Cameron K

Thursday, 16 January 2014 16:31

Lonnie Donegan (1931 - 2002)

Lonnie Donegan 1.j

Born in Glasgow in 1931, Anthony James Donegan was the son of a professional violinist who played for the Scottish National Orchestra. When his parents divorced in 1933 Anthony moved with his mother to East London (hence the accent). Young Anthony loved listening to the radio and enjoyed country and blues music as well as New Orleans jazz. He got his first guitar at the age of fourteen. Once he mastered the guitar he began playing around London and was eventually asked to join a trad jazz band led by Chris Barber. Barber thought Anthony could play Donegan banjo which he could not. He brought a banjo to the audition but failed to impress however he and Chris Barber got on so well Anthony was asked to join the band. In 1949 Anthony was called up for National Service and served two years during which time he hear a lot more American music. When he was demobbed his formed his own group called the Tony Donegan Jazzband in 1952 and took inspiration from a new source of blues and folk music from the library at the American Embassy, which allowed visitors to listen to any recordings that were on hand. The stage name Lonnie came as a tribute to Lonnie Johnson who Donegan admired.

Lonnie Donegan 2The Tony Donegan Jazz band played on the same program with the blues musician at the Royal Festival Hall and was mistakenly introduced as Lonnie Donegan, he like it and the name stuck. In 1953 Lonnie was back with the Chris Barber, now in a band called Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen. Being that bit younger than the rest of the group Lonnie began to play skiffle in between the trad jazz sets. He entertained the crowd to some do-it-yourself music with a washboard, a tea-chest bass and a cheap Spanish guitar, singing folk songs and blues by artists such as Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. So popular was the skiffle segments he was asked to record a fast-tempoed version of Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line", with Chris Barber's Jazz Band in 1954. The single with John Henry as the B side was a spectacular hit in both UK and the US. The King of Skiffle launched the craze which would lead to the creation of over 50,000 skifffle groups in the UK alone, Lonnie Donegan changed the face of popular music forever. Keen to pursue a solo career and left the Jazzmen. His first single “Lost John" hit No. 2 in UK.

A series of popular records followed including "Cumberland Gap" and "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavour on the Bedpost Over Night?". He also turned to a music hall style comedy with "My Old Man's A Dustman". By the early sixties Lonnie Donegan was no longer a headline act but had inspired many of the new order of guitar players including John Lennon and Pete Townsend. He resigned himself to live concerts and cabaret and worked tirelessly touring the world circuit, starring in Las Vegas, Hollywood, New York, Canada, Bermuda, Australia and New Zealand. He was back in the UK for a reunion concert with the original Chris Barber Band in 1975 but back in the US severe heart problems forced him to retire in 1976. By now many of his disciples were established stars themselves and Adam Faith encouraged the King of Skiffle to cross the Atlantic and re record some of his earlier works with an array of stars including Ringo Starr, Elton John, Peter Banks, Ron Wood, and Brian May. All contributed to “Putting on the Style” which was released in 1978. A follow-up album featured Albert Lee and Lonnie Donegan singing country-and-western. Refreshed by the interest Lonnie formed his own Skiffle group and started to tour again. Health problems continued however and in 1992 Lonnie underwent bypass surgery.

Two years later he joined Chris Barber, when the trombonist band leader was celebrating 40 years of his band. Both reunion concert and tour were recorded. In 1999, collaboration with long-time fan Van Morrison resulted in Lonnie's first album release in 20 years, Muleskinner Blues. Lonnie became a frequent guest and opening act for Van's shows and in June 1999 played at the Glastonbury Festival and the Fleadh Festival, followed by a tour that autumn. Lonnie also featured in the Skiffle Sessions – Live in Belfast with Van Morrison, Chris Barber, with a guest appearance by Dr John in 2000. Lonnie died in 2002 shortly before he was due to perform at a memorial concert for George Harrison (a lifelong fan). He was aged 71.

