'A NIGHT TO REMEMBER' - THE JOE LONGTHORNE SONGBOOK TOUR 2020
Here are the dates confirmed so far for the tour:-
Fri 1 May 2020 Howden Park, Livingston
Sun 10 May 2020 Princes Theatre Clacton
Fri 15 May 2020 Oaklands Suite Pelsall
Sat 16 May 2020 The Circus Tavern Purfleet
Sun 17 May 2020 The Majestic Theatre Retford
Tue 19 May 2020 St Albans Arena
Wed 20 May 2020 The Swan Theatre High Wycombe
Fri 22 May 2020 Theatre Royal St Helens
Sat 23 May 2020 Capitol Theatre Horsham
Sun 24 May 2020 White Rock Theatre Hastings
Fri 29 May 2020 New Theatre Hull
Sat 30 May 2020 To be announced
Sun 31 May 2020 Blackpool-Venue to be announced shortly
Fri 5 June 2020 McMillan Theatre Bridgewater
Sat 6 June 2020 Playhouse Weston S Mare
Fri 19 June 2020 The Kenton Theatre Henley
Sat 20 June 2020 Last Drop Hotel Bolton
Sun 21 June 2020 The Brindley Runcorn
Fri 26 June 2020 The Stag Theatre Sevenoaks
Sat 27 June 2020 The Dome Doncaster
Sun 28 Jun 2020 The Swan Theatre Worcester
Wed 15 July 2020 The Gaiety Ayr
Thur 16 July 2020 Playhouse Theatre Whitley Bay
Fri 17 July 2020 Middlesbrough Theatre
Fri 24 July 2020 The Plaza Stockport
Sat 25 July 2020 The Artrix Bromsgrove
Fri 31 July 2020 The Beck Theatre Hayes
Sun 2 August 2020 The Spa Theatre Scarborough
Fri 2 October 2020 Marina Theatre Lowestoft
More dates to follow.....
UPDATE ON THE COMMEMORATIVE BRONZE OF JOE LONGTHORNE MBE 1955-2019
It’s now almost three months since Joe sadly passed away on 3rd August 2019. Jamie, Joe’s husband, stated at that time a commemorative bronze would be commissioned for completion next May 2020 . The bronze will tour the country and go around the theatres Joe loved.
We post this update today on production and progress of the project ,which has been placed in the very capable hands of sculptor Jane Robbins. Jane is well ‘on schedule’ with the initial design work and pre casting.
Some of you may know Jane’s work but, if not, here’s a few words about this hugely talented artist. Jane is a traditionally trained, figurative sculptor with an expertise in human anatomy sculpture.
Jane has over 20 years experience in the Portrait Sculpture market creating everything from life size bronze memorials to fibreglass props and sculptures for film and TV. Working from sittings at the studio or from photos, any size figurative sculptures can be created and cast into bronze, resin, concrete or plastic or plaster depending on budget.
Jane Robbins has a wide network of clients including Sir Paul McCartney for who Jane produced a stunning tribute to his late wife Linda and, most recently, Lady Ann Dodd for whom she sculptured a stunning lifelike study of the late Sir Ken Dodd. Other commissions include a life size statue of the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.
Here’s a selection of Jane’s award winning work, like everyone we look forward to the finished bust being unveiled on Joe’s 65th birthday next year.
We would like to bring you all up to date on how next year’s tribute tour is coming together. ‘ A Night to Remember - The Joe Longthorne Songbook’ celebration concert featuring audio visual displays and unseen footage of Joe onstage, starring Darren Day, Tracey Jordan Andy Mudd with the Joe Longthorne Band and Chris Berry has been warmly welcomed around the country at theatres with many venues already on sale and more on sale very soon.
It’s an appropriate time to mention that all the existing members of Joe’s stage and admin team are to carry on in their roles and honour his memory and legacy. MD Andy Mudd together with band members Tom Read,Andy Morley and Alan Wormald and sound engineer John Turner will be back together on next year’s tour Geraldine Vine continues with The Friendship Club and Christine Whitnall in Website/Social Media/ Admin.
We wish to state that this official Facebook page, originally established in 2009, works in association with three excellent Facebook Group pages as follows :-
‘Sensational Joe Longthorne MBE’ managed by Donna Toms
‘People Who Love Joe Longthorne’ managed by Chrissie Moran
‘Joe Longthorne’ managed by Dave Taylor
These three group pages were all set up a number of years ago and have always been totally supportive of Joe.
