Saturday, 6 December 2014

The female Liberace

A sadly overlooked camp legend died recently. From her obituary in The Telegraph:
During live broadcasts of Oh Boy! on ITV in the late 1950s, its procession of chiefly male idols passed so swiftly before the cameras that screaming girls scarcely had pause to draw breath. However, screams became cheers for Cherry Wainer, seated at an upholstered Hammond organ as part of the programme’s house band, Lord Rockingham’s XI. With her grinning vibrancy and ping-pong eyes, Cherry was adored more as an admired elder sister.

While chart entries proved elusive for Wainer in her own right, a maiden Rockingham single, Fried Onions, made the US Hot 100. Hoots Mon, the follow-up, was a domestic No 1 – and was heard on a section of Oh Boy! featured in the 1959 Royal Command Performance. Wainer became the focal point of the band – publicised as “the female Liberace” – with solo spots as both a singer and instrumentalist.

“I had my Hammond customised with quilted white-leather and diamanté studs,” she recalled. “Also, my poodle used to sit next to me. I loved every minute of it – being recognised in the street, signing autographs and when fans washed my pink saloon car when it was parked outside the hall in Islington where every 'Oh Boy!' was rehearsed.”
She certainly was "something else"...

Here she is in all her glamorous glory with Last Night:

Again with hubby Don Storer - Green Onions:

And here she just last year on BBC 4 talking about her time as "the first lady of Rock'n'Roll":

RIP Miss Cherry Wainer (2nd March 1935 – 15th November 2014)


  1. " washed my pink saloon car when it was parked outside the hall in Islington "
    Try it now and they will have the wheels off.
    What a fab Lady.
    Loved the interview at the end.
    ' Hoots man '

    1. I doubt the poodle would be safe round Islington either...


  2. I'm kind of terrified because my name is Cerys Wainer and I was also born on the 2nd of March and I play piano... I only just discovered Cherry and the similarities are really weird...


Please leave a message - I value your comments!