Tommy Steele

  • Real Name: Thomas Hicks
  • Birth Date: 17th December 1936
  • Birth Place: London
  • Tommy Steele was undoubtedly Britain's first great Rock and Roll idol. Like many who followed him Tommy started his musical career by playing in a skiffle group. He was also the first of the London based artists who would precurse their fame by singing at the 2 'I's Coffee Bar- a venue which later hosted the virtually unknown Adam Faith and Cliff Richard. Although Tommy's brand of Rock and Roll was nearer to 'easy listening' than that of some of his American contemporaries he more than made up for it with his personality. His manager, Larry Parnes, once said "Tommy Steele was the greatest entertainer that I ever had on my books", and Tommy Steele's rise as a teenage star was probably attributable to charisma rather than simple sex appeal.
    The EP illustrated on the left was a sound-track released to coincide with that of the movie from which it came, "The Tommy Steele Story" (Anglo Amalgamated Film Distributors Ltd). The film gave a glamorous account of his rise from a singer in a Soho coffee house to "the top in a matter of weeks". So confident were the record distributors in the future of rock and roll, they wrote .."the vogue for rock 'n' roll may pass but this sound-track proves conclusively that Tommy Steele is here to stay."- this was the middle of 1957!

    By the end of the 1950s Tommy Steele had been urged to move away almost completely from his Rock and Roll beginnings and instead concentrate on recording novelties, and his stage act. He soon became established as a family entertainer, broadening from- probably mostly dispensing with- his original teenage following. He became a master of the stage musical and an archetypal performer of the British pantomime. He continued successfully in this role for more than three decades, but faded somewhat from the scene during the 1990s. Most of Tommy's later recorded work concerned his stage and film 'Musicals' which included 'Half A Sixpence', 'Finian's Rainbow', 'The Happiest Millionaire' and 'Hans Anderson' -for which Tommy later received an award from the Danish government.

    Tommy Steele is an artist who is frequently asked after by visitors to this web site. Although Tommy has had an absence from any stage musicals for more than ten years, at the time of writing this paragraph (December 2003) he was appearing in a new production of an adaptation of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' called 'Scrooge'. Playing the lead in this shows just how far this talented performer has moved on since his beginnings as the UK's premier rock and roll act.

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm UK Discography

    • Listings include UK 45 singles releases only.
    • Collector's Items are shown In Red

    Decca F10795 1956 Rock With The Caveman/ Rock Around The Town #13
    Decca F10808 1956 Doomsday Rock/ Elevator Rock  
    Decca F10819 1956 Singing The Blues/ Rebel Rock #1
    Decca F10849 1957 Knee Deep In The Blues/ Teenage Party #15
    Decca F10877 1957 Butterfingers/ Cannibal Pot #8
    Decca F10896 1957 Shiralee/ Grandad's Rock #11
    Decca F10923 1957 Water Water/ A Handful Of Songs #5
    Decca F10941 1957 Hey You!/ Plant A Kiss #28 
    Decca F10976 1958 Happy Guitar/ Princess #20
    Decca F10991 1958 Nairobi/ Neon Sign #3
    Decca F11026 1958 It's All Happening/ What Do You Do  
    Decca F11041 1958 The Only Man In The Island/ I Puts The Lightie On #16
    Decca F11072 1958 Come On Let's Go/ Put A Ring On Her Finger #10
    Decca F11089 1958 A Lovely Night/ Marriage Type Love  
    Decca F11117 1959 Hiawatha/ The Trial  
    Decca F11152 1959 Tallahassee Lassie/ Give Give Give #16
    Decca F11162 1959 You Were Mine/ Young Ideas  
    Decca F11177 1959 Little White Bull/ Singing Time #6
    Decca F11245 1960 What A Mouth/ Kookaburra #5
    Decca F11258 1960 Drunken Guitar/ Light Up The Sky  
    Decca F11275 1960 Happy Go Lucky Blues/ The Girl With The Long Black Hair  
    Decca F11299 1960 Must Be Santa/ Boys And Girls #40
    Decca F11361 1961 My Big Best Shoes/ The Dit Dit Song  
    Decca F11372  1961 Writing On The Wall/ Drunken Guitar #30
    Decca F11479 1962 Hit Record/ What A Little Darling  
    Decca F11532 1963 Where Have All The Flowers Gone/ Butter Wouldn't Melt In Your Mouth  
    Decca F11551 1962 He's Got Love/ Green Eyes  
    Decca F11615 1963 Flash Bang Wallop/ She's So Far Above Me  
    Columbia DB7070 1963 Egg And Chips/ The Dream Maker  
    RCA 1654 1967 Half A Sixpence/ If The Raon's Got To Fall  
    Buena Vista DF457 1967 Fortuosity/ I'm A Brass Band Today  

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