It needs to be said here and now that there are a number of Facebook pages which have sprung up since Joe passed away. These , frankly , have not been set up in the best interests of celebrating Joe’s incredible life and career . Indeed, it is sad to say that these pages have been found to be a breeding ground for trolling, hatred and bullying of bona fide fans of Joe and even trashing Joe himself.. The level of the inappropriate behaviour of these pages has reached the point now where we find it necessary to make these comments. Therefore ,we wish to assure and confirm that only posts on this page and the three pages mentioned are authorised and official.
We can announce that Jamie has already commissioned the bronze bust of Joe, in time for unveiling on his birthday next year, 31st May 2020. The sculptor ,who’s name we will be revealing at the weekend , is highly acclaimed and has worked on many famous figures and artwork. The bronze bust will be touring around the country and there will be no requests or appeals in respect of this memorial to Joe.
Finally, we wish to make this statement about a DVD of Joe’s funeral which has been recently released by Heavenly Services Funeral Directors of Hull. It is important to lay out the background to the making of the DVD here and now so it is crystal clear how it came to be.
Mr Jamie Moran, Joe’s husband, gave his permission for the BBC, ITV and SKY to film for public news broadcast only. Heavenly Services asked to video some of the procession which Jamie felt he was unable to stop, bearing in mind the public interest with film and press crews there in great numbers, together with public mourners along the processions and outside the church. At no time has he ever sanction this film from Heavenly Services being made into a DVD and put on general sale to the public.
After much delay and confusion it was originally stated by Simon, MD at Heavenly Services that the making and release of this DVD was requested and authorised by Mrs Ann White nee Longthorne, Joe’s sister, and that the proceeds so far of £2700 had been collected by Mrs White but Simon has now said that the £2700 is in fact still at Heavenly Services.
'A NIGHT TO REMEMBER' 2020 THE JOE LONGTHORNE SONGBOOK
Following on from our post last month, in which we wrote about the importance of celebrating Joe’s incredible career and legacy in the correct manner, today we are able to publish more details on how this will take place next year.
Joe was ‘the Ultimate Professional’ in all aspects of his performance, known to his peers and fellow entertainers as ‘The Singers’ Singer’ . A career spanning over 50 years from a child performer in the 1960s ,through the heights of record breaking, sold out concerts around the world, Multiple Gold and Platinum discs on album sales, Top ranking network TV Series’, Royal Command Performances for Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family, 3 Variety Club Awards, a MBE awarded in 2012 and an Honorary Degree from The Open University in 2016.
The decision has been made to celebrate and commemorate this colossal legacy of a career spanning over six decades in a style Joe himself would have approved off. ‘A Night To Remember - The Joe Longthorne Songbook’ is to tour next Spring at selected theatres around the country.
The show will celebrate the music and life of Joe with Audio Visuals and some surprises along the way. Heading the line up is West End and TV star Darren Day with very special guest Tracey Jordan and The Joe Longthorne Band under the direction of Andy Mudd, featuring Joe’s original guitarist Alan Wormald, drummer Andy Morley and bass player Tom Read.
Featuring all Joe’s best loved songs, including duets with on screen footage of Joe ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ and ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ plus Too Much Too Little Too Late’, ‘You and Me’ ,’Never Love This Way Again’ and some exclusive ‘never before seen’ footage of Joe performing .
It was Joe’s wish that Darren stood in for him at Viva Blackpool in 2014 so it’s very fitting that Darren has agreed to do the tour around the country & a summer season in Blackpool in 2020.
