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John Hanson (August 31, 1922 – December 4, 1998)[1] was a Canadian-born British tenor and actor, who starred in several West End musicals during the 1950s and 1960s.

Born John Stanley Watts[1] in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, of English parents, who moved back across the Atlantic three years later. He was educated at Dumfries Academy in Dumfries, Scotland. His headmaster recognized his talent as a boy soprano, and recommended him to the Scottish Broadcasting Corporation. It was there that he made his debut, at the age of 12.

His 1960 album, The Student Prince / The Vagabond King peaked at Number 9 in the UK Albums Chart.[2] Hanson was most famous for his role as the "Red Shadow", the hero of the musical The Desert Song, which enjoyed a record-breaking revival at the Palace Theatre in 1967.

He also appeared in the 1973 Christmas Special of the BBC's Morecambe and Wise Show in which he sang "Stout-Hearted Men". He also appeared on BBC TV's long running variety show, The Good Old Days.

Hanson died in December 1998, at the age of 76, in Shepperton, Surrey, England.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Overview". Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 242. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

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