|Birth name||Harry Lipman|
12 January 1900|
Stamford Hill, London, England
|Died||1 February 1971
|Associated acts||Syd Roy, Eddie Carroll, Joe Daniels, Nat Temple, Ray Ellington, Stanley Black|
Life and career
Roy was born Harry Lipman in Stamford Hill, London, England, and began to study clarinet and alto saxophone at the age of 16. He and his brother Sidney formed a band which they called the Darnswells, with Harry on saxophone and clarinet and Sidney on piano. During the 1920s they performed in several prestige venues such as the Alhambra and the London Coliseum, under names such as the Original Lyrical Five and the Original Crichton Lyricals. They spent three years at the Café de Paris, and toured South Africa, Australia and Germany.
By the early 1930s, Harry Roy was fronting the band under his own name, and broadcasting from the Café Anglais and the Mayfair Hotel. In 1931 he wrote along with Anthony Fanzo and sang "My Girl's Pussy", which has since been the subject of many cover versions and remakes. In 1935 he married Elizabeth Brooke, daughter of the white Rajah of Sarawak, with whom he appeared in two musical films, Rhythm Racketeer (1937) and Everything Is Rhythm (1940).
During the Second World War, Roy toured with his band, Harry Roy's Tiger Ragamuffins. He was at the Embassy Club in 1942, and a little later, toured the Middle East, entertaining troops. In 1948, Roy travelled to the United States but was refused a work permit. Returning to Britain, he reformed his band and scored a hit with his recording of "Leicester Square Rag".
By the early 1950s the big band era had come to an end. Roy's band split up, but he still drifted in and out of the music scene. In the 1950s he ran his own restaurant, the Diners' Club, but it was destroyed by fire. In 1969 Roy returned to music, leading a quartet in London's Lyric Theatre's show Oh Clarence, but he was by then in failing health. He died in London in February 1971.
- Larkin, Colin, ed. (2009), "Winnick Maurice", Encyclopedia of Popular Music (online ed.), Muze Inc and Oxford University Press, retrieved 2 September 2010
- "Odd song name, but effective". Archive.org. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- "Harry Roy'S Tiger Ragamuffins - British Pathé". Britishpathe.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- "Internet Archive Search: Harry Roy - archive.org (multimedia content in the public domain)". Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "British Pathé Search: Harry Roy - britishpathe.com". Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- Information regarding his wedding to Princess Elizabeth of Sarawak, with photograph at the Wayback Machine (archived 8 July 2007)
- Fundación Joaquín Díaz: Collection of recordings on 78s (Spanish)
- British Big Band Database