Please see below the list of dates booked so far with more to be added:-
Fri 1 May 2020 Howden Park, Livingston T:01506 340700
Sun 10 May 2020 Princes Theatre Clacton On Sea T:01255 686633
Fri 15 May 2020 Oaklands Suite Pelsall T:01922 682156
Sat 16 May 2020 The Circus Tavern T: 01708 863838
Sun 17 May 2020 The Majestic Theatre Retford T: 01777 706866
Tue 19 May 2020 St Albans Arena St Albans T: 01727 844488
Wed 20 May 2020 The Swan Theatre High Wycombe T: 01494 512000
Fri 22 May 2020 Theatre Royal St Helens T: 01744 756000
Sat 23 May 2020 Capitol Theatre Horsham T: 01403 750220
Sun 24 May 2020 White Rock Theatre Hastings T:01424 462288
Fri 29 May 2020 New Theatre Hull T:01482 300306
Sun 31 May 2020 Blackpool -Venue to be announced shortly
Fri 5 June 2020 McMillan Theatre Bridgewater T:01278 556677
Sat 6 June 2020 Playhouse Theatre Weston S Mare T:01934645544
Fri 19 June 2020 The Kenton Theatre Henley T:01491 575698
Sat 20 June 2020The Last Drop Hotel Bolton - T: 01706 650515
Sun 21 June 2020 The Brindley Runcorn T: 0151 9078360
Fri 26 June 2020 The Stag Theatre Sevenoaks T: 01732 450175
Sat 27 June 2020 The Dome Doncaster T: 01302 370777
Wed 15 July 2020 The Gaiety Ayr
Thur 16 July 2020 Playhouse Theatre Whitley Bay T: 0844 248 1588
Fri 17 July 2020 Middlesbrough Theatre T:01642 815151
Fri 24 July 2020 The Plaza Stockport T: 0161 477 7779
Fri 31 July 2020 The Beck Theatre Hayes T: 020 8561 8371
Fri 2 October 2020 Marina Theatre, Lowestoft T: 01502 533200
'A CELEBRATION OF JOE LONGTHORNE ' AT THE PAVILION THEATRE GLASGOW SAT 12 OCTOBER 2019
Sharing this statement from the management of The Pavilion Theatre Glasgow:-
Next Saturday, 12th October will be one of the saddest days at the Pavilion that we can ever remember as this would have been the night of the Joe Longthorne 2019 show.
As we all know, Joe passed away on 3rd August and that was a truly sad day for everyone who ever saw Joe in concert. He was truly Britain’s best all round entertainer and more so, he was a friend and always said how he looked forward to his Pavilion shows.
How could we let this day go by without a celebration? So with the help of his long term partner Jamie, we have decided to put on an audio visual show in memory of Joe and his annual visits to the Pavilion.
This won’t be a variety show but a time to appreciate Joe on the big screen, showing him in concert with songs, impressions and conversation. Hopefully this will be a night of fond memories, celebration and appreciation of the quality of the entertainment that Joe brought to us all over the years.
This will be a free night and the performance will start at 7:30pm and we anticipate this being approx 1 hour 30 minutes long. In that time, are sure it will give us all time to show our appreciation to Joe.
The videos we have lined up will have some of all our favourite song. They will show Joe from the early year’s right through to recent times.
Hopefully you can join us in ‘A Celebration to Joe Longthorne’.
To get tickets, which will be on a first come basis, call the box office on 0141-332-1846 or book online
HERE the theatre’s website is paviliontheatre.co.uk.
These are restricted to 4 tickets per customer, unfortunately online transactions will be subject to a Ticketmaster £2.25 transaction fee. Tickets have no resale value and unfortunately, we cannot reserve tickets for this show as we are sure demand will be high. As the show is only 1 week away all tickets will need to be collected from the box office in advance of the show or on the day and ask that if you are collecting on the day of the show please collect them early to avoid the queues.
MEMORIAL FOR JOE
The enormous showing of everyone’s love and appreciation of Joe and his incomparable talent and genius over the days since he passed on 3rd August 2019 and at his funeral processions, firstly in Hull before his Requiem Mass and burial in Blackpool is so deeply & lovingly appreciated by Jamie and all the family.
In the days following Joe’s passing, his instructions to Jamie were followed to the letter and he was indeed honoured as he had wished. He went home to his beloved ‘Hessle Road’ before the public funeral service in Blackpool and being laid to rest in Layton Cemetery.
He was a true ‘man of the people’ in every sense of the word and he lived the most incredible, amazing life. A career in entertainment of over 50 years with 31 summer seasons in Blackpool, his adopted home town, is unrivalled. It’s of the utmost importance now to have a lasting memorial to the ‘Incomparable Joe Longthorne MBE’.
Joe was never keen on anything static in memorial to him and he always enjoyed travelling around. It is with this in mind and after much thought, Jamie has decided to commission a bronze statue in memory of Joe.
In tribute to him, the statue will be hopefully toured to many of the theatres Joe performed at during his career, with an expected completion date for the statue of early in 2020.
He dearly appreciates the various petitions & efforts which have been raised recently in Joe’s memory, however , he now asks that everyone will unite behind these plans.
I have known Joe for a very long time.
He’s the ultimate come back kid and I find it very hard to even say the word WAS and put a full stop, rather than a dot...dot...dot.
No matter the painful struggle to stay well and working, he was always prayed for and in our thoughts for his next moment in the spotlight, where he was so brilliantly entertaining and emotionally connected .
I feel the world has lost one of the most gifted entertainers who combined his powerful and deeply emotional singing and stories as well as being able to throw us into an evening with world renowned superstars by his amazing impressions.
In my experience of knowing Joe, he has always been a very caring human being, even under the severe condition of his illness, he never failed to give his utmost in every performance. He was the king of “the show must go on.”
God bless you Joe. You may have left us but I’m sure you are rousing up some talented musicians and putting a set list together, but rest awhile first. Pick a spectacular cloud and rest.
You deserve it!
You will always remain in our hearts and until we all meet again, send us a little sunshine now and again.
Until then .... thanks to the songs you left behind, your music and showmanship will be watched and listened to by the wonderful and faithful friends who have followed you all the days of your life in the spotlight and the days before, when you were destined to become who you became.
You ARE missed!
DAME BARBARA WINDSOR
I was very lucky years ago when Joe agreed to do a duet with me on an album I recorded. Not only was he a lovely man I had known over many years, he was also a huge talent!
We sang ”You can’t take that away from me”.... !! God rest his soul and one thing they could never take away from Joe, was his incredible voice.
Much love Barbara Windsor xx”
DON BLACK OBE
"He has been an idol of mine from the first moment I heard him sing. I got goosebumps every time I saw him perform. I always felt proud to know him and when he sang my songs he made them sound better than anyone else.
The world is a poorer place today and I will cling to every precious memory of his friendship and colossal talent."
LORD JEFFREY ARCHER OF WESTON-SUPER-MARE
"I first heard Joe Longthorne some thirty years ago, when I was standing by a lift at the Café Royal in London, waiting to go home. I strolled across to listen more carefully to a remarkable entertainer, whose magnificent voice held me captivated for the next couple of hours. From that moment, I joined his legion of fans and was fortunate enough to become a friend, as well as an admirer'"
'MUSTARD SEED' (MATTHEW 17.14-20 READING FROM JOE'S FUNERAL SERVICE
Sharing this morning the Gospel reading from Joe's Funeral Mass...
When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
We wish to let everyone know that copies of Joe's Order of Service Funeral Booklet will be available very soon, with full details on how to order being published here and on Joe's official Facebook page.
FAREWELL TO JOE
The funeral cortege will leave Joe’s home in Layton at 11am and proceed through Layton High Street, towards Church Street and past The Music Hall Tavern, Winter Gardens, The Grand Theatre, Viva Blackpool and along the seafront past The North Pier to arrive at The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church for a full Requiem Mass commencing at 12noon.Traditional funeral dress is requested , this is a public service as Joe wanted.
The burial is to take place in Layton Cemetery shortly afterwards and Jamie and the family would like to invite everyone back to Viva Blackpool to remember Joe in a suitable style which he himself would have approved of. #JoeLongthorne
JOE LONGTHORNE MBE FULL DETAILS OF FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS
Here are the full details for Joe’s funeral arrangements which gives everyone in his home city of Hull and his adopted home of Blackpool the opportunity to say their goodbyes to him.
His funeral is to take place over three days starting today Sunday 11th August 2019 when Joe’s cortège will drive to his sister Ann’s house in Hull where he will lay in rest overnight.
Tomorrow Monday 12th August 2019, at 11am , Joe’s funeral procession will proceed around his home streets of Hull . The route will be Cavil Place, Coltman Street, past the Ryder Club and on to Hessle Road where he is be conducted up and down the thoroughfare ,as he himself liked to do whenever he was back home. The procession will then go past his late parents’ home before returning to Heavenly Services Funeral Directors on Hessle Road. Joe will then travel back to Blackpool to rest at home overnight.
On Tuesday 13th August 2019 the funeral cortege will leave Joe’s home in Layton at 11am and proceed through Layton High Street, towards Church Street and past The Music Hall Tavern, Winter Gardens, The Grand Theatre, Viva Blackpool and along the seafront past The North Pier to arrive at The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church for a full Requiem Mass commencing at 12noon.Traditional funeral dress is requested and this is a public service as Joe wanted.
The burial is to take place in Layton Cemetery shortly afterwards and Jamie and the family would like to invite everyone back to Viva Blackpool to remember Joe in a suitable style which he himself would have approved of.
Please note any floral tributes you may wish to send for Joe must be at the Funeral Directors by 5pm tomorrow Mon 12 August 2019 their full address is Box Brothers Ltd,13-15 Hawes Side Lane,Blackpool FY4 4AP.
THE TIMES JOE LONGTHORNE OBITUARY
In the Longthorne household there was a broken television, with no screen, no workings, just the frame. Young Joe would stick his head in it and sing for his mother: “Sugar in the mornin’, Sugar in the evenin’, Sugar at suppertime.” She would applaud and tell him that one day he was going to be a star.
It seems there was never a time when Longthorne did not sing. “Singing is the thing that makes me want to live,” he wrote in his autobiography, Sugar in the Morning. “I can remember listening to my mam singing, and then singing myself before learning to walk.”
Longthorne won a talent show when he was four, became a regular on ITV’s Junior Showtime variety programme at 14 and eventually had his own slot on television. He appeared on the Royal Variety Show and played sell-out concerts at the London Palladium and in Las Vegas and Blackpool, where he made his home.
A talented mimic, Longthorne could sing in the style of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and many others. Yet he was also an accomplished singer in his own right, with several hit albums to his name.
Dogged by cancer and ill health for years, he was still singing virtually right up to the end of a rollercoaster life of fame and fortune, drugs, financial problems and tabloid revelations of an illegitimate son who went to jail. Yet Longthorne remained upbeat. “I don’t sing for the money,” he said. “I sing because I want to sing.”
Joseph Patrick Daniel Longthorne was born in 1955 in Hull. The family lived in the Hessle Road area, where many travelling families had settled. His father, Fred, was Romany, a “general dealer” and metalworker who played the piano in local pubs. Joe would go out with his father on the horse and cart, while his mother, Teresa, who was from Irish travelling stock, worked in a fish factory and sang in bars. She had nine children, but only four survived childhood.
His parents’ marriage was described as a “combustible mix”, although Longthorne’s website talks of “a very warm, safe upbringing”. Although they struggled for money, the family always had a working television set — as well as the broken one. Longthorne recalled that they could get rental sets for a week’s free trial and in one year the family tested 52.
He loved dressing up in outfits that he found at his grandmother’s second-hand clothes shop. “I’d wear everything,” he recalled. “Hats, shirts, skirts, trousers, shoes and wigs. There was just so much stuff to play with, to try on and to try out new characters.”
His mother encouraged him to sing and to do impressions, beginning with Al Jolson and, unsurprisingly, Steptoe and Son. He found himself in demand in pubs, old people’s homes and even at funerals, sometimes standing on top of coffins to sing.
He passed an audition for Junior Showtime singing I Believe and playing the spoons, even though he was too young to read the scripts. He spent two years on the show and appeared in a televised version of the pantomime Cinderella. It was only later that he learnt he was dyslexic. He built an adult following on the club circuit in the northeast and then further afield, with his father acting as his manager. His career took off when he reached the final of the ITV talent show Search for a Star in 1981.
Other television appearances followed: he won a Variety Club award as most promising artiste in 1983, was a regular on The Les Dennis Laughter Show and had his own series in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At the peak of his career, however, Longthorne had lymphoma diagnosed. “Cancer is not a word you expect to hear when things are going so well,” he said. “I felt invincible and suddenly out of the blue I felt helpless. I had two choices: to give in or fight. I chose the latter. I got up, dusted myself off and got on with life.”
He went on touring, but struggled with recurrences of cancer. Around the same time financial problems left him on the point of bankruptcy, with more than £1 million of debt. He was also drinking heavily, taking drugs and suffering from depression. He had a nervous breakdown and took an overdose.
Life took a turn for the better when he met James Moran at a party in Blackpool in 1998. Longthorne had realised earlier in his life that he was bisexual and ultimately felt comfortable with it. He is survived by Moran, whom he married quietly in December, and by a son, Ricky Moore, whom he had at 18 with Susan Moore, a factory worker. They were not in regular contact.
In his spare time Longthorne enjoyed sitting in his garden with his cats and free-range chickens and playing music. After concerts he would make a point of meeting his fans, shaking hands and signing autographs. He said he had two mantras: “There’s no business like Joe business” — and “Memories live longer than dreams”.
Joe Longthorne, MBE, singer and musical impressionist, was born on May 31, 1955. He died of cancer on August 3, 2019, aged 64