The Sooty Show Sunderland Empire sometime in the early ’60s

The Sooty Show Sunderland Empire sometime in the early ’60s
sootyannualsOk Maybe the daily blogging is finally getting to me. You are going to think I am going completely mad, but here we go anyway. I just couldn’t finish this project without mentioning my earliest memory of going to the theatre. I was a big fan of Sooty (along with Torchy the Battery Boy, but that’s another story) and remember my dad taking me to see The Sooty Show, with Harry Corbett, and of course Sweep, when it came to the Empire. I can’t have been very old, which places it probably sometime in the early 60s. I can picture myself to this day, sitting half way back in the stalls, hardly believing that I was actually seeing Sooty and Sweep live on stage! The lights, the lovely plush surroundings of the theatre, the bright lively action on stage; it all fascinated me. I have early memories of going to the circus, but didn’t particularly like it (I was frightened of the clowns), but a theatre show was something special, something different. The strongest memory I have of the show is of Sooty sitting at his little drumkit playing in the “Sooty Band” with Sweep (and possibly Soo, although I think she may have joined later). I found a video of said band in an arcade machine playing “Polly Put the Kettle On” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm0-KChypko Wow! Soo on piano and Sweep on sax. sootycardThis is exactly how I remember it onstage at the Empire.
Sooty of course hit Harry on the head a couple of times with a hammer (“Don’t do that for goodness sake!” said Harry), waved his magic wand and said “Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy!”, soaked Harry and Sweep with his water pistol, and played his xylophone. All good clean fun.
My fate was cast. I know its seem quite a long way from going to see Zeppelin, the Stones or T Rex, but it was early experiences like this that gave me my thirst for concerts. The pictures of Sooty’s card game and the Sooty annuals are mine, picked up for 50p or so each at a car boot sale. I still can’t resist the little bear. By the way, I’m not alone in liking rock and Sooty. Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain is a big Sooty fan; always has a Sooty puppet as a mascot on the front of his drumkit, and has occasionally worn a full size Sooty costume at shows as an entrance (now that is crazy 🙂 ).
Oh, and of course the show would always end “Bye bye everybody, bye bye”. Magic.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by David Meadows on March 30, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Ha, well that was unexpected but great to read. I used to love Sooty on the TV.

    Reply

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