© Kippen C. 2014 Article from Cameron K's Jock Pop Blog

Cameron’s Jock Pop Blog  -  http://tartanrocker.blogspot.com.au/


Wednesday, 08 January 2014 18:53

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival 1

Tom and John Fogerty, formed a band in El Cerrito, California in the late 1950s, they were called Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets but change their name to the Golliwogs before, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). The line up consisted of Tom Forgery (Rhythm guitarist), younger brother John Forgery ( guitar and vocals), Stu Cook and Doug Clifford. In June 1968, Fantasy launched their first album "Creedence Clearwater Revival", which was a pseudo psychedelic rock album. The single form the album was a cover version of Dale Hawkins old rock standard "Suzie Q."
Sunday, 01 December 2013 18:08

Christmas Hits of The 50s

Christmas hits of the 50s.
Gene Autry, along with Roy Rogers, were the best known singing cowboys from movies and television. Besides Gene Autry’s many popular western hits, like "Back in the Saddle Again," Gene also sang several perennial Christmas song classics including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," written by songwriter Johnny Marks in 1949. A year later Gene Autry was back in the charts with Frosty the snowman, then later he co-wrote with Oakley Haldeman, entitled, "Here Comes Santa Claus." 
Brief History of Instrumental Hits 1.j

Prior to the introduction of the singer with the band, dance music was primarily instrumental. Then as microphones improved vocalisation became more popular and when during the war years union action prevented, card carrying musicians from recording the rise of the crooner resulted with the decline of the popular instrumental. Cool School Jazz continued to promote instrumental music but this was considered too complicated for vocals. In the early 50s, Earl Bostic, a jazz saxophonist had two instrumentals hits with Harlem Nocturne and Earl's Rhumboogie.
Monday, 11 November 2013 19:54

The Supremes

The Supremes Florence Ballard 1
Florence Ballard was a student at junior high school in the Detroit housing projects and became friends with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, (two members of The Primes, later to become the Temptations). The boys encouraged her to form a sister group called the Primettes (1959).
Saturday, 26 October 2013 14:11

The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues 1

Ray Thomas (harmonica, vocals), John Lodge, and Michael Pinder keyboards, vocals) were members of El Riot & the Rebels in Birmingham in the early 60s. The group disbanded when John Lodge went to technical college and Mike Pinder left to join the army. Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas later formed the Krew Cats and recruited Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick. They appeared as the Moody Blues in 1964 for the first time in Birmingham. Decca Records signed the band and their first single which met with modest acclaim was called “Steal your heart away.”
Monday, 14 October 2013 20:28

Kenny Ball (1930 - 2013) and the Jazzmen

Kenny Ball 1930 - 2013 and the Jazzmen 1.

Before the onset of beat groups the sharpest sound around in the UK was trad jazz. This was a highbred of traditional jazz but as post-war Britain entered a period of massive social change and upheaval the new music became the sound of a generation determined to enjoy itself. Key names emerged like Acker Bilk, Chris Barber, and Kenny Ball. All were consummate musicians who had mastered their individual instruments.
Saturday, 05 October 2013 16:53

Sammy Davis Jr (1925 - 1990)

Sammy Davis Jr.j

Many believe his larger than life stage performances were related to Sammy’s secret desire to be liked and to overcome prejudice. He finished his army days in the entertainment section traveling across the US, gorging himself on the joy of being liked. He looked for haters in his audience and gave his performances an extra burst of strength and energy to make them acknowledge him as an entertainer. Back in Civy Street he perfected his performances

Billy Fury

Ronald Wycherley was born in 1940 and brought up in Liverpool. As a child he suffered rheumatic fever which left his heart weak but that did not stop him from becoming a consummate performer. In almost formulaic way his father bought him a guitar, (aged 14) and he taught himself to play. Whilst not the best guitarist he was quite good at writing songs and when he saw the Girl can’t help it (1956) and a friend told him he looked like Eddie Cochrane, he was sold on a career as a rock’roller.
Saturday, 10 August 2013 15:57

Joe Meek - A True British Pop Genius

Joe Meek 2

Robert George Meek was born in 1929 in Newent, England. Joe’s mother wanted a girl and dressed him as a girl. Whilst his three brothers were outward going young Joe was introverted and enjoyed staging magic shows for other children and dressing up for his own elaborate theatre productions. His other love was old radios and record players. Joe began building his own electrical gadgets and would rig up speakers so the local cherry pickers could listen to the radio as they worked. Later he became a mobile DJ, travelling the area with his own mobile set up,
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