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South Shields premier political blog

Gerry Monroe

with 36 comments

Your help needed in finding his family

I have had an important request which could prove advantageous to the surviving family of the late South Shields born singer Gerry Monroe/Harry Morris.

Monroe, the former Plessey’s worker, shot to fame after appearing on Hughie Green’s Opportunity Knocks, and had a small string of hits with his familiar falsetto voice in 1970-71.

Older readers may remember Monroe’s hits “Sally”, “Cry”, “My prayer”, “It’s a sin to tell a lie”, and “Little drops of silver”.

Wikipedia has Gerry as being deceased.

If you know any of Gerry Monroe’s relatives, if they are still in South Shields or nearby, then please get in touch, my details are on the contact page. They could be in for a pleasant surprise.

Here’s a YouTube video clip of Gerry’s cover of My Prayer.


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Written by curly

November 11, 2008 at 8:04 pm

36 Responses

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  1. Gerry Monroe’s real name is Harry Morris I worked with him and Frankie Barron and Colin Steadman at Westoe Colliery in about 1960 we worked underground at what was called the outbye loop junction Harry used to sing during bait time while standing on the staging that was erected for us to gain access to the roof we would sit with our cap lamps shining on him Frankie always used to say “you’ll never get anywhere as long as you sing like a woman? just goes to show what we knew about singing. Sadly I never knew his family there is a photo of the outbye loop junction in the book “The Peoples History South Shields” Page 55, this job was unique as it used a new type of German girder. I left South Shields and Westoe colliery in 1970 to live here in Nottinghamshire.

    Norman Pringle

    November 12, 2008 at 8:09 pm

  2. i am harrys niece my mam was the person that put him forward to opportunity knocks, as his sister inlaw. harrys wife is still alive. p.s i hope to hear from you.

    deborah vose

    December 24, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    • Hey, do you know Allen Stewart?? They were cousins.

      Gypsy Rose

      September 28, 2018 at 4:26 pm

  3. hi been taking to my family my uncle henry wrote little drops of silver for my older sister sharon

    deborah vose

    December 26, 2008 at 11:21 am

  4. hello i am harrys daughter lisa


    June 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm

  5. Lisa thanks for getting in touch, unfortunately it is now some eight months since I wrote this piece and I no longer have the email address of the record company girl who got in touch with me. I guess we’ll have to hope that she’s keeping a tab on this post and will get in touch again. If she does I will certainly contact you.


    June 22, 2009 at 11:06 am

  6. ok no problem this is the first i have hurd of this i see from the above comments that my cousin has been in touch with you on here but yet again me and my mam hasnt been told anything but thats family for you.the record company my dad was with was chapter one do you know if that was the company that was getting in touch if it wasnt i would be very greatful if you could let me know thanks . have you given the email to anyone else please let me know


    June 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm

  7. do you have my email address


    June 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    • I have your address Lisa and I am having another search through my address book to see if any names in there ring a bell.


      June 22, 2009 at 9:45 pm

  8. Hello Curly

    I wonder if you know Gerry / Harry’s Dates of Birth and Death please? I am carrying out research into the average age of artists when they first reached the UK Singles chart.

    With thanks,


    jonathan frewen

    October 29, 2009 at 11:24 am

    • I’m sorry I don’t have that information Jonathan.


      October 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    • Did anyone manage to retrieve Gerry/Harry’s dates of birth and death at all? It’s nowhere to be found on the internet.


      January 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    • I dont know if it is any interest to you but Gerry when he first hit the big time came to a Club I was playing near Stockton and the following week I played a one nighter down in Doncaster and again Gerry was on and offered me the job as his Musical Director and what a wonderful time I had traveling all over the Country with him playing Piano and conducting the differant size Bands etc and the magic of going down to my home town of London to the recording studios where Les Reid a friend of mine from my Militery Band days was the director and wrote a number of Gerrys songs.He of coarse wrote The last Waltz and many other big hits. I have so many wonderful memeries of being on the road with him,and there was times we would be in Scotland and would be home sick and after the Show would say lets drive home for a few hours and I would drop him off at South Shields and drive and see my family in Peterlee and we would drive back the next day.Often we would be standing at the side of the Stage and he would get quite nervous but it all went when he started to sing.Of coarse we always opened the Show with Sally. To sum up he was a wonderful quite Guy,one of the nicest people I have worked with in my 58 years in the business and I got to know him very well,but why was he taking so early.

