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OBIT: Elton Hayes

GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Nov 01 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Nov 01 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Nov 01 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Nov 01 - 11:24 AM
DougR 16 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM
Rick Fielding 16 Nov 01 - 12:24 PM
DougR 16 Nov 01 - 12:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 01 - 01:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 01 - 09:01 PM
Steve Parkes 19 Nov 01 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Mike in Essex 25 Sep 04 - 04:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Sep 04 - 07:37 AM
katlaughing 25 Sep 04 - 12:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 04 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Weeb in Edinburgh 20 Dec 09 - 04:11 PM
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Subject: Elton Hayes obit
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 08:09 AM

There have been a couple of attempts to chart Elton Hayes later career here. As stated in the earlier threads Mike Raven's web folk mag had been looking for info also. Here is an obit from his latest issue (Nov-Dec):
http://www.freefolk.com/eltonobituary.htm
OR Click Here
RtS


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 08:30 AM

Thanks to the mudelf for concealing my technoklutziness!)
In the same issue, incidentally, is a nice piece on Harvey Andrews, a fellow Brummie and recent house guest of Rick Fielding's ,and also a review of "Irish in America" by our own Dan Milner and Bob Conroy.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:42 AM

refresh, before it drops off the bottom, there was some interest in EH earlier.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:24 AM

Me again. Found the only newspaper obit I could trace from the Electronic Telegraph must have been a day I didn't check it. (I always check the obits, if I'm not in them I get on with work!)

Copyright Daily Telegraph Sep 29, 2001

ELTON HAYES, who has died aged 86, was well-known to radio and television audiences of the 1950s as "the man with the small guitar".

Hayes specialised in old English folk songs and ballads such as From Priggs that Snaffle the Prancers Strong and The Ratcatcher's Daughter. He sang to his own guitar accompaniments with an easy charm that came strongly over the microphone.

After making his radio debut on Children's Hour, Hayes occupied the guest star slot on every major radio variety show including In Town Tonight, Workers' Playtime, Variety Bandbox, Terry-Thomas's Top of the Town and Eric Barker's Just Fancy. He occasionally presented Housewives' Choice; and on Children's Hour, he sang Edward Lear's nonsense rhymes. Hayes's version of The Owl and the Pussy Cat was recorded by Parlophone and became a regular item on Children's Favourites.

In 1954 he was given his own series Elton Hayes - He Sings to a Small Guitar, a misquotation from The Owl and the Pussycat that became his catchphrase. This was followed by Close Your Eyes, a late night "bedtime"programme of light music, and Elton Hayes in a Tinker's Tales, in which Hayes, as an itinerant tinker, narrated a story which a cast of actors then dramatised as a musical play. Hayes also wrote the music and songs for the series.

On television he appeared in The Minstrel Show (forerunner of The Black and White Minstrel Show) and BBC Caravan Time, and sang and acted in several television plays.

Hayes was the obvious choice for the part of Alan-a-Dale in The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952), directed for Walt Disney by Perce Pearce. So well did Hayes fill the role that although it had started as a few lines, it grew into one of the film's biggest parts.

Elton Hayes was born at Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, on February 16 1915. Both his parents were actors and he made his first stage appearance aged nine in the prologue of a pantomime at the Canterbury Theatre, while also employed as a call boy and assistant stage manager at a salary of five shillings a week. For years he treasured a presentation watch engraved "To Elton Hayes, the youngest call boy and stage manager 1925/26 from Cheerful Charlie Grantly", the actor who had played Buttons.

As a child, Hayes learned the violin and, in his early teens, won a scholarship to the Fay Compton School of Dramatic Arts, run by the Compton family of actor-managers. There he received an extensive theatrical education "from Shakespeare to operetta and from tap dancing to ballet and the mechanics of theatre production".

His first job was as assistant stage manager with the Old Stagers' Company at the Canterbury Theatre. In his spare time he sang as "Eltonio" at local social clubs, obtained small parts in theatre and pantomime, and took a small part as a dancer in the film The First Mrs Fraser. He also joined a tap dancing troupe on the cine variety circuit, and became part of a four-man musical variety act called The Four Brownie Boys.

Hayes took up the guitar shortly before the war when he accepted one as security from a friend who had borrowed 30 shillings. At the outbreak of war, he was invited by ENSA to put together one of their first mobile units.

Eventually, though, Hayes volunteered for military service and, after being commissioned in the Royal West Kent Regiment, was posted to South East Asia Command. After the Japanese surrender, he hitch- hiked to Bombay where he was appointed OC ENSA North West Frontier Province, based in Rawalpindi.

