Tony Brent Classic Collection Album BY Mathures Paul (Songs forwarded by Patrick Ranasinghe )
Tony Brent Greatest Hits
Tony Brent created a splash in the music scene of the 1950s; his songs ring true even today Reginald Hogan Bretagne (Tony Brent) was born on 13 August 1926 in Byculla, India. He was the oldest son of Patrick Joseph and Irene Marian Bretagne, and had three brothers and two sisters. But he recorded in a few years what most contemporary singers would record in a few lifetimes. Brent was good at Geography, English and Urdu but, like many of us, was scared of Mathematics! He was a champ when it came to football, cricket and his favourite, hockey. But closest to his heart was knowing more about cars. Fortunately Reg’s father was a Ford dealer, giving him the opportunity to pursue his hobby. He reassembled post-war jeeps, Dodge weapon carriers and military vehicles. By the age of 18 he had a great knowledge of mechanics and went into business with his father in the Ford dealership. He Moved to UK It was in England that Brent discovered his talent for singing. A talent scout from the BBC, London spotted him and arranged an audition with the Bert Ambrose Band. The audition was successful.
This was followed by radio broadcasts and a recording contract with Columbia Records. He joined the BBC Showband in 1951 and took on the stage name Tony Brent. That very year the couple had their first child ~ Kevin Patrick. His first taste of success came in the form of Walking to Missouri. Of his 104 records, 29 made it to the hit parade. In 1953, the year Tony went on a world tour, Karen was born In 1961, the Brents shifted to Sydney where he joined Eric Jupp on his television programme Magic of Music. Cory says, “In 1964, Tony’s other talent surfaced ~ cooking Indian food. So, the family opened a restaurant called Rajah’s in Crows Nest, Sydney. They sold this restaurant after two years to buy a slightly larger one in Chatswood naming it East India Restaurant, central Sydney calling his new restaurant New India Curry Cellar,their final move to their largest and most lavish restaurant ~ which included a nightclub. Situated in the basement of the AWA building in York Street, Sydney, Tony christened this restaurant “Shalimar”, in 1981 when Tony’s wife Noreen died at the age of 50 having suffered a slight stroke after Noreen’s death and also having been diagnosed with diabetes. He bought a mobile home and travelled extensively around Australia until in 1990 he joined his daughter Karen and me in Queensland and retired.”
In 1996, Cory and Karen flew to India with Tony’s ashes, which were scattered in the Ganges. The sad part is that not many record companies released collections of Brent’s music. The most popular one is The Magic of Tony Brent, which was released in 1999. Brent is dead but his music lingers. But how many times do we mention the person who gave the eternal hit In My Little Room, Don’t save your Kiss for a Rainy Day or Every Time we say Goodbye? There will never be another person who would sing Pleading My Love with all his heart, enough to make you fall in love, over and over again.
writes Mathures Paul