Vernon Nesbeth Arrived in London in June 1949
story began when Vernon Nesbeth left the Jamaican beaches,
where he sang with friends, and on radio - part of his
prize for winning an Opportunity Knocks talent contest performing
his rendition of the song 'Perfidia'. A favorite of best friend Earnest Donaldson who sent Vernon's name in for the contest.
arrived in Britain in 1949- homeless, jobless and
with 1s 6d (7 and a half pence) in his pocket.
arriving in London from Jamaica in the early 50s, Vernon began
to learn 'The Art of Performing'. He was classically trained to
sing by his teacher and mentor Edric Connor. He was taught tap
dancing by Buddy Bradley, the american legend taught music and speech at The London College of Music by Professor Sayers and Vere Laurie and stage
technique at the G-De Burre Studio in Bond Street.
That was the beginning of a most beneficial and constructive chapter in Vernon’s life
In 1950 I entered a singing, contest at Mecca's Paramount dance hall in Tottenham Court Road, London, where Harry Roy and his orchestra provided the music. After coming second to last in the contest, I, realizing that I had a lot to learn, and in a kind of a shock, ignored going to work and went and seek the help of an old soldier who fought in the "1939-1945 war, whose name was Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews spoke on his soap box at Hyde Park Corner every Sunday, exalting the virtue of his origination called "Coloured People Association" and had an office in Charlotte Street, central London.
I told him of my failure in the singing contest and asked him if he knows of anyone who could teach me MUSIC. Mr. Matthews said, 'I know just the man" and immediately got on the phone, with enthusiasm, and was proud at the end of his phone call to tell me that he'd fixed me up to go and see his good friend EDRIC CONNOR, right away. I went directly from Mr. Matthews' office to see Mr. Connor. I rang the door bell at this big house in Lancaster gate and this tall distinguish gentleman with a small goatee beard, opened the door, and greeted me with a most friendly voice, encouraging smile, and a hand shake. After a while he asked, “so you want to learn music?'” To which I said yes. Well, he said, I do not teach music but I can teach you singing.
has a string of stage, film and television appearances to his
credit. These include Agatha Christy's Murder on the Nile, Cabin
in the Sky, Robinson Crusoe, Alan Plater's jazz musical 'Prez'
and playing Pish Tush in The Black Mikado. Vernon also played
Elephas in the BBC's award-winning film 'Job'. He played Eddie
in 'Eddie's Game'. He appeared in the classical opera with legendary
American Diva Jessie Norman in Paris. Vernon has also appeared
in The Brothers, Cleopatra, Happy Families, Black Joy, The Bill,
Walcot and many others. Vernon has also played 'Rackam' in The Pirate Princess.