A few days after arriving back in Britain, he visited Broadcasting House, still in uniform, to watch a Children's Hour broadcast and was immediately taken on to write and perform a slot in the programme based on Edward Lear's Nonsense Rhymes, and given a slot on In Town Tonight. From then on, he was seldom off the air.

In 1949 the actor manager John Clements invited him to appear in The Beaux Stratagem, which ran for 18 months in the West End. It was his performance in this that caught the eye of Perce Pearce, who thought that he would make the perfect Alan-a-Dale in Robin Hood.

The success of the film led to a tour of America, where he made 113 television and radio appearances in eight weeks, including visits to Mexico and Canada. In 1952, he made a solo appearance in The Royal Film Performance and in 1956, appeared in The Sooty Show at the Adelphi Theatre.

Towards the end of the 1950s, however, Hayes found that he was becoming affected by nerves before his live performances. Believing that it would be stupid to continue, he decided to give up performing.

Hayes had already bought a small thatched cottage on the Essex- Hertfordshire borders and, after studying at a local agricultural college, he settled down to life as a farmer, breeding pedigree livestock.

In later life, he took up carriage driving and became a member of the British Driving Society. At the 1989 Lord Mayor's Show in London, he was to be seen dressed in a scarlet uniform, standing behind the team on a Post Office Mail coach blowing Clear the Road on a post horn.

After suffering a stroke in 1995, Hayes had to give up his farm and moved to live with friends, who cared for him until his death.

He married in 1942, Betty Inman, who died in 1982.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: DougR
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM

I recognize the name Roger, but I can't put a face to it. I read the obit, and it appears Elton Hayes lived life as he wanted to, and I say bully for him.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 12:24 PM

Let me echo Doug's comments Roger. I'm rather surprised that I've never heard of the man.....but I like his story. Thanks.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: DougR
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 12:56 PM

A wee thatched cottage by a running stream on a few acres populated with goats, and sheep, and cows, and maybe even a few Llamas sounds pretty good to me at the moment. The Llamas would probably ensure that I'd get a visit by Kendall at least. :>)

(Oops! There I go again. Sorry Kendall!) DougR


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 01:48 PM

I missed seeing that in the paper. After all these years I can't read The Owl and the Pussycat without hearing his voice. And "Whistle my love" from the Robin Hood film.

Here are the two threads from earlier this year. Is Elton Hayes still about and Elton Hayes revisited

Lived on the Herts Essex border till 1995. That's my patch. Anyone got any idea where exactly?

I think I'll try and sing the Owl and the Pussycat this weekend some time in The Crown in Buntingford.


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 09:01 PM

I did that - and the great thing was that everyone in the room knew it and sang it along with me. And at another point someone else sang the version of the Gypsy Davey thta Elton sang.


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Subject: RE: Elton Hayes obit
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:59 AM

Another piece of my chldhood gone! Well, I shall miss him too.

Steve


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Elton Hayes
From: GUEST,Mike in Essex
Date: 25 Sep 04 - 04:47 AM

Elton Hayes, I'm a young 62 now, for over 50 years the music of Elton Hayes from the movie Robin Hood has been with me, "whisle my Love", I have search evrywhere for that record with no luck, Elton has been sadly forgotten by the cd generation dont you think?, any body out there know where I might find "whistle my Love"? or indeed other of his recordings,

regards, Mike.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Elton Hayes
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Sep 04 - 07:37 AM

in the early days of tv, the days of the potters wheel etc. they showed his gig repetitvely. Initially very popular, he got sort of over exposed.

At one time pre lonnie donnegan, he was the only guitarist on the telly. he enjoyed our full attention.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Elton Hayes
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Sep 04 - 12:28 PM

Mike in Essex,

I did some checking around on google. I found one 45 of his available, now, on ebay.

Also, this fellow lists his records, among many, many others and lookslike a good source for finding them, maybe? Sterling Times UK children's records

The one you want was put out by PARLOPHONE and is # R 3509, released in "1952-04."

Also, found this: Nice piccie and write-up

Good luck,

kat


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Elton Hayes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 04 - 01:58 PM

He sang it (as Alan a'Dale) in "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men", Disney 1952. It came out as a video a few years ago, you might be able to find it somewhere if you hunted around.

Otherwise best known for his version of Edward Lear's Owl and the Pussycat, which was frequently on Children's Favoyrites on the BBC, backmin those days. I'd almost guarantee that if you start the first line with anybody in England of the appropriate generation, they'll be able to give you the rest of the song.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Elton Hayes
From: GUEST,Weeb in Edinburgh
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 04:11 PM

Ah! Such happy memories of childhood.


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