  9. Hi,
    I first met Harry when I was the photographer at Wakefield Theatre Club in the early 70s and responsible for photographing Martin Dale the owner/compere with each weeks star. Martin played Sgt MacArthur in Emmerdale until his death in 1994.

    My late wife Anne and myself used to meet up with Harry and his manager (Brian?} on many an occasion when he was appearing in Yorkshire and go to the local pubs and clubs where he could relax and forget about stardom.

    If anyone recognised him he would deny it, saying that he wished he was Gerry Monroe, he could use the money, his name was Harry but they could have his autograph if that would do – they usually declined !

    I remember one particular night when he was appearing at Batley Variety Club along with Dana and Stuart Damon and he invited Anne and myself to an after show party to celebrate Jimmy Corrigans birthday.

    At 1am the stage was lowered,oodles of food and drink was brought out and a good time was had by all till about 5am !

    I only recently found out about his death when I was intending to travel to Newcastle to look up Bobby Pattinson (another Theatre Club regular from the 70s) and trace Harry and Brian.

    What a loss – but at least I had the pleasure of of his company and many fond memories of our outings.


    November 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm

  10. I’ve been going thru my boxes of files and come across a couple of pix I took of Harry in the the early 70s.
    If Lisa would like to contact me I will forward copies of them to her.


    November 27, 2009 at 8:30 am

  11. […] now becomes South Shields’ biggest singing sensation since Gerry Monroe and the feel good factor probably outshines the (narrow) defeat suffered by the Mariners in the FA […]

  12. hallo friends I am one biggest gerry monroe fäns generally since me 14 jahre ones old I am sammel his musik and next am big musik fän and does have more than 15,000 lp´s and 5,000 cd’s if intresse can also dive mann or itself just so hit jetz again to gerry back has there also pair of ones ask when he passed away? wievile lp’s cd’s and singels there was of him? where iat his letzde rests stätde? is there videos dvd or does watch TV auftritte or vieleicht one book? would please me about everybody kontakt Frank ps greets many: sorry comes from germany so mine is not so good englich.

    frank schaak

    December 14, 2009 at 10:19 pm

  13. Hello

    Gerry Monroe(Henry Morris) was born on 20th January 1933 in Windy Nook Gateshead and sadly died in October 1989.


    July 15, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    • hi trevor,im joanne from australia,i love jerry monroe,,would you know how he died and where his buried please,i cant find anything,,cheers joanne

      joanne mack

      May 24, 2017 at 5:05 am

  14. I remember Gerry coming to see my dad in the 1970’s. We lived in Marsden, South Shields. I don’t know if my dad knew him from westoe Pit , but he seemed just an ordinary bloke. ‘Feet still on the ground’. I did not realise his fame I don’t think being so young!

    Christine Rollinson

    November 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm

  15. I listened to Gerry as a young kid in Australia and I loved his voice with “Its a sin”it was a hit over here and was part of my musical journey growing up.
    Geez he was alright, I have since listened to his other uk hits, I am sorry he passed away so early.
    Lisa is very fortunate to have fond memories of her dad.I would have liked to meet the bloke.


    June 10, 2011 at 2:30 am

  16. I remember listening to “it’s a sin to tell a lie” in Australia in1971, this song made such an impression on me as a 16 year old that I spent 20 years trying to find it but unfortunately I couldn’t so I gave up, but with the advent of google I have finally tracked it down.
    Instead of diminishing with time and tastes, I find it as appealing as I did all those years ago, it is the only song that manages to take me back to a time when things where more innocent and songs where from the heart.I would have loved to met Gerry/Harry just to shake his hand, sad that he died young

    Steve Robinson

    August 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm

  17. I do a lot of DJing and Karaoke nights in our local club in Kippax Leeds, we are the only club doing live ‘clubland’ entertainment in our village these days. I have had a few bonus points off people playing Gerrys songs and a few good laughs challenging the audience to a Karaoke version of Sally. I remeber as a kid seeing Gerry win Op Knocks and the comments are so right. When you have a voice like Gerry your songs always sound lively and fun, the never date and never sound naff, the just lift you up.

