Jazzy farewell for Harry

Harry Black

Harry Black

First published in News

A PROFESSIONAL banjo player and former comedian from Bowness received a ‘New Orleans-style’ send-off following his death at the age of 75.

Liverpool-born Harry Black died on July 1 while on his favourite walk in the Winster Valley – and a unique ‘uplifting’ funeral at St Martin’s Church paid tribute to his life in music with a jazz band and Nessun Dorma played on the banjo.

His widow Marie said she had received more than 200 tributes from the USA, where he played banjo at the Your Father’s Moustache banjo night club in the 1960s.

He also played in a showband from the chain which performed a warm-up for the Ed Sullivan Show.

Upon his return to Europe he set up Your Father’s Moustache night clubs in Blackpool and Brussels, recruiting other players to perform in the bands.

He moved on in the 1970s and spent some years in the licensed trade - running the Cross Keys in Milnthorpe and the Hole-in-the-Wall in Bowness before becoming a stand-up comedian, in clubs and on cruises. In the 1980s, he appeared in ITV’s The Comedians.

In 2011, at the age of 73, he took part in a mass banjo performance at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York – a special 50th reunion for musicians with Your Father’s Moustache.

He had lived in Bowness for 40 years. He is survived by widow Marie, children Heidi and Peter and grand-children Daniel, Talitha, Aidan, Hannah, Adam and Eloise.

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