As I recently walked along Middle Street in Brigthton, I took the opportunity to take a look at the work currently being undertaken by Matsim Properties to repair the magnificent roof of the Racecourse, as a first step in giving back to the theater its former glory.

When I got home, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and browse my collection of treasured Racecourse programs.

Max Miller’s name, Brighton’s Cheeky Chappie, comes up frequently as you might expect, but one program that particularly caught my attention was Bernard Delfont’s fifth Brighton Summer Show, Let’s Be Happy, which opened on July 4, 1960.

What an invoice! Who remembers The King Brothers, whose hits included White Sports Coat and Standing On The Corner?

Roy Castle was known as Mr. Versatility and for good reason. He was an actor, singer, dancer, trumpeter and guitarist, in addition to being a sidekick in the famous sketch “Elephant in the box” by Jimmy James.

How do you follow this? Well, what about Tommy Cooper with “magical confusion”. Tommy was one of the many comedians who learned their trade at London’s famous Windmill Theater and had previously performed in two Royal Variety Performances.

Headlining? None other than this tall, dark and handsome singer, Frankie Vaughan. He had recently returned from America where he shot a movie with Marilyn Monroe called Let’s Make Love. Frankie has had many successful records including Green Door, Give Me the Moonlight and Garden of Eden. Supporting acts in Let’s Be Happy included Claire Warner, The Brighton Belles, The Three Kims and opera singer Adele Leigh.

I wonder if any of your readers remember seeing what must have been a great show.

Jack strutt


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