IT WAS quite something to see Sammy Davis Jr on stage in Glasgow.

Even more exciting was bumping into him in the city centre.

That is what happened to Times Past reader Joe Sanders, who got in touch after he saw our feature on the legendary Rat Pack singer who appeared at the Odeon in May 1963.

Joe told us: “I was happy to read your story about Sammy Davis – I was lucky enough to see his performance at the Odeon that night – he was fabulous.

“The next morning, as I walked along Gordon Street, I was amazed to see him standing looking at Rowans shop window.”

Mario Lanza

Mario Lanza

Rowan’s was a gents outfitter, fashionable amongst Glasgow’s natty dressers - no wonder the stylish Sammy was checking it out.

Joe, who lived and worked in the city centre, as an office machine service engineer, adds: “I had to speak to him. He was very pleasant and polite and signed an autograph for me.

“And, I got my photo taken with him.”

Another reader, who wanted to be known only as ‘A Jazz Fan’ has some fantastic stories of great gigs in the city.

“My friend and I saw Mario Lanza at St Andrews Halls, not long before the halls were sadly burned down,” writes our correspondent.

“We lived in that area and were passing by, saw crowds and wondered who was on.

READ MORE: When Rat Pack star raised a glass to Glasgow audiences

“We asked a doorman, who told us it was Mario Lanza. We wanted to see him but we had no tickets. He said the office was closed but that we should hang around as there might be people selling some they could not use.

“We hung around until everyone was in, but still no tickets, so we went back to the doorman who said he’d let us in for £3 standing only.

“We gave him £3 each and went in to stand near the back with many others. There was a big stage, or platform, in the middle of the hall with a big, beautiful grand piano on it. The pianist came on and played a few bars, then Mario came on – what a voice.

“I still remember the sound. He leaned heavily on the piano all through the concert.

“The lyrics were all in Italian, which we did not understand, but his voice and the sound of the music were magical. We really enjoyed it.”

Our reader adds, sadly: “Mario went to London for a couple more concerts then to the USA and died just a couple of weeks later.”

Jazz Fan also recalls a fantastic gig by Tony Bennett at the Odeon, Ella Fitzgerald at the Kelvin Hall, Count Basie at the St Andrews Halls and Sarah Vaughan at the Odeon.

“We saw so many stars over the years,” he/she writes. “At Count Basie, we were in the eighth row from the front.

“The band struck up and I though someone had punched me on the forehead.

“Then I realised it was the sound of the band. The Count was sparkling on the piano and the band - what a sound.

“I think that was the best concert of all.”

What is the best concert you have ever seen in Glasgow?

Do you share Jazz Fan’s memories of Mario, Ella, the Count or Sarah? Get in touch with Times Past to share your stories and photos.