Henry Mancini and the best strip club in London

By Ray Bennett

A memory of the great film composer Henry Mancini, who was born 100 years ago today:

London’s Soho strip clubs in the Sixties (so I’m told) were shabby and sleazy, compared to which the long-gone Raymond Revuebar on Walker’s Court, run by local mogul Paul Raymond, was classy and good fun.

His wife, dancer and choreographer Jean Raymond (pictured above) , styled the place on iconic Paris venues such as the Folies Bergere and the Crazy Horse. It became a well-appointed nightclub with top-flight ecdysiasts from France and the international circuit.

After I interviewed Jean Raymond for ‘Where to Go in London’ magazine, where I worked at the time, my then wife Anne and I went to the club now and then, drank vodka gimlets and had a fine time.

Best of all was to discover where the music came from. In my interview,  Jean Raymond told me that every year Oscar-winning Hollywood music legend Mancini (left) provided a selection of cues and tracks he’d written that for one reason or another were not used in the movies he scored.

It was great to watch beautiful and stylish performers disrobe and dazzle audiences to musical arrangements that might have come from films such as ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, ‘Charade’ or ‘The Pink Panther’.

Anna Friel plays Jean Raymond opposite Steve Coogan as Paul Raymond in ‘The Look of Love’ (below), a biopic directed by Michael Winterbottom released in 2013.

This entry was posted in Film, Interviews, Memory Lane, Music, Recalling ... and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.