EDDIE GOGGIN looks back at the life and career of Steve Conway, who had a relatively short life and brief recording career, and was very popular in the immediate post war years
During the 1950s and ‘60s, to those of you old enough to remember, the local popular music scene was mainly dominated by the sounds emanating from Radio Luxembourg, which was broadcast on 208 Metres, on the Medium Wave, and was the first ever station that served up continous popular music programmes.
It also was the station that featured the original Top Twenty Hit Parade, as was nominated by the New Musical Express. You also had the unique pleasure of hearing for the very first time all of the budding singers who were trying to make their way in the cauldron that was the music world of the middle and late fifties.
Traditionally, every night, as the station shut down, its closing music was a beautiful ballad song, which was named, ‘At The End Of The Day’, sung by vocalist Steve Conway, backed by a full orchestra, and the wonderful voices of the Luton Girls Choir. This song, in time, became a kind of a standard amongst the listeners, and one still hears it sung regularly at gatherings, and often features as the closing item of many musical parties.
The said vocalist, Steve Conway, was born Walter James Groom, on the 12th October, 1929, into a rather poor family, with his father, at that time, being a part-time labourer. As a child, Steve’s life was plagued by illness, one being a rheumatic fever, that severely affected his heart.
On growing into his teens, he developed a love for music and the young Steve was determined to make his way as a singer. When World War 2 broke out, Conway wanted to enlist, but failed the medical, so he began to seek employment as a singer, but only got ‘gigs’ in just local bars and lounges, until, as time went on, he graduated into the club and ballroom scene.