Belfast Telegraph

Home Life

The planemaker serenader whose career really took off

By Eddie McIlwaine

My reference in a previous log to the Orpheus Ballroom of Romance that once decorated Belfast's York Street, reminds Jim Fleming of a balladeer called Archie Coates who used to sing there as his fans did the slow waltz and the foxtrot. His favourite song was Moon Over Miami, says Jim.

Coates eventually joined Felix Mendelssohn and his Hawaiian Serenaders on the English circuit and on BBC Radio and became a national favourite in the Fifties.

When his career with Mendelssohn ended, Archie returned home to Belfast and worked at planemakers Shorts and sang in the clubs with artists like Walter Davidson and Belle Crowe.

Out there somewhere is a tape of all Archie's recordings with Mendelssohn.

He died in 1983.

Belfast Telegraph


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