Monday, May 29, 2006

Roger Dee


Slim pickings at the bootsale today although I did find this oddity which is on the Toby label from early 70's I imagine judging by some of the impersonations Mr. Dee is attempting pictured on the back of the sleeve - like Tiny Tim, Rolf Harris and Frankie Vaughn. This sounds like a live show in front of an enthusiastic audience at Pontins Holiday camp as they get a name check on the back in the sleeve notes which state-

"Roger was born in Pontins - the son of a lady and gentleman - obviously a marriage of convenience. He merrily tap danced his way up the Ladder of Fame, to become the famous tap dancing window cleaner that he is today!!"

No mention of him on the internet so assume he went back to window cleaning after this record was made!

Roger Dee - The Motorist

Roger Dee - Never Had A Girl Like This

Roger Dee - The Supermarket

These You Send It files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

15 comments:

Cocaine Jesus said...

a marriage of convenience?
did they get married in the local toilets then?

Syl said...

Ha, Michael...a catchy tune "never met a girl like that". lol at cocaine's comment. could just imagine Roger Dee walking up to some strange lady sayin "Hello...is it convenient for you to get married today?"
Hi to all...Tell Hazel if she eats her spinach she will get all the iron she needs! ;-)

archie said...

Thanks CJ and Syl. Glad you are enjoying these. We did have some spinach yesterday infact , baked in the oven with eggs and a crunchy breadcrumb and cheesy topping. Yum! I made some humus too with tinned chick peas, tahini and juice of two lemons. The iron in tonight's meal was provided by some tofu in a spaghetti and tomatoe sauce.

Syl said...

Oh, you have totally got me starving now! That spinach casserole sounds sooo good...will see if I can't come up with some version. Thanks for all the music/history...interesting reading!

Syl said...

PS...Archie...your voice has deepened ;-D

David Deacon said...

Roger Dee was my brother.

I co-wrote the sleeve notes and some of the lyrics on the record, with Roger. He also collaborated with Bill Solly.

I was surprised and delighted to find this reference to Roger on the net. Later, when I have time, I can add some detail.

For now, I can add that no, he did not go back to window cleaning; he continued to have a successful career as an entertainer for some years after he cut this disc for Pontins Holiday Camp customers. He appeared in, and compered, cabaret on the Cunard liner, the QE2.

In the early eighties, he opened what I think was the first gay hotel in Britain. It caused quite a stir in Angmering-on-Sea on the south coast.

He then bought a plot of land in Provence and became a street entertainer as 'Rafistol' - meaning improvisor.

I have written a radio play loosely based on his experiences. I am waiting to hear from BBC Radio Drama about it.

Roger died in 1988, aged only 51.

I can provide more information, if anyone is interested.

michael said...

Thanks for dropping by David. The internet never ceases to amaze me in it's power to connect people. Sorry my information was so scant and rather tongue-in-cheek! Thanks for adding so much more to the Roger Dee story which was much appreciated.

David Deacon said...

Fine. The apology is not needed. Perhaps hearing he had died made you feel a bit guilty... Roger would have been amused that you found his record at a boot sale. Late in life, he turned his back on show business, finding it crass and reactionary: he grew to dislike his days in variety - all eyes and teeth. He would have enjoyed it being being an artist who found the record; he was skilful at drawing and painting, and decorated the barrel organ he commissioned with his own delightful scenes depicting children in each of the seasons. In the mid-eighties, with someone he had met at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he staged an 'exhibition' on the steps of the Tate Gallery: placing lumps of horse manure on each step(I knew that he loved the Blake engravings there, though). Your blog has prompted me to create a site dedicated to Roger. I have written some biographical material and next week will be getting the few photos I still have copied onto a CD-rom to upload. The blog site is called ROGER DEACON/ROGER DEE/RAFISTOL. How do I provide the link? I shall have to learn. I am a novice at this blogging game. I enjoyed the visit to your site. And it has moved me to blog, too. I hope you continue to find odd and interesting things. Thanks for your email. David.

michael said...

Thanks David. I hope the blogging goes well. I have enjoyed it I must admit and it took me a while to get the hand of it and how to make links etc. Blogger Help is sometimes useful in that direction. I'm still very much a novice on the internet having started rather late in life and for years a bit of a luddite and technophobe.

Anonymous said...

hi,roger dee was my nans brother,i cant beliove you found this at a boot fair.i never knew him made a record,how great,david if you read this please please get in touch,i would love to talk to you.

michael said...

Glad my humble blog is able to bring about this family reunion!

Anonymous said...

thanks for your reply,i have never heard roger sing,is there any way i can?

kev said...

Oh my God, this has really taken me back! We saw Roger at Pontin's when i was a kid, and after the show we bought this album. He was signing them; he was still sweating so much from the show that he 'dripped' on his own name, and i can still vividly recall the smudged autograph on the album, which we had for years afterwards! I can even remember snatches of the tracks- there was one called 'Victor the Part-Time Vampire'. So sad to learn that he died so young. Thank you for this- as i get older, one of the bleakest things is having memories that, seemingly, belong only to you.Now, I somehow feel a bit more 'connected' to my past!!!

wastedpapiers said...

Thanks Kev. Glad to dredge up some of your past for you. Thanks for dropping by and making your positive comment. I will have to uplaod these tracks again if I can dig out the record. Watch this space.

RichardinMonchique said...

Excuse me for being a little late, I've just found this page.
I well remember many weekends spent at Hotel Roger Dee in Angmering, my, then, partner used to appear with Roger in caberet on cruise liners. I also remember 'Creme de Menthe Frape's' made with large ice cubes.
Great times, thank you Roger & David.

Richard Price