Chic Murray was born
Charles Thomas McKinnon Murray in Greenock on 6th November 1919, living in Bank Street with his parents.
He married Maidie from Edinburgh, and they had two children – Douglas and Annabelle.
He was an apprentice engineer at Kincaid’s shipyard in 1934. He employed his musical talents in amateur groups such as The ‘Whinhillbillies’ and ‘Chic and His Chicks’.
He formed a double-act with his wife Maidie Dickson.
They were billed as “The Tall Droll with the Small Doll” and their combination of songs and jokes made them a very popular attraction both on television and in theatres throughout the country.
They were to appear in the Royal Variety Show in 1956 at the London Palladium with other stars such as Liberace, Alma Cogan, Dickie Valentine and Gracie Fields, but sadly this was cancelled due to the Suez crisis.
Later, working as a solo act, with a forbidding expression and his omnipresent “bunnet”, Chic offered a comic vision of the world that was absurd, surreal, and absolutely unique.
Much mimicked and much loved by his fellow professionals, he acted in films such as Casino Royale (1967), appeared as the headmaster in Gregory’s Girl (1980) and played Liverpool Football Club manager Bill Shankly in the musical play ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in 1984. He died in Edinburgh in 1985 at the age of 65.
Some examples of Chic’s unique material:
It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it …………
I made a stupid mistake last week. Come to think of it, did you ever hear of someone making a clever mistake?
So I gave him a wave. Actually, it was more of a half wave, because I only half know him.
What use is happiness? It can’t buy you money.
I met this cowboy with a brown paper hat, paper waistcoat and paper trousers. He was wanted for rustling.
If something’s neither here nor there, where the hell is it?
My father was a simple man. My mother was a simple woman. You see the result standing in front of you, a simpleton.