Julie Rayne was born in Darlington and educated at the Darlington High School for Girls. She started her professional career at the Hippodrome (now the Civic Centre) in her home town, working as soubrette with Geordie comic Bobby Thompson in the The Merry Magpies revue. When the show closed she came to London and soon found work in the night clubs and jazz clubs of Soho.
Her first big break came when she joined a comedy show band , Dr. Crock and the Crackpots. Later she was heard singing on a demo disc by Norman Newell, A and R man at E.M.I. Norman signed her up to record for H.M.V. records. Her most well known record was Green with Envy, Purple with Passion, White with Anger, Scarlet with Fever, What were you doing in her arms last night blues? It was the longest title ever recorded.
Radio came along, she was a regular performer on shows such as Saturday Club, Easy Beat, Sing it again and Cool Spot. She appeared on television shows including Thank your Lucky Stars, Melody Dancers The Russ Conway Show, and was resident singer on the television series Stars and Garters. She was also featured on Tyne Tees, Southern, Welsh, Ulster, Anglian, Scottish and Midlands television.
Julie worked as principal girl and fairy godmother in pantomime. She has toured extensively in the U.K. and abroad including tours with Adam Faith and Randolph Sutton as well as appearances at the Royal Festival Hall with Nina and Frederick, backed by John Barry, The Fairfield Halls, with Alma Cogan and The Albert Hall with Cliff Richard.
As a cabaret artiste Julie worked with many comedians, including Ken Dodd, Tommy Cooper, Roy Castle and Dave Allen also with musical artistes including Freddie and the Dreamers, Lonnie Donegan, Frank Ifield and Billy Daniels. Julie worked in numerous revues as well but she had another love, acting. Her first straight role was in a National tour of East Lynne starting at Richmond Theatre, She also played leading roles at the Theatre Museum, Canal Cafe Theatre and London Fringe in The Suicide and Lorca and Strindberg productions.
When Julie became a Christian in 1966, she combined singing in churches and gospel concerts with her cabaret and theatre shows.
After touring in Turkey, Greece, The Bahamas, Germany, the U.S.A. Austria and Italy, mostly singing to the American Forces, she took time off from her career, went to Goldsmiths and gained a London University degree in Drama and Sociology. She is still singing and is a published writer.
Julie became a member of the Arts Centre Group in the late seventies. She has been an active member singing, acting, directing shows and working as a mentor. She often helped Mysia in the restaurant and helped with Cliff Richard’s dinner parties. Julie started Open House at Short Street. It was a late night restaurant popular as a place to invite show business colleagues who were unfamiliar with the ACG.
Here is Julie singing one of her famous early songs: