HOLLYWOOD star Dorothy Lamour caused a stir when she arrived in Glasgow for her show at the Empire in May 1950.

Crush barriers had to be put in place at Central Station to hold back the 2000-strong crowd that had gathered to welcome her off the London train.

The Glasgow Times’ sister newspaper The Herald reported at the time: “Acknowledging the cheers with a wave of her hand, Miss Lamour crossed over to the barrier and exchanged greetings with some of her admirers as she was escorted from the train to the station hotel by a police inspector.

“Near the hotel entrance a section of the crowd surged forward and the actress just managed to get into the hotel before the way was blocked. Later, Miss Lamour appeared for a few seconds on the hotel balcony overlooking the station. Her appearance was the signal for renewed cheering.”

Glasgow Times:

The glamorous actor, whose films included the ‘Road to ..’ series of comedies in which she starred alongside Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, appeared at the Empire with some trepidation, she told Herald journalist Tom McGee.

Glasgow Times:

“I had been warned that the audience could be tough, but I found them very receptive”, she told him. “The only problem I had was with a heckler one evening who kept shouting: `What’s under your sarong, Dottie?’

“Eventually I stopped the orchestra and replied: `I’ll tell you the secret about my sarong if you tell me the secret of the kilt!’ I had no more problems with him.”

Tom described the moment she stepped off the train in rainy Glasgow. “It was as if the station had suddenly sprouted palm trees and its own sunshine,” he recalled. “Hollywood’s Queen of the Sarong had that inbuilt magic - star quality.”

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During her time in Glasgow Lamour paid a courtesy visit to the City Chambers, where she was received by the Lord Provost, Victor Warren, and signed the visitors’ book. She was accompanied by her husband, William Ross Howard, and her accompanist. She later attended the annual gala at the Singer plant in Clydebank.

Reader Dale Wallace recalls seeing Miss Lamour in the city.

Glasgow Times:

“As a 14-year-old in 1950 I was on the slipway of the Renfrew Ferry on the way to the Renfrew baths when a big limo appeared waiting to cross,” he told The Herald. “A very glamorous lady came out and started talking to those on the slip. “A man informed us that was Dorothy Lamour. She had been to Singer’s sewing machine factory for the sports day. When we went back to school I told my mates that I saw Dorothy Lamour waiting for the Renfrew Ferry.

“Aye, that’ll be right!’ was the response.”

Miss Lamour began her career in the 1930s as a big band singer. In 1936, she moved to Hollywood where she signed with Paramount Pictures. Her appearance as Ulah” in The Jungle Princess brought her fame and the nickname ‘the sarong queen’.

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(Incidentally, she Lamour sported a very special one in Glasgow, a pure silk banner of Royal Stuart tartan prepared bv RG Lawrie, of Renfield Street.)

In the 1970s, Lamour revived her nightclub act and, in 1980, released her autobiography My Side of the Road. She made her final onscreen appearance in 1987.

Lamour married her second husband, William Ross Howard III, in 1943. They had two sons and remained married until Howard’s death in 1978. Lamour died at her home in 1996 at the age of 81.

*Did you see Dorothy Lamour in Glasgow? Share your memories and photos by emailing ann.fotheringham@glasgowtimes.co.uk or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB.