Anita Harris

Anita Harris [circa 1963]

Anita Harris [circa 1963] [official webpage] Anita Harris   Anita Harris made her debut recording with EMI’s Parlophone label with “I haven’t got you” before her appearances with The Alex Sutherland band at Two Red Shoes. She was one of several female ballad singers who performed at the hall in the ’60s.

One of Anita’s songs was a cover of the 1931 tune “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” which was popularized by Ozzie Nelson’s Orchestra [father of Ricky Nelson] in ’31. It charted in 1968 at the same time that the Mamas and the Papas had a hit with it.  Though her version peaked at 33, it could have been written for her as it showcased her great voice and style. “The release of the Mama Cass single of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” prompted a cover by Anita Harris which was recorded at Olympic Studios in a session produced by Mike Margolis with Alan Tew as musical director. Released 26 July 1968, the Harris version debuted in the UK Top 50 dated 10 August 1968.


Anita Harris:

Cass Eliot:

‘The release of the Mama Cass single of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” prompted a cover by Anita Harris which was recorded at Olympic Studios in a session produced by Mike Margolis with Alan Tew as musical director. Released 26 July 1968, the Harris version debuted in the UK Top 50 dated 10 August 1968 at #46 ahead of the Cass version at #49 although the latter would vault into the Top 30 and then Top 20 over the next two weeks while the Harris version would never reach the Top 30.’ Of course, though several have covered the tune, the 1931 version featuring Ozzie Nelson’s band was popular though a bit dated.

Anita Harris – (1968)


Anita Harris became a family friend to the Bonici and Ruggeri families and many who came to dance at the Two Red Shoes remember her fondly. She sang with the backing of Alex. Sutherland’s house band besides the tour to promote 3’s Company. I find it curious that the pay per night was adjusted from £175 to £105. Also, it’s interesting to note how musicians and entertainers were paid based on their portfolios. The Beatles were paid £42 per night when Love Me Do made it into the top 20 in Amsterdam and £300 later in the year.

Contract between Albert Bonici and Anita Harris March 1963

Contract between Albert Bonici and Anita Harris March 1963

 Anita speaking about her career (2015):
anita now
Anita Harris has had a breathtaking career spanning over fifty years which started  when as a 15 year old she was spotted on a London ice rink. She was then whisked away to Las Vegas to appear, three times a night in a top revue. Returning to the U.K. she went on to work with The Cliff Adams Singers, appeared in two Carry On films, graced the top of the pop charts, became a pantomime legend as Peter Pan, starred in Cats in the West End for 2 years and featured in 7 Royal Command Performances. She has never stopped performing and has worked alongside legendary names in the world of entertainment such as Harry Secombe, Phil Silvers, Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, magician David Nixon and Clive Dunn. Now, in a wonderful cocktail of song and chat Anita is entrancing and reminding audiences the length and breadth of the country just why she is one of the country’s most loved entertainers. In intimate environments, performing her favourite numbers with the Peter Gill Trio and recounting wonderful stories of her life in showbusiness she has created a superbly entertaining show that harks back to the classic days of entertainment.Anita Harris will be performing a special matinee on Wednesday 11 March at The Pavilion Theatre, Worthing Box Office: 01903 206206

My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music

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