Marion Ryan meets ‘mein papa’!

Eddie Calvert and Marion Ryan make a Personal Appearance

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 4 March 1962

ROUND the door of the dressing-room peered a face with toothbrush moustache and dark, slicked-down hair.

“I was about to have a nap, but welcome in,” said top trumpeter Eddie Calvert, who, with singer Marion Ryan, is among the stars of Personal Appearance on Wednesday.

“Sleep?” I said.

Marion Ryan

“You can sleep after,” said Marion, my companion and guide through the studios. “We won’t keep you long.”

“O.K. then,” said Eddie, who flopped into an easy chair and prepared to be interviewed.

“I started playing a musical instrument when I was seven,” he said. “I taught myself.

“No one even knew I was learning to play a musical instrument. I used to play my dad’s cornet when he was out. He caught me one night.”

Eddie grimaced at a painful memory.

“I never learned to play a musical instrument,” said Marion. “Couldn’t even tinkle on a piano. I never had any lessons — we were too poor.”

“My father bought me my first cornet,” continued Eddie. “It was either that or putting a padlock on his own. And when I was 11 I joined Preston Town Silver Band.”

“As a mascot?” asked Marion.

“Certainly not,” said Eddie. “Lots of lads of that age play in prize bands.”

Eddie told us how he got into the Forces. “My father decided that the Army was the only place for me to complete my musical education. I joined the Territorials when I was 12. I had to lie like a trooper to convince them I was 14,” he said.

Eddie Calvert
Hold it, Eddie, we just want an interview!

“But my military career came to a sticky end. I found myself called up and given a job as a despatch rider. In the middle of the blackout in 1941 my bike went slap into the back of a three ton truck. I was in hospital for four and a half months. When I was in hospital I did some thinking. I decided I wanted to go into show business.”

Eddie worked with many top bands — Oscar Rabin, Billy Ternent, Geraldo — eventually became musical director of a leading London restaurant.

“I booked lots of top artists,” he said. “I turned down some too. I once turned down a young fellow named Dickie Valentine who was trying to get started in show business.” Eddie blossomed out as a solo artist about that time. His first big break came in 1953.

“Sheer coincidence, the whole thing,” he said. “I was driving home in my car, arguing with my wife about a new German tune sweeping the Continent.

“Norrie Paramor, who has his own orchestra, was driving home in his car, arguing with his wife about the same song.

“Both car radios were on — and during the course of the arguments the tune was played. It was too strong a coincidence to ignore. So we decided to record the tune. Remember it?”

We remembered.

It was called O Mein Papa and sold 5,000,000 records.

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