Russ Conway’s story is somewhat more tragic than the sleeve notes convey. Of course the sleeve notes are not the place to describe his propensity for bad luck and they were written long before his fall into alcoholism and depression. Russ Conway had the world at his feet at one point and the cover picture of this recording likely portrays a lifestyle not too far removed from reality.
This is Russ Conway in happiest of moods – pub piano under his fingers. Relaxed, warm, friendly – you can sense the smile, the twinkle in those blue eyes the moment he starts to play. Music to be easy with in true Russ Conway manner; the manner that’s come to be a personal trade-mark on radio, on disc, and to limitless TV audiences on the Billy Cotton (“Wakey Wakey”) Band Show. It’s the manner that marks Russ not only as a top pianist with a rarin’ to go style that’s fresh as paint, but a top entertainer who delights his audiences whether they’re 8, 18 or 85 years old.
Russ Conway was born Trevor H. Stanford in 1927 – a Bristol man. His showbiz career started when he was actually 10 when he made a public appearance with an accordion band at the Bristol Ideal Home Exhibition. But before going into the professional big time he was, among other things: plumber’s mate, salesman, civil servant and barman. Russ also spent about seven years in both the Merchant Navy, starting as a galley boy at the age of 15, and in the Royal Navy – where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
Label: MFP 1096