Jess Conrad

b. 1935, Brixton, London, England. Christened Jesse James, Conrad began his career as a repertory actor and film extra before being cast as a pop singer in a television play, Rock-A-Bye Barney. Initially, his singing voice was overdubbed by that of Gary Mills, but before long life imitated art and Conrad was transformed into a pop adonis. Championed by television producer Jack Good, he appeared in Oh Boy!, Wham! and Boy Meets Girl, which led to a recording contract with Decca Records and some minor early 60s hits with ‘Cherry Pie’, ‘Mystery Girl’ and ‘Pretty Jenny’. When his recording career waned, he continued acting in low budget movies and pantomime, and in the 70s appeared in the musicals Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Godspell as well as taking a cameo part in the Sex Pistols’ celluloid excursion, The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle. One of Conrad’s early singles, ‘This Pullover’, was belatedly named the worst single ever made in a novelty compilation of pop atrocities. Conrad continued to work throughout the 80s, and, in 1993, shed his ‘squeaky-clean’ image when he appeared as Prince Charming, with comedians Charlie Drake and Jim Davidson, in Davidson’s ‘blue’ pantomime, Sinderella.

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