Rockin’ with Bill Haley, Gene and Jerry Lee

Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis

Stuart Gasston was born in South Shields, at 101 Frederick Street.

But he had a musical talent that took him far from his North-East roots.

Bill Haley and the Comets

Bill Haley and the Comets

Today, he continues his journey from Shields to south Florida and back, talking about the amazing people he toured with, including Bill Haley & His Comets and Jerry Lee Lewis.

“I used to do a lot of the rock and roll tours.

“I worked with Bill Hayley & His Comets, and I was on tour with Jerry Lee Lewis for his second tour.

“The tour I did with Jerry Lee Lewis was amazing, it was out of this world, they went crazy for him.”

“On another occasion, I remember when I was working with Gene Vincent.

“I had just bought myself a Dick Tracy rain coat, and we were coming out of the stage door.

“I was stood behind him, and he was just about to get into his Spitfire sports car when someone threw a rotten egg at him. Unfortunately, it went all over my new coat.

Having successfully toured over here, and then performed and managed a staff of 50 on cruise ships, Stuart began performing in America.

“I have always had a soft spot for the USA, I lived in south Florida for 15 years, and worked there doing cabaret

and theatre, as well as musicals, playing the lead in The Fantastics.”

But despite his success over there, Stuart decided to return home – for his mam.

“My mother, Jennie, is a 101, I came back home for her about six years.”

And it was then that he met Nancy Hogg, Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards’ grandma.

“I met Nancy at Little Haven.

“I heard her singing, and she blew me away.

“She was with her friends, and said ‘who’s that?’ and they said ‘you don’t know who that is?’

“They knew me but she didn’t, even though we were born just 150 yards apart.

“After I heard her sing, I complimented her, and we took it from there.”

During his time in show business, Stuart has done all sorts of different things, including releasing records on the Columbia label.

He has performed with a galaxy of stars, one of his favourites being Lulu – “she was great”.

“ I have done everything there is to do in show business.

“In my act, I sang, played guitar, piano and did impersonations.

“That’s when you come alive, it’s the adrenalin – the applause energises you.

“I loved what I was doing, I got such a blast from it.

“I particularly loved singing with the big orchestras.”

Stuart, who is a member of South Shields Golf Club, has played the sport all over the world – and even took to the green with TV star Don Johnson, from the hit series Miami Vice.

“I have been very fortunate,” admits Stuart.

“ I wouldn’t change my life for anything.”