.

    Audience responses seem to have been a little better during the English/Scottish parts of the 1953 tour, than on the dates before (Italy, Belgium, and especially Scandinavia), but overall it wasn't a sell-out success indeed. Sinatra more was given more than just compensation for that later, when his visits to the UK regularly amounted to both musical and commercial triumphs - and well-deservedly so.


  8. #8

    one of the 1953 venues

    Liverpool Empire as it is today (well last Wednesday to be precise)

    sooner or later we all make the little flowers grow

  9. #9

    Just bumping...

    I saw a guest reading this, and thought I would bump it as maybe of interest to a few posts made in " Great Songs From Great Britain " thread.

    I wouldn't have thought to have looked in the " Around The World" forum.
    "I Could Have Danced All Night...".

  10. #10

    As for the Liverpool Empire, got 4 tickets last week to see Tony Bennett there on June 27th....

  11. #11
    colin Guest
    my father who is now 82 saw one of the shows at the empire, but can't remember which night, he remembers it being a sparse audience and him doing "ol man river" but its a long time ago so it is difficult to remember everything. one thing though he went with his mother who wanted to go straight home after the show, ruining my father's chance of meeting him, outside. and if only he had bought a programme? could go for a bit on e-bay now. the pub adjacent to the empire "ma edgys" has lots of signed photos of stars over the years.i think there is a Frank one. my dad was a bit of a crooner himself, singing around Liverpool clubs, but rock n roll, put an end to that,he still listens to frank and similar artists mel torme al martino(who he saw a week later)and the big bands,hope this helps this forum.
    Last edited by colin; 02-22-2014 at 05:56 AM.

  12. #12
    It makes me happy to think Frank was once so close long ago

  13. #13
    Have a CD of Sinatra "Live At Blackpool Opera House 1953", has some terrific songs and Sinatra sounds great. Thirteen songs in all, the CD made in England by a record company called Acrobat. Sweet Lorraine is tops also Sinatra sings a verse for "Don't Worry About Me" that never appears on the ensuing Capitol single. Sinatra's tour of England is generally remembered as a successful one and 1953 was a turning point in Frank's career.

  14. #14
    I, too, have this Blackpool 1953 concert. Love it when Frank sings "Old Man Crosby," to the tune of "Old Man River!"
    Sicilia forever
    "Living Well Is The Best Revenge"

  15. #15
    Ol' Man Crosby! I will definitely have to purchase the album

  16. #16
    Interesting live concert in a special time (Columbia-Capitol) for Frank. The SQ is very poor.
    "How long I been on ...?"

  17. A journalist friend of mine is writing an article on FS in Scotland for one of the quality newspapers. She has heard that Ava Gardner accompanied him during his 1953 UK tour, but can't find any authoritative confirmation that they came to Scotland together. Do any SFF members know about this?

    Her name is Alison Kerr and she has an interesting site entitled, Stars in Scotland

  18. #18
    I think she accompanied him on his European concert tour, they separated in the October of 1953.
    "I Could Have Danced All Night...".

  19. Blackpool Gazette —> Spreadin’ the news... Relive Frank’s concert

    By Anna Cryer
    Published: 20:21 Wednesday 24 January 2018

    A never-heard-before recording of one of Frank Sinatra’s two Blackpool Opera House concerts will be among the highlights of this year’s Winter Gardens open day.

    Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra played Blackpool Opera House on July 16 1950 and July 26 1953. And on Saturday, for the first time since, the 1953 concert can be relived and heard in its original setting, having been recorded privately.

    The hour-long recording will begin at 1pm, between demonstrations of the Opera House’s Wurlitzer organ. A spokesman said: “You will be able to sit in the auditorium and try to imagine you are there back in 1953 listening to Frank Sinatra live.

    Read more at: Blackpool Gazette
    Note: As mentioned in earlier posts, the so-called “never-heard-before recording” has long circulated among collectors.


  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob in Boston View Post
    Blackpool Gazette —> Spreadin’ the news... Relive Frank’s concert

    Note: As mentioned in earlier posts, the so-called “never-heard-before recording” has long circulated among collectors.

    Well done them, I hope they get a lot of interest. I’ve never heard the concert.
    "I Could Have Danced All Night...".