    It would be nice to see some photos of the man, I’m sure there will be some publicity shots and oppertunity Knocks momentos about, if you have them it would be great to see the little guy with the massive voice.

    Gerry left us far too young but his songs will stick in the mind forever. Once heard never forgotten.

    Russel Callaghan

    January 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm

  18. When I was a kid at school (Sydney Australia) I was ridiculed for colledting Gerry Moroe Records. Just couldn’t help it. I liked his music so much better than the other junk that was on offer. I still have the collection of every record he ever put out!


    May 25, 2013 at 2:15 am

  19. Hi am Harry’s nephew (Tony Johnson) although in the early days he was only known as Henry (his real name) the name Harry came later when he worked at the pit (Heworth colliery)
    He lived with us for a time. I have wondered what became of his wife Shirley , it would be good to get in touch again after such a long time.

    Tony Johnson

    April 13, 2014 at 7:08 pm

  20. We still play Sally at a dance we run I would have loved to have his other songs to play at the tea dance where can I get them from we loved him

    Jean hepple

    January 27, 2016 at 9:29 am

    • Sorry not had contact with Henry’s family for many years. Shirley, his widow may be cotactable from the south shields electoral rolls. Just for accuracy Henry was born in windy nook gateshead not south shields.

      Tony Johnson

      January 27, 2016 at 8:24 pm

  21. If anybody who knew Henry/Harry/Gerry still checks this thread, I could do with some help. I’m in the process of writing sleevenotes for a 2-CD reissue of all Gerry’s Chapter One recordings, and I’m trying to put together accurate/detailed biographical notes. As a couple of you have said, there’s precious little up on the ‘net, so it would be great to get more of the background information – particularly, from family members. Thank you.

    Roger Dopson

    October 17, 2016 at 9:43 am

  22. i just love gerry monroe,cant get enough information on im,,where hes buried what he died of or why,god bless this special man

    joanne mack

    May 30, 2017 at 3:05 am

  23. just love gerry monroe,my god so sad,it hurts me,nothing on the cause of death where hes buried why,would anyone know,,please,joanne

    joanne mack

    July 1, 2017 at 5:12 am

  24. How did Gerry Monroe die?
    I feel so sad listening to his fantastic falsetto voice . His songs Sally and my prayer are fantastic cover versions of old records .

    John taylor

    November 16, 2017 at 12:35 pm

  25. just love him never ever forget him with his first song in london,when cds came out i bought his songs,god bless him,great singer breaks my heart,but thay dont say what he died of at such a young age

    joanne mack

    July 28, 2019 at 4:36 am

    • He died of a heart attack at home after an argument at a workingmens club where he was concert chairman

      Tony Johnson

      July 28, 2019 at 6:46 am

  26. Listening to Gerry in 2021 memories of the 70s … His songs live on….


    January 2, 2021 at 1:29 am

  27. I had the opportunity of appearing on the same bill as Gerry (Harry) as a young comedian to warm up the audience before the main attraction on this particular night it was Gerry Monroe. I don’t know who was more nervous me or Gerry, the club was packed all there to see Gerry perform. After my 20 minutes on stage, which was interrupted a few time by hecklers and people talking getting up refilling their drinks, it was Gerry’s turn he walked out on stage, as was passed in the wings i said go get them & gave him the 2 thumbs up sign. A silence fell over the crowd that was it he had them in the palm of his spell, what a performer and what a great show he put on. I saw him a few times after that show working the various clubs up & down the country, I knew fame & fortune was never going to shine my way left the business in later seventies.

    I met some great people over the years, & some A**holes, who were in the business, great memories & tears.

    Steve C

    June 17, 2021 at 11:10 pm

  28. As a child on the 70’s I always heard about him, even had the record as he was family from up north. relatives that I knew have passed away from Gateshead. Know I have family there ‘Morris’ but that’s it.

    Tara Whiffing

    October 2, 2022 at 9:16 pm

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