NEVER one to miss a chance to perform, legendary film funnyman Danny Kaye had the staff and customers at John Letters, golf club manufacturers, in stitches in Glasgow back in 1949.

The Hollywood actor and comedian was one of the biggest names in showbusiness when he arrived in the city, straight from London’s west end, for a sell-out run at the Empire.

The golf-mad star was presented with his own, custom-made set of clubs at the Howard Street store.

Danny jumped in with both feet and messed about to the delight of Evening Times photographers and onlookers.

Glasgow Times:

The show was a hit too - our sister newspaper The Glasgow Herald reported: “Personality, verve, tremendous vitality, a fine voice, expressive hands, a charming smile, a sense of burlesque are all here.

“But there is something else.

“It might be his capacity for enjoyment equal to the enjoyment he gives, for obviously he enjoys every minute he is on the stage.”

He even won the hearts and minds of his Glaswegian audience by belting out the classic tune, I Belong to Glasgow, “with the proper Scots accent.”

Danny was back in action in Glasgow a year later, this time to provide the pre-match entertainment at the 1950 Glasgow Charity Cup Final at Hampden, between Rangers and Celtic.

Glasgow Times:

Again, Kaye was in town for a run at the Empire and this time, when he arrived at the station, a huge crowd of around 10,000 fans turned up to welcome him.

His appearance on the bill boosted the crowd attendance, which is recorded as 81,000.

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The cup final has become known as the Danny Kaye Final (Celtic beat Rangers 3 – 2) much to the confusion of younger fans who would be forgiven for wondering if Kaye was in fact a Celtic winger or a Rangers goalie….

Five years later, incidentally, it was reported via the US trade magazine, Variety, that Kaye was to play the role of Sir Harry Lauder in a film biography of the Scots entertainer, who had died in 1950.

The Evening Times, reporting the new story in 1954, said Kaye had been a close friend of Lauder’s during his final years.

Glasgow Times:

In a letter to the New York Times in 1994, Lauder’s niece Elizabeth Lauder Hamilton mentions Danny as one of the ‘many American stars’ who visited her beloved uncle at Lauder Ha’ in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire.

“He was my beloved Uncle Harry who brought me to his home when our town was too near the bombing during the Second War,” she wrote. “I spent a marvellous teenage time in his loving care. I met many many American stars like Laurel and Hardy, Edward G. Robinson, Irving Berlin and Danny Kaye, mostly fellow stars under the famous William Morris Agency. They came to pay homage to the greatest Scots singer and comic of his times, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

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Danny was born in New York in 1913, New York and he died in 1987 in California.

He began his showbiz career as a nightclub comic, and after a string of low-budget shorts and a spell on Broadway in the late 30s, he got his movie break when legendary Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn saw him performing in a New York nightclub.

Danny became known for his lavish musical comedies, in which he ably demonstrated his many talents as singer, dancer, physical comic and mimic.

His best known movies include White Christmas and The Court Jester.