Audio: Actor Tom Courtenay was first to sing “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter”

Herman’s Hermits’ pop hit “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” was originally sung by acclaimed actor Tom Courtenay in The Lads, a British TV play of 1963, and released as a single in the UK.

Most of us outside the UK are familiar only with Herman’s Hermits’ version, which rose to number one on the charts in May 1965.

Tom Courtenay 1962 on the set of ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’

Courtenay came to prominence as in actor in the early 1960s with a succession of films, including The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), Billy Liar (1963), and Doctor Zhivago (1965).  He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for the film adaptation of The Dresser (1983),

The song was written by another British actor, Trevor Peacock, who was also a song and screenwriter.

Voice of Dad’s Army – one half of Flanagan and Allen – spent his honeymoon in Consett

IN 1925, a musichall comedian who went by the stage-name of Robert Winthrop was touring the cinemas and variety theatres of the Durham coalfield.While entertaining the mining communities, his eye was on another act that was also hopping from booking to booking in the halls: Mrs Stacey’s Young Ladies, a dance troupe, in which Annie “Curly” Quinn starred.

She was the daughter of an Irish comedian, Jimmy Quinn, whereas Robert – born Chaim Reuben Weintrop – was from a Polish Jewish background and had fought in Flanders during the First World War. Continue reading