Harry Roy is an English singer-songwriter and producer. His debut album, “The Waiting Game”, was released on 15 September 2018.
During the 1930s, Harry Roy was best known for leading a famous swing band in England and other parts of the British Empire. Roy was born Harry Lipman on January 12, 1900, in London, England, and worked in his father’s carton business as a youngster while also learning different musical instruments in his spare time. When the Original Dixieland Jazz Band charmed London audiences in 1919, young Harry was captivated by Larry Shields and decided to take up the clarinet. He started a band with his brother, pianist Syd Lipman, in 1921. The Darmswells were their name, but when the O.D.J.B.’s tenure at the Hammersmith Palais de Danse came to an end, the Roy Brothers Original Lyrical Five took their place. This was a spin-off of the Original Crichton Lyrical Orchestra, one of their many names. In 1922, the now-Anglicized “Roys” waxed a test pressing for Columbia, and in 1927, as the Crichton Lyricals, they recorded their first commercial recordings for Vocalion. Their music was released on the Guardsman, Coliseum, Aco, Scala, Crown, Beltona, Imperial, and Crystalate record labels during the following several years. In 1928, the Lyricals toured Australia, Tasmania, and South Africa after performing in all of London’s finest halls and clubs. In 1929, they recorded two sides for the Broadcast label, and in 1930, they went to Berlin to provide live entertainment and make a few more phonograph recordings. Harry was a natural performer, comic, and singer who specialized in songs like “I Wonder How I Look When I’m Asleep?” Harry was a born showman, comedian, and vocalist who specialized in songs like “I Wonder How I Look When I’m Asleep?”
In 1931, Harry took over as leader of a newly expanded version of the band, with Syd taking over as manager. The Harry Roy Orchestra spent a half-year serenading moviegoers at RKO’s Leicester Square Theatre, which debuted in 1932 at the London Pavillion and was aired over BBC radio from the Café Anglais in 1933. The “Bugle Call Rag” has become their signature tune. In 1934, Roy’s band made a name for themselves at the Mayfair Hotel, where they stayed until 1936. In 1935, Harry married “Princess Pearl” Eliza Vyner Brooke, the daughter of Charles Vyner Brooke, the state of Sarawak’s last white Rajah. The Harry Roy Orchestra was also included in film pictures: “Everything in Heaven,” featuring singers Princess Pearl and Mabel Mercer, was produced in 1935, and “Rhythm Racketeers” was released in 1936.
Following a successful tour of South America in 1938, Harry Roy’s Orchestra played continuously across England and the Middle East throughout WWII, after which Roy tried to perform in the United States but was unable to get a work visa. In 1949, his band returned to the Café Anglais. He disbanded his band and started a restaurant shortly after. In 1969, he made his final public performance with a foursome. Roy became sick and died on February 2, 1971, in London.