My association with Larry Grayson came about because I wrote two songs for him, which he recorded, based on his two main catch phrases, “Shut That Door” and “What A Gay Day”.
Larry Grayson was born William White in 1923. His unmarried mother Ethel gave Larry up for adoption to a coal mining family in Nuneaton who were friends of hers. Unfortunately, his adopted mother Alice passed away so Fan, (Florence) her younger daughter, took over and brought Larry up. Larry left school at 14 and began performing in Working Men’s clubs. A while later he changed his stage name to Billy Breen. Over the next thirty years he toured the UK, not only in male reviews and drag shows, but also in Variety. During this time Larry and his agent changed his name to Larry Grayson.
After performing in more shows in the 70’s, he was given his own TV Series ‘Shut That Door’ his catchphrase. The recording of the song ‘Shut That Door’ which I wrote for him was used as the theme music for the show. He took over presenting ‘The Generation Game’ from Bruce Forsyth in 1978. Larry retired from television altogether in 1981 whilst still on top, but continued to perform in theatres. Sadly, after a short illness Larry passed away on 7th January 1995 aged 71.