American humorist Mark Twain was fond of declaring that if you ask for something you will get it in most cases, because people are too lazy to say “No”.

However true that may or may not be, Irish tenor Jimmy Cassidy of Colne Avenue, Watford, has demonstrated that a little initiative can have surprising results.

Jimmy decided to take the plunge when he heard of the visit of Stan Kenton’s band to Britain. He wrote, asking for an audition.

Back came the reply from the famous American bandleader, telling him to be at the Kingston Empire this Friday.

So this week, Jimmy has been polishing up his audition numbers and hoping the luck of the Irish will hold out.

Whatever happens, it’s an object lesson for aspiring tenors: Don’t be afraid to ask.

[From the Watford Observer of March 30, 1956]

For more stories from the Watford Observer's archive, go to our Nostalgia section by clicking HERE