A Conversation for Buskers and Busking

Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 1

tamjoe01

Hi, I'm just trying to find out any information about my grandfather. His name was Harry Hollis and he was a member of the Roadstars, which were a famous busking group back in 1960's-1980's.They performed in Picadilly and Leicester square London.My grandfather was in the guiness book of records for being the most arrested busker in London. Also Prince Philip used to send for the Roadstars to play at private parties. They were the only buskers to be invited to the world fair Expo 67 Canada, whilst they were there they were invited onto the royal yacht Britannia to have dinner with the Queen. If anyone could help me it would be much appreciated as i would love to make a scrap book to show my children when they get older Thanks Tammysmiley - smiley


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 2

hezziet

Hello Tammy,

I remember the Roadstars very well and knew them slightly as I used to see them every week at Leicester Square. I used to talk to Edith who was the wife of either Harry or Albie and I also remember Charlie Hilliard who played the accordion and also Ronnie Ross who worked separately as an almost identical solo act but who was teamed up with the Hollis brothers some time earlier.

If you are interested I have some very good photos of them taken in the 60s during a film premiere as there are some famous stars (Warren Beatty, Joan Collins etc.)standing watching. I'll scan them and send them to you if you'd like.

There are also film clips of them on the Pathe website. I'll give you the details of that too if you are interested.

Please email me at [email protected] if you are interested.


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 3

hezziet

Here you will find a gallery of photos of The Roadstars.

http://rfillary.jalbum.net/Roadstars/


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 4

toughjoanieboney

Hi Tammy, My Uncle John, was a member of the The Happy Wanderers he played trumpet I believe, I have been told they had a one-armed member called Timmy, he did the collections.
They turned down a Sunday Night show with Jack Benny, so they could play Oxford Street. They were in two films Look back in anger, and The Busker.

I would like to know more about them too.smiley - smiley


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 5

john lawrenson

Hi,

I'm soon to put on an exhibition about the history of London buskers called the "Showmen of the Streets" and I have some information about the Road Stars, for example they appeared in the 1938 film Sidewalks of London with Charles Laughton (Part 1 of 5 You Tube) Also, I have a Daily Mirror article about their retirement in 1962, plus Henry Hollis wrote an autobiography called Farewell Leicester Square ( the British Library has a copy)
If you have any memories/ archive photograhs or film footage or if I can shed any light on this great act, please get in touch.


John Lawrenson


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 6

Mo

Hello Tammy I read your post with great interest as my Uncle Charlie Hilliard played the accordion and sang with the Roadstars. My father, George Hilliard, also performed with the Roadstars in their early days, doing the sand dance with Henry and his brother. Unfortunately my uncle and father are no longer with us, but I have many fond memories of them. When I was a young teenager I would go to the Leicester Square Cinema with my brother or sister on a Sunday afternoon and when I got off the bus I could hear this beautiful voice, and the accordion. Most of the people in the cinema queue would gather round to see the Roadstars. I have a copy of the book Farewell Leicester Square and it is most amusing. Hope this helps a little and I would like to hear from you. Best wishes to you and your family. Mosmiley - smiley


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 7

lynzipm

Hi Tammy

My nan was a part of The Roadstars and Happy Wanderers. If you are wanting any pictures and info my mum has both.

You can contact me on my email: [email protected]


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 8

lynzipm

Hi John

My mum has the Drum & Accordian from the bands.

Please get in touch, my mum would love to talk to you about the band ang if you did the exhibition.

[email protected]


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 9

john lawrenson

Hi,

I've just got your message. Thanks for the invitation to meet your mum and chat about The Road Stars, I'd love to see her, please get in touch again. You can visit www.dangerstreet.co.uk to get my contact details.


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 10

Razz

Hi.My grandad was the banjo player of the Happy wanderers.His name was Victor Stahl and i have his banjo.After all these years i still dont know that much about them and would love to know more.They were in the film"The Triple cross" at the begining of the film.If anyone has any pics or info please get in touch on [email protected]
Thanks


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 11

shirley ellis

My name is Shirley Ellis. Charley Hilliard was my uncle and could be seen (and heard) singing the famous Arthur Tracy song " Marta" in Leicester Square. He had a wonderful tenor voice and could be heard all over the West End!! We were priviledged to have Charley in our family and had marvellous parties with him singing and playing the accordian and piano.

I remember him going to Expo and coming back with marvellous photos. He had lots of scrap books and photos of them with Cliff Richards and many other stars.

Wonderful days and many happy memories of Uncle Charley. There wasnt a song he didn't know and I was really pleased to see this piece about The Roadstars. Would be glad to have any photos anyone has.

Shirley


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 12

jamieson320

Hi all

I am particularly interested in hearing from Tammy who grandfather was Harry Hollis in the Roadstars. My Nan Irene is Harry's sister and is still alive. It would be great for some more information relating to distant relatives.

I await hearing from anyone with information.


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 13

TRoulinson

I lived in Cambridge as a child in the 60's and 70's. A treat for me was a visit to London, a theater trip or other. But more importantly the Roadsters on the busy two way traffic running through Leicester Square. I live in Tonbridge now and frequent London. Every time I walk through Leicester Square I can see the buskers as if they are still there. Never to be forgotten as good entertainers. Is there any movie of them anywhere?


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 14

tamhol

Thank you very muchsmiley - biggrin


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 15

tamhol

Hi jamieson320 do you have an email address so I can message you privately would be great to hear from you mine is [email protected] I hope to hear from you soon. Wow what a response I seriously didnt think anybody would reply but thank you I will get back to you all shortly thanks again Tammysmiley - biggrin


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 16

tamhol

Hi John, How did the exhibition go hope all went well, Do you have any photos or film footage of my grandfather Harry Hollis and the rest of the Roadstars i have been onto http://rfillary.jalbum.net/Roadstars/ but i cant copy these pictures or get in contact with the person who has them. Which is a pain. My email is [email protected] if you would like to get in contact, any help would be great
Tammy Hollissmiley - biggrin


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 17

starby49

Hello Jamieson ,

I have been researching the Hollis Family tree for my friend Maria Hollis , if you would be interested
in getting in touch with her she would love to hear from you .

Maria is the daughter of the late Henry Hollis .


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 18

ChrisJBrady

The album has been deleted. Try

However I do have the photos!!!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l5hramz6cbol76w/AACapZSOhh_Ri9BECo09Dhgea?dl=0

The movies are of the busking Roadstars.

The JPGs are of Hancock and colleagues.

CJB


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 19

jean k.

Dear Shirley... is your maiden name mason???? and was your mom may???I was married to Ronnie Hilliard.. love to be in touch...


Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

Post 20

NatalieDrest

Very nice collection there...

I used to know Ron (Ronnie Ross) and Peggy, I worked with their son for many years...

The only bits that I had seen previously were from Expresso Bongo and (BBC) Pennies From Heaven.

Sadly, all gone now, including the son who went to live in Spain.


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Famous London Buskers, The Roadstars/ Happy Wanderers

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