Dave Lanning meets Julie Rogers in 1967
THERE she stands, like a fashion model, next to a weird wooden mural (carved originally in British Columbia, Canada, but bought in a furnishing store in Manchester!).
Miss Julie Rogers is at home in her flat in Kingsbury, North London.
A pretty face. Dark, almond-shaped eyes, long lashes, the hair naturally chestnut.
Oh yes, Julie is one of Britain’s most attractive singers.
She is a guest star in The Bruce Forsyth Show this week. She said: “Already I’ve a sore throat thinking about the show. That’s the way my nerves come through… via the throat. My greatest dread is that my voice will go during my act. But whenever I start to sing, it just vanishes.”
Conversation flows easily with Julie.
“I’ve been in show business seven years,” she said. “I like to think of myself as a professional. Certainly I feel I’m becoming more accepted internationally.”
Julie likes to stand while she talks; she says it’s more comfortable. She was Cockney born in Bermondsey. But there’s no trace of Cockney twang.
“I don’t think the success I’ve found has made me throw tantrums. I wouldn’t know how to throw a tantrum; I’m sure I’d feel foolish. No, I haven’t changed, have I. Ted?” — an anxious glance at manager, guide and mentor Teddy Foster.
“No, I’d never get away with it. You see, I spend 95 per cent of my spare time with my family. Two sisters, two brothers, I’m the youngest. They would run me out of town if I started any tantrums. I’m an auntie to nine. I’d love to have children of my own.”
She’s certainly eligible for marriage. What sort of husband docs she want? What about show business marriages? The answers are immediate. Obviously she has thought this out.
“Show biz weddings? Well, they must be better than non-show-biz weddings. How could I expect a man earning £30 a week to swallow his pride and marry me? A husband must be the boss; his earnings must be, well, comparable anyway. We couldn’t possibly be compatible if he had a nine-to-five job.
“And what would he say if I pushed off for a three-month tour of Australia?” (She is bound there again in the autumn.)
“No, it must be better to marry someone in the business, who understands the business.”
Julie is a strong-willed girl, and a shrewd judge of character. Manager Foster rates her highly as a business woman, too, and says her intuition is never wrong.
“When I was a kid I went dotty over good-looking boys simply because they were handsome. Now I look more for character and personality. These are things that grow on you so I think true love will happen gradually for me.”
Julie gets around. Wanderlust gripped her as a teenager; she went hiking off to Spain with a chum, via a refrigerated fish van.
Her travelling since has been somewhat more luxurious: to Australia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Capri, Singapore, all over Europe, South Africa. And still loves travelling.
Her comment: “We’re all citizens of the world. It seems pointless to content yourself with one small fraction of it all your life.”
She’s emerged from:
A nightmare drive through an allegedly impassable Alpine pass during a freak thunderstorm;
A plane which picked up a bird in one jet over the Indian Ocean;
A flight that circled for 50 minutes — under full crash routine — around Singapore, with an undercarriage fault.
Enough to put most folk off travel. Not Julie. “I had a sort of excited feeling. The crew were so calm, there didn’t seem any point in becoming hysterical.”
There she stands, posing for photographs, working up a sore throat thinking about her ITV date on Sunday awaiting her next travels, looking forward, one day perhaps, to a career in acting.
Quite a girl. Definitely, but definitely, more than just a pretty face.