latest news

'A NIGHT TO REMEMBER' 2020 THE JOE LONGTHORNE SONGBOOK

5th October 2019
Following on from our post last month, in which we wrote about the importance of celebrating Joe’s incredible career and legacy in the cor...

Read More

'A CELEBRATION OF JOE LONGTHORNE ' AT THE PAVILION THEATRE GLASGOW SAT 12 OCTOBER 2019

4th October 2019
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 ...

Read More



news

05
Oct

'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   

04
Oct

'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.

21
Aug

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.

21
Aug

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK

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!

Your Friend,
Engelbert.

21
Aug

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”

21
Aug

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."

21
Aug

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'"

17
Aug

'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.

13
Aug

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

11
Aug

JOE’S FUNERAL CORTÈGE ARRIVES BACK HOME IN HULL

Joe’s funeral cortège has arrived back in his home town of Hull this afternoon and he is now laying in rest at the home of his dear sister Ann. Jamie is staying with Joe tonight before tomorrow’s procession around the Hessle Road.

11
Aug

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.

09
Aug

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

06
Aug

JOE LONGTHORNE MBE FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

We are now able to announce full details for Joe’s funeral arrangements which give 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 this 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.

On 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 advisable 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 send any floral tributes you may wish to send to Box Brothers Ltd,13-15 Hawes Side Lane,Blackpool FY4 4APto arrive between 3pm-5pm on Monday 12th August2019.

05
Aug

THE STAGE OBITUARY: JOE LONGTHORNE – ‘ONE OF THE BIGGEST LIGHT-ENTERTAINMENT STARS OF HIS GENERATION’

Joe Longthorne, who has died at the age of 64, was one of the biggest light-entertainment stars of his generation, admired within the industry for his powerful voice and professionalism and adored by a devoted fan base.

Born in Hull to performing parents from the travelling community, Longthorne showed an early gift for performing. He won his first talent contest at the age of five with an act showcasing his precocious skills as a singer and impressionist – talents that sustained a professional career over more than 40 years, saw him headlining the London Palladium and the Talk of the Town and acquiring three platinum discs for record sales.

After finding early television fame in the late 1960s with regular appearances on ITV’s children’s talent show, Junior Showtime, he served his apprenticeship on stage on the still thriving club circuit at home and abroad in the early years of the 1970s.

Although possessed of a fine voice of his own, Longthorne’s early act drew attention for his uncanny impersonations of an impressive array of singing stars from the Rat Pack and Elvis Presley to Mick Jagger and Des O’Connor and no less impeccable impressions of Dorothy Squires, Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland. Appearing at the London brasserie Quaglino’s in 1978, The Stage took notice of his “genuine star quality”.

His adult break came with another television talent show, Search for a Star, in 1981. Although narrowly beaten in the final, Longthorne’s newly raised profile saw him return to the club circuit on the cusp of stardom. The following year he headlined his first season at the Talk of the Town.

Recognition of his arrival as “the most outstanding young club and cabaret artist for several years” came with a Club Mirror award as specialist act of the year in 1983 and the Variety Club’s most promising artist accolade in 1984.

Those trophies opened the door to the United States, Longthorne spending the next 18 months there including a lengthy and much admired residency in Chicago. He crossed he Atlantic often in the following years, reaching Las Vegas before the end of the decade.

When he returned to the UK, it was with a more polished and sophisticated act that earned him regular guest appearances on television variety programmes, most notably The Les Dennis Laughter Show.

Longthorne hosted his own eponymous show from 1988-91 and sang the theme song for Johnny Speight’s Eric Sykes-starring The Nineteenth Hole in 1989, when he also made his debut appearance in the Royal Variety Performance, a second following in 1995.

At the peak of his popularity in the first half of the 1990s, Longthorne was declared entertainer of the year by the Club Mirror in 1990, filled the 3,000-plus Royal Albert Hall in 1992, and set a solo artist record with his 19-week season at the Blackpool Opera House in 1993, which set box office tills ringing to the tune of £1.8 million.

Diagnosed with cancer in 1989, he continued to perform, although the illness, combined with what Longthorne described as “bad management advice”, led to mounting financial difficulties and his eventual filing for bankruptcy in 2000.

The same stoicism sustained him through an often debilitating treatment for leukaemia, his season at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre in 2001 demonstrating his still substantial pulling power with ticket receipts of more than £1 million.

When complications set in after a bone marrow transplant in 2005, Longthorne spent a month sedated on an hospital ventilator and, a devout Catholic, was given the last rites by a priest. Just five months later, however, he was back on stage in Blackpool with a nationwide tour quickly following.

He survived a further blow when diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2014, touring shortly afterwards to mark his 60th birthday the following year.

His international appeal stretched from residencies in Las Vegas to headlining the Sydney Opera House and in-demand appearances throughout Europe and in Canada and Cyprus.

From the Variety Club, he received a lifetime achievement award in 2007 and a Silver Heart award in 2010 in recognition of his career-long support for charities, for which he was made an MBE in 2012.

He published an autobiography, Sugar in the Morning (co-written with Chris Berry), in 2015.

Joseph Patrick Longthorne was born on May 31, 1955 and died on August 3. He is survived by his husband and manager, James Moran.

05
Aug

JOE LONGTHORNE MBE 1955 -2019

We can now let you all know about the outline plans for Joe's funeral arrangements. It will be held over 2 days in Hull and then Blackpool. The exact dates have to be confirmed, once everything is finalised with the authorities concerned and formalities completed.

Joe's very dear friend Leye D Johns at Viva Blackpool has spoken lovingly on BBC Radio Lancashire today https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07hxb5j
and announced the plan. Listen in at 8.25am to catch all Leye's interview.

Joe will spend a night back home in Hull before a horse drawn procession along Hessle Road and into the city before returning to Blackpool for a full town procession and Requiem Mass at The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church.We will post the exact timings and dates once we have everything confirmed.

Joe loved flowers so please do 'Say It With Flowers' if you are going to pay your respects to 'Our Dear Joe' along the way. There is also a Book of Remembrance at Viva Blackpool's Reception.