Friday, October 12, 2018

Steve Benbow and Tommy Eytle

My programme for Cinderella, the 1966 Christmas Panto at the Palace Theatre, Watford, had advertisements too.

Shortly after it arrived I tweeted this one with the words "#Watford nightlife 1966 style".

That turned out to be rather Emily Thornberry tweet, because Steve Benbow (1931-2006) and Tommy Eytle (1926-2007) were both considerable figures.

Benbow's Guardian obituary said he was:
an inspiration to younger players. Davy Graham, whose guitar style affected those of Eric Clapton and Paul Simon, credits him as a primary influence: Benbow introduced him to Moroccan music he had heard while in the forces. Graham told the Guardian last year: "What he taught me was that you should never get stuck in one mode or style."
Eytle's Guardian obituary records that he:
played various society venues such as Esmeralda's Barn, a haunt of the Knightsbridge smart set, eventually taken over by the Krays. His irrepressible act was caught on film in two sequences from The Tommy Steele Story (1957) - with double bassist Chris O'Brien in a Caribbean setting, then fronting his own band on the London stage.
He late turned to acting and was best known for playing Jules Tavernier in EastEnders.

His older brother, Ernest Eytle, was the first West Indian summariser to broadcast on their test in England for the BBC. They were both friends of Ken 'Snakehips' Johnson.

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