- Billy "Uke" Scott
Billy "Uke" Scott (born William Scott,
March 12, 1923- died 23 November, 2004), was a British music hall star who inspired three generations of ukulele players, composing, singing and writing a "teach-yourself" ukulele manual.
William Scott was born in
Sunderlandin 1923. As a child, he took piano lessons and then became a young singer with a jazz band. He made his variety debut aged 13 at the Empire in Newcastle.
During the Second World War, Scott worked for
Ensa(Entertainments National Service Association) and established himself as a versatile artist. He appeared in the films "Rainbow Round the Corner" (1943) with the organist Robin Richmond and "A Night of Magic" (1944).
After the war, Scott was in demand with a busy schedule in variety and pantomime, especially on the
Moss Empirestouring circuit, and making his mark on the BBC radio programme "Workers' Playtime". He supported Gracie Fields, Will Hayand Tommy Trinderand for a time he was Max Miller's pianist. Miller recorded Scott's song, "Down By the Old Turnstile".
Scott's signature tune was "He's Only Singing for One", and his songs, from more than 100 he composed, of which 30 were published, included "I've Got a Girlfriend", "You Go On With Your Show" and "What Is the Good of a Good Girl?" He liked light-hearted songs about contemporary activities such as "A Nice Prefabricated Home". In the 1950s, many variety theatres were being converted to Granada bingo halls and Scott mourned their closure in "Pro's Lament", singing, to the tune of "Granada",
His preferred choice of instrument was the traditional wooden ukulele because of its sweeter sound, rather than the more strident banjolele favoured by
George Formby- though he played both. George Formby would have several ukuleles tuned in different keys so that he could use the same fingering all the time, but Billy had complete mastery of the instrument and could play the melody as well.
A popular radio performer (he was one of the biggest variety stars in Britain in the 1940s and 1950s), his ability received its own tribute on BBC radio when, in a
Goon Showscript of 1954, Peter Sellerssays: "Thank you, thank you. Tonight I have included in my repertoire Schubert's violin sonata, guest soloist Billy 'Uke' Scott".
On the radio Billy always finished his spot by picking up a Martin ukulele and saying, "And now, just to prove that melody can be played on the ukulele..." he would launch into a stunning solo arrangement of "Lady of Spain", "Keep the Home Fires Burning" or "The William Tell Overture", with full orchestral backing.
In the Sixties, with the death of Variety, Scott became a theatrical agent and was very astute at assessing budding talent in variety showcases. He discovered the schoolteacher
Tom O'Connor, who became one of Britain's top comedians, and helped the early careers of Jimmy Tarbuckand Mike Yarwood. Scott was also.one of the subjects of a TV programme, "The Impresarios", presented by Melvyn Bragg. But the lure of performing proved too much, and in the early 80's he discreetly put the word about that he wanted to work on stage again. To his surprise he was not forgotten. He played summer seasons, pantomimes, and one-night stands in vintage form.
Scott joined the
Grand Order of Water Ratsin 1952. He became the president of the Ukulele Society of Great Britain and he was performing in old-time music hall until the mid-nineties. He was a guest of the George Formby Society in November 1999 at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, where he was made an Honorary Member. He spent an hour answering questions about his career, and closed by playing two numbers, his appearance being regarded as the highlight of the meeting. One of his final appearances was at the Musical Hall at Ilkley in January 2002, in a charity variety show alongside Jimmy Cricket, the Bachelors, Dottie Wayne and Steve Galler. Scott was married to Ann and had one son, and three daughters.His last years were spent in Southport, Lancashire.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
William Scott — may refer to:* William Scott (justice) (died 1350s), English lawyer and Chief Justice of the King s Bench * William Scott of Scott s Hall (died 1524), English politician, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports * Maurus Scott (c. 1579 1612), English… … Wikipedia
Banjo ukulele — Infobox instrument name = Banjo Ukulele names = image capt = color = #FFEC8B classification = String instrument (plucked) range = related = ukulele, banjo musicians = builders = articles =The banjolele (brand name; sometimes banjo ukulele or… … Wikipedia
List of ukulele musicians — This is a list of ukulele musicians. These musicians and bands are well known for playing the ukulele as their primary instrument. CompactTOC8 AB*Jimmy Buffet *Petty Booka *Kate BushC*Jason Castro *Zach Condon (Beirut) *Charlie Connelly *Elvis… … Wikipedia
Brian Harold May — Brian Harold May, CBE (* 19. Juli 1947 in Hampton, Middlesex, England) ist ein britischer Gitarrist, Komponist, Astrophysiker, Buchautor und Kanzler der Liverpool John Moores University sowie Gründungsmitglied der Rockband Queen. Die… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Brian May — mit seiner Gitarre Red Special (2005) Brian Harold May, CBE (* 19. Juli 1947 in Hampton, Middlesex, England) ist ein britischer Gitarrist, Komponist, Sänger, Buchautor, Ehrenrektor der … Deutsch Wikipedia
Cleveland Indians all-time roster — The following is a list of players, both past and current, who appeared at least in one game for the Cleveland American League franchise known as the Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903–14) and Indians (1915–present). Players in Bold are… … Wikipedia
Liste des joueurs des Indians de Cleveland — Liste des joueurs de baseball ayant évolué au moins un match pour les Indians de Cleveland depuis 1901 sous les différents noms de la franchise : Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903 1914) et Indians (depuis 1915). Sommaire : Haut… … Wikipédia en Français
Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty — Studio album by Big Boi … Wikipedia
List of ice hockey line nicknames — The three forwards – the centre, right wing and left wing – operate as a unit called a line. The tradition of naming the threesomes who compose the hockey teams lines of attack extends back to the 1920s when Bun Cook, Frank Boucher and Bill Cook… … Wikipedia