Joe Brown still loves performing and chats about his life and times ahead of his Norfolk shows. He makes sure people leave with a smile on their face

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Here he is in Norwich many years ago but was Joe Brown presenting the brief case or receiving it?

Perhaps someone will be able to tell us.

Round about that time Joe was one of the biggest stars in the land and back in 1963 was top-billing at the Windmill in Great Yarmouth which broke box office records for a summer season which still stands today.

Young Joe was there along with Rolf Harris, The Tornados, Mark Wynter and others in a Jack Jay special which attracted thousands of people.

“I love Norfolk, always have done, and still do,” said Joe, now in his 70s, who is heading back to the county to next month to play three gigs - at Cromer and King’s Lynn.

“We had a wonderful time that year. I stayed with Alan Breeze at Flixton Buck near Bungay. Those were the days,” he said.

I expect many of you remember Alan, the singer on The Billy Cotton Bandshow, who ran the Buck and rented out his cottages to the stars of the Great Yarmouth shows during the summer.

While some 60s stars tour the country singing all the old hits Joe, such a class act and a brilliant musician, has moved on - always trying out new ways of making music and experimenting with sounds and instruments.

His latest record is called The Ukulele Album which he has worked on with his son Pete and daughter Sam but this is no George Formby novelty record.

Every song is given the Brown treatment complete with raunchy electric and acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjo and lap steel and slide guitars - from Pinball Wizard to The Ace of Spades.

“I have always loved the ukulele, It’s a great little instrument and I wish more children would play it in school. It’s better than those recorders,” said Joe.

His new album is officially released on November 5, the day after he plays King’s Lynn Corn Exchange before two dates at Cromer Pier Pavilion on Friday November 9 and Saturday November 10.

Joe and his band are now to the end of the autumn tour and says: “It’s been great. We are enjoying ourselves as much as ever.

“We play the hits from the 60s but we also do a lot of other stuff and of course there is the ukulele. We have a lot of fun and hope that people leave with a smile on their face,” he said.

Skiffle, pop, rock, comedy, folk, gospel and country - you name it and Joe has played it - and with such a passion. He is a true star while remaining the bloke next door.

He is loved by the public and respected by the top musicians all over the world.

“I still remember the dear old Singing Postman.

“He came down to London for my television show and forgot his cap. We could have got him another one but he wanted his own so had to go all the way back to Norfolk to get it. It’s sad what happened to him. His songs were brilliant,” added Joe.

Most years he tours the land and never gets tired of performing in front of an audience - sharing his music with people of all ages.

“I really do like that theatre at Cromer on the end of the Pier. You can hear the sea and see the lights. It’s a good place to be,” said Joe.

<t> Joe Brown is at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on Sunday November 4. For tickets call 01553 764864. He is at Cromer on Friday November 9 and Saturday November 10. Call 01263 512495. Tickets from £22.50.

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If you recognise anyone on the picture or know what was happening please get in touch at derek.james@archant.co.uk

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