WHEN FAMOUS Glasgow music hall star Jack Radcliffe performed at the Victory Theatre in Paisley, he was sometimes supported by a less well known but popular singer called Dickie Miller.

Times Past reader Jim Peddie got in touch to tell us a bit about Dickie, who was known as ‘the boy soprano.’

Do any other readers remember the young star?

Jim said: “Your recent story about May Moxon and her dancing troupe reminded me of May’s dad Jimmy McDonald who lived in Roystonhill.

“Jimmy was a friend of my gran’s – he was a theatre agent, and he managed my uncle, Richard Peddie, whose stage name was Dickie Miller.”

Dickie was born in 1928 in Bridgeton, says Jim, the youngest of six children, and he went on to play all the big Scottish theatres alongside some of the greatest stars of the day.

“He was on the bill with Jack Radcliffe, the Logan family, Dave Willis, and during the war years he played the Paisley Victory with Jack,” he added.

Glasgow Times: Jack and Jimmy Logan with some of the cast from the Five Past Eight summer show. Pic: Newsquest

“He sang at the St Andrew’s Hall in Glasgow when the Lord Provost was there. He was a huge Frank Sinatra fan and he died in 2012, on December 12, which was Sinatra’s birthday.

“As the coffin disappeared at the end of the ceremony, the music was Frank belting out ‘Come Fly With Me’ – Dickie was showbiz to the very end.”

Jim’s memories sparked a few here at Times Past HQ and we went in search of photos of Jack Radcliffe, who was a massive star in Scotland in the 40s and 50s.

Born Charles Smith in Cleland, Lanarkshire, Jack worked in the coal mines and then the steelworks before his love of singing - he was a baritone - encouraged him to take the plunge and join a small touring concert party with Lex McLean and Tommy Morgan.


He added comedy to his act later on, preferring character comedy to slapstick, and was initially supported by Scottish actor Helen Norman.

He became famous for his appearances with Jimmy Logan at the legendary Five Past Eight summer shows in Glasgow’s Alhambra Theatre.

Five Past Eight was huge – in the 1959 season, for example, Jack, Jimmy Logan and Eve Boswell headed the cast and almost 400,000 people came to see the show during its 24-week residency.

Jimmy and Jack got back together again for the 1960 and 1961 summer seasons of Five Past Eight.Glasgow Times: Jack Radcliffe and Jimmy Logan

Jack was also well-known as compere of the Royal Variety performances in Glasgow and at other charity shows. Among the latter was a theatrical ball in February 1958, held in Glasgow in aid of the Scottish Theatrical and Variety Artists’ Benevolent Fund.

In this shot from our archives, Jack is pictured at the ball with fellow music hall singer Kathie Kay and Greta Lauder, great-niece of Harry.

Jack was also part of an ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) troupe on board a war-time supply ship based at Scapa Flow.

His last stage appearance was with Jimmy Logan and Annie Ross in the Jimannijack revue at the Metropole Theatre in the spring of 1966.

That same year, Radcliffe had cancelled a tour of South Africa on doctor’s advice, but continued to take the part of a crusty Scottish gardener called McAllister in Blandings Castle, the BBC series of the late 60s which starred Sir Ralph Richardson.

Jack sadly died in April 1967, aged just 66, just a week after returning home following treatment at the Victoria Infirmary for a chest complaint.

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Two days later, this Glasgow great was buried at the Western Necropolis. Among the 300 mourners were Logan, Una McLean, Reo Stakis and Larry Marshall.

*Do you remember Jack Radcliffe? Did you ever see Dickie Miller the ‘boy soprano’ in action? Get in touch with Times Past to share your stories and photographs.