Throwback Thursday: Calvert Cavalcade, New Theatre, Cardiff (October, 1956)

Between 1953 and 1958, English trumpeter, Eddie Calvert enjoyed his greatest success with seven instrumental hits on the UK Singles Chart.

Born in Preston, Lancashire in 1922, trumpet-player Eddie, graduated from playing as an amateur in brass bands to professional engagements with popular dance orchestras of the day after been invalided out of the army in World War II.

He prominently featured on BBC radio in the late 1940s and early 50s on his own programmes and gained even greater exposure on the then new medium of television where on one occasion an announcer described him as the “The Man with The Golden Trumpet” a description that would remain with him for his entire career.

Eddie Calvert: The Man With The Golden Trumpet

Signed to Columbia Records and produced by Norrie Paramor, Eddie became the first instrumentalist to score two UK number ones, Oh, Mein Papa in 1953 and Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White) in 1955. Among his other hits were themes to the films Mandy and John & Julie.

In 2013, Tony Crane, founder member of 1960s band, The Merseybeats, recalled Eddie Calvert- an early music inspiration – to Andy Howells: I saw Eddie Calvert on television – The Man with the Golden Trumpet! I thought, ‘God that looks good, I bet he’s got all the girls after him.’ So, I pleaded with my parents to buy me a trumpet!”

Cardiff’s New Theatre has played host to many stars over the decades including The Man with the Golden Trumpet, Eddie Calvert in 1956.

Calvert Cavalcade at Cardiff’s New Theatre

On the week commencing Monday, October 15, 1956, the trumpet maestro topped the bill in the variety production, Calvert Cavalcade at Cardiff’s New Theatre.

Calvert Cavalcade, which ran until Saturday, October 20 also featured singer, Gerry Brereton, a former Commando who was blinded during a raid on Sicily in 1943. Other acts included Sylvia Drew, The Londonaires, Don Lang, Vadios Brothers, Billy Whittaker and Mimi Law, plus The Mayfairs.

The review of the show that appeared in The Western Mail described Eddie Calvert playing with “considerable gusto and sane virtuosity,” but lacking, “stage presence and personality so necessary nowadays for recording stars if they wish to make a real success on the stage.”

Gerry Brereton favoured better in The Western Mail review, “He has a powerful voice, which he uses to excellent effect, and he bears comparison with any of the more famous trans-Atlantic vocalists.”

Eddie Calvert topped the bill in Calvert Calvacade at Cardiff’s New Theatre in 1956. Image: Andy Howells

Beyond Mombasa at Cardiff’s Gaumont

Cardiff fans of The Man with The Golden Trumpet had a further chance to catch Eddie Calvert the following week, this time as a Trumpet Player on the big screen, making his film debut in Beyond Mombasa (starring Cornal Wilde, Donna Reed and Christopher Lee) at The Gaumont.

Eddie Calvert was a success story of the pre-rock and roll era, but while popular music tastes certainly changed from the early 60s onwards, Calvert himself maintained his popularity with album releases and live appearances until his death in 1978. His legacy is in his music which remains melodic and enjoyable beyond the years it was produced for.

Written and compiled by Andy Howells.

Further Cardiff New Theatre Throwback Thursday